Rockmart High School's baseball team’s bid for a state championship came down to one game.
But after surviving time and again through each round of the playoffs, Rockmart's record-breaking journey ended with the Class AA runner-up trophy.
Rockmart fell to Jeff Davis 2-0 in the decisive Game 3 of the GHSA Class AA Baseball State Championships at Luther Williams Field in Macon on Wednesday afternoon.
Despite a strong defensive effort from Rockmart, Jeff Davis was able to score in the bottom of the third and sixth innings in a speedy game that lasted less than two hours.
The two teams had split the series-opening doubleheader Monday with Rockmart winning Game 1 4-1 before falling 4-2 in the nightcap and forcing Wednesday's winner-take-all contest.
"The team gave me every bit of what they had all-year long," Rockmart head coach Kenny Yanzetich said. "And what a run. I couldn't be more proud of the effort these kids put in."
Rockmart's Dylan Bailey and Evan Ratcliff were able to get on base with singles, and Ratcliff, Sam Sanders, CJ Culver and Reed Couch drew walks, but the team wasn’t able to get any runners home.
The series was the furthest Rockmart has gone in the playoffs in school history, and Yanzetich said the team made a commitment after a 2018 first-round elimination to play for each other and with each other, a purpose Yanzetich credits with this year's playoff run.
Rockmart (29-11) put up a hard fight for the championship through a 2019 season that included an undefeated run through Region 7-AA play.
Junior Brayden Cole was saddled with the loss Wednesday after striking out four while allowing six hits and two runs over five innings of work.
"He threw a heck of a game," Yanzetich said. "He was outstanding. He stepped up and gave us opportunities. We just didn't hit as well as we needed to, when we needed to hit."
Jeff Davis (33-7) was able to keep the Jackets from posting a comeback in the top of the seventh and ended the game.
Rockmart's season marked an end for seniors Bailey, Sanders, Shelton, Noah Hughes, Jothathan Suppes, Luke Queen and Griffin Pace.
Yanzetich said it was a big run for "Dylan Bailey and his boys" with a career record of 91-41 overall for the Class of 2019.
Yanzetich also thanked the Rockmart fanbase for sticking with the team through long nights in the playoffs, and rooting the team on during big comebacks. He said the Rockmart community is a special group, and it's fun to play for them.