As his team prepared to hit in the bottom of the sixth inning of Game 1, all tied up at 4-4 against No. 7-seeded and upset-minded Seminole County, Gordon Lee senior catcher Chris Potter spoke up in the dugout.
Potter implored his team to score some runs and he let them know in a volume that was a notch below a scream, but several notches above a simple bark.
The Trojans heard the message loud and clear and responded in kind.
A seven-run inning later, Gordon Lee finished off the 11-4 victory before riding the momentum to a 15-0 drubbing of Seminole in the nightcap as the No. 2-seeded Trojans punched their ticket to the Class 1A Public School state semifinals for the third year in a row and for the fifth time in the last seven seasons.
"I was just trying to get everybody fired up," explained Potter, who launched a three-run homerun to left as part of the game-changing frame. "I try to take on as much of a leadership role as I can, but I wanted some runs and we produced."
Gordon Lee matched the Indians with solo runs in the bottom of the second and third innings, but missed several chances to pile up even more as they left six runners on base in the first three innings, including four in scoring position. They gave up two additional runs in the top of the fourth and trailed 4-2 as they came to the plate in the bottom of the fifth.
But the momentum of the game and of the series itself would change moments later as No. 8 hitter Jake Wright came through with a clutch two-out, two-run single to tie the game.
"Jake's done that several times this year, coming up with a big hit in a key situation and lot of them have," Trojans head coach Mike Dunfee said. "The greatest thing about baseball is that you can't call timeout to put your best player in. You have to go with the lineup and (Jake) has done that all year long I'm proud of him."
An inning later, following Potter's war cry, the flood gates opened on the Indians. Justin Wooden drew a walk before scoring all the way from first on a textbook hit-and-run single from Will Sizemore. Hunter Hodson delivered an RBI-single before Potter went yard. Wright would reach base on an error and Cade Peterson would account for the final two runs of the frame on a solid single up the middle.
Dunfee said there was no panic from his team at all during the opener.
"We try to take each game like a boxing match," he said. "You're swinging back and forth, but main thing is not to flinch, just keep playing the game. I go back to the Region (6-A) championship game when we were down 6-0 and the guys didn't flinch. They came in and just focused on making it happen and that's really the way it's been for this team all year.
"Every game we've played, it seems like someone gets it going and we're able to put a couple of things together. They don't flinch, they don't blink and they don't press. They just go up there and take it one pitch at a time. This team really loves each other, they have fun playing the game and it's fun for me to watch them come together."
Brody Cobb was 3-for-3 in Game 1, while Potter finished with four RBIs. Peterson had two hits and racked up three RBIs, while Sizemore and Hodson each had two hits and one RBI.
Logan Streetman got the win in relief of Wright, who allowed four earned runs on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts in three innings. Streetman shut Seminole down to the tune of just three hits over the final four innings and he finished with three strikeouts.
The nightcap would be devoid of any drama as the Trojans, playing as the visitng team, manufactured four runs in the top of the second against Seminole starter Chase Smith, who had entered the game sporting a 9-1 individual record on the year. Gordon Lee got just two hits in the inning, but took advantage of two Indian errors, while Smith struggled to find the strike zone, walking one batter and hitting another.
If the four-run inning didn't completely zap Seminole (21-10) of its fire, the next two innings likely did. Peterson, the Trojans' No. 9 hitter, hammered a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the third and Potter parked a two-out solo shot halfway up the trees in left-center an inning later to increase the lead to 7-0. Gordon Lee would add another run in the fifth before blowing the game wide open with another seven-run sixth inning as Dunfee was able to empty his bench during the frame.
The Trojans finished with 28 hits in the two-game sweep and scored 24 unanswered runs in the last eight innings of the twinbill.
Peterson went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three more driven in to cap a six-RBI night. Garren Ramey doubled as one of his three hits. Sizemore drove in two runs, while eight more Trojans knocked in one run apiece.
Jake Poindexter struck out eight, walked one and gave up just one hit to get the victory. He was pulled after four innings as Peterson and Cobb got in some work on the bump. Peterson gave up a hit and fanned two in one inning, while Cobb struck out one in his one inning of relief.
"The older guys are really showing the younger guys the ropes," Potter said. "We've been here before and having last year to carry over to this year has been great. We know what to expect. We know about all the chirpiness that goes on and how it can get a little heated, but we also know how to control that and not let it bother us.
"Like Coach Dunfee says, our best ball is still yet to be played. We're doing good right now and we're on a little roll, but we still haven't clicked all together like we know we can. I think we're just going to get better."
Gordon Lee (28-4) will now await the winner of Game 3 between No. 6-seeded Clinch County and No. 14-seeded and Region 6-A rival Bowdon. The Indians and the Red Devils split their first two games in Folkston on Wednesday. Bowdon won the first game, 5-3, but Clinch responded with a 6-0 victory in Game 2.
Game 3 will be played on Thursday with the winner heading to Chickamauga next Tuesday for the state semifinal round.