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East Rowan Falls to Tuscola



Tiffany Walston

Advances to Next Round in Playoff Series

In a thrilling regional playoff showdown, the Tuscola Mountaineers edged past the East Rowan Mustangs with a 7-4 victory, propelling them to the next round. One more win would send the Mountaineers to the state title series, a first for any Haywood County baseball team.

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The game, which started as a pitcher's duel, turned into a dramatic comeback story. For the first three innings, Tuscola sophomore Amos Rich and East Rowan sophomore Harrison Ailshie were nearly unhittable. 

But the tide turned in the top of the 4th inning. Senior Jed West drew a leadoff walk, and junior Kolt Nelson followed with a single, putting two runners on with no outs. Junior Evan Conner then launched a three-run homer over the left field wall, giving Tuscola a 3-0 lead.

East Rowan quickly responded, scoring four runs in the bottom half of the fourth inning to take their first lead. Heading into the top of the seventh inning, Tuscola was down 4-3, with their playoff hopes hanging by a thread.

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Freshman Bo West delivered in the clutch, doubling into right field to score two runners and put Tuscola ahead 5-4. His older brother, Jed West, then singled into the outfield, driving in two more runs and extending the Mountaineers' lead to 7-4.

Reflecting on the game and season, sophomore Amos Rich stated:

“ Its been a great year and we just need to take it day by day and continue to work hard.”

With this comeback victory, the Tuscola Mountaineers move one step closer to making history in the state title series.

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