BASEBALL: Gordon Lee forces Game 3 for the state championship

Gordon Lee head coach Mike Dunfee tries to fire up his team after a Game 1 loss to Charlton County on Saturday. The Trojans rallied to win Game 2 and will play again on Monday in the third and deciding game for the state title. (Contributed photo)

The Gordon Lee Trojans have not lost back-to-back games this season, and that trend continued on Saturday in Folkston.

After giving up seven unanswered runs late in Game 1, the Navy-and-White stormed back to win Game 2 and force a winner-take-all game for the Class A public school state baseball championship on Monday.

Charlton County 11, Gordon Lee 4

Gordon Lee drew first blood in the opener as Adam Vandiver led off the game with a walk and eventually came around to score. However, the Trojans would get a runner tagged out at third base in a rundown and left another runner at third as a potential big inning fizzled.

Charlton County got the run back in the bottom of the inning as Richard Dasher was hit by a pitch with two outs and the bases loaded. Two more runs would come home an inning later on RBIs by L.J. Talley and Ryan Young to give the Indians a 3-1 lead.

Talley’s RBI-triple in the fourth added to the lead, but Charlton would fail to execute a squeeze bunt later in the inning and the Trojans would take the momentum into the fifth.

With one out, Tucker Bradley was hit by a pitch, snapping a streak of 10 straight retired batters by Young. A bloop single by Daniel Brooks and a stolen base put runners in scoring position for Cody Wilson, who plated Bradley on a ground ball to the shortstop.

Vandiver delivered an RBI-single to left and later stole second before Connor Coakley drew a two-out walk. However, Vandiver was thrown out trying to steal third to end the inning.

But the Indians answered right back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth. Will Gowan plated Dasher with an RBI-double, and Gowan lumbered home on an RBI-single by Jacob Baxter to increase the lead to 6-3.

Five more runs would score in the sixth. Three runs scored on a three consecutive bases-loaded walks, and a two-run single by Baxter would cap the scoring for the home team.

Coakley picked up an RBI on a one-out single in the top of the seventh, but two straight fly balls to center would end the game.

Young got the win for Charlton County, while Branton Phillips started the game and took the loss for Gordon Lee. Phillips was pulled after giving up a leadoff single to start the third inning.

Gordon Lee 10, Charlton County 2

The Indians (30-3), the visiting team for Game 2, dented the scoring column first as Gordon Lee starter Conard Broom was called for a balk with a runner on third base.

The Trojans (30-3) left the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, and it looked as if they would leave more runners on base in the third.

But a single by Bay Wright ignited a two-out rally. Bryce Bailey tied the game with an RBI-single, and a Jake Rogers’ RBI-double gave the Trojans the lead. Phillips then followed with a two-RBI single up the middle to stake Broom to a 4-1 lead.

Gordon Lee would add to their advantage an inning later on an RBI-double by Coakley and a run-scoring single by Tanner Sexton before blowing the game open in the sixth with another four-spot.

Wright drove in the first run of the inning on a groundout with the bases loaded. Bailey ripped a two-out, two-run double down the left field line, and another RBI-double by Rogers accounted for the 10th and final run of the game.

Charlton County would load the bases and get a run home on a sacrifice fly, but Broom would get the final batter on strikes to end the game.

Rogers went 4 for 4 in Game 2 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs, while Bailey was 2 for 3 with a double and three RBIs.

The two teams will meet in the final game of the series on Monday in Charlton County. First pitch is slated for 3:30 p.m. and the game can be seen online at