It's been awhile since the Chattanooga Valley Eagles picked up an NGAC playoff victory, but that streak was snapped on Tuesday as the Maroon-and-White held off Gordon Lee for a 9-8 win in Chickamauga. It was the Eagles' first postseason baseball victory since 2003.
The fifth-seeded Eagles led 5-1 after two innings, only to see the fourth-seeded Trojans rally. Gordon Lee scored two in the third inning and one in the fourth to cut the Eagles' lead down to one.
The Valley would answer with four big runs in the top of the fifth inning to go back ahead, 8-4. Gordon Lee would get two runs back in the bottom of the fifth and they would score solo runs in each of the last two frames.
The Trojans would put runners at first and second base with two outs in their final at-bat, but CVMS pitcher Kain Brown would induce a final flyball to rightfield to end the game.
Dallas Bilbrey went 2 for 4 and knocked in three runs for the Eagles. Brown was 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs, while Jamie Hinton had two hits, scored twice and knocked in a pair of runs.
Josh Langston also went 2 for 4, while Holden Lyons and Hagen Patterson had one RBI apiece.
Eli Massey started the game on the hill and pitched 3.1 innings. He gave up five hits and four walks, but just two earned runs, while finishing with six strikeouts. Brown pitched the final 3.2 innings get to save. He allowed two earned runs on three hits and five walks with three strikeouts.
Dalton Russell and Jackson Scali both had two hits and two RBIs for Gordon Lee. Aiden Goodwin had a double and one RBI. Ty Thompson collected four walks and scored twice, while Maddox Millard drew three walks.
Payton Groce pitched two innings, allowing one earned run on six hits with three strikeouts. Garrett Ross threw 2.2 innings. He allowed four hits and two walks with two strikeouts, but did not allow an earned run, while Dustin Day struck out three batters and gave up one hit in his 2.1 innings on the mound.
The Eagles will travel to top-seeded Ringgold on Thursday for 5 p.m. doubleheader in the NGAC tournament semifinals. Game 3 of the best-of-three series, if needed, would be played Friday at 5 p.m. at Ringgold.