But it did have to be a win.
Elizabethton kept its season alive thanks in part to Evan Perkins’ walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving the Cyclones a 3-2 win over West Greene in the Region 1-AA baseball semifinals at Joe O’Brien Field on Monday night.
“We figured it out, but we figured it out late,” said Cyclones’ head coach Ryan Presnell. “I’m very proud of what we did. West Greene has a lot to be proud of as well.
“I have a lot of faith in our guys that somebody is going to get a hit, and Evan took great advantage of the opportunity.”
Elizabethton (24-8) moved into Wednesday’s region championship game at Greeneville, which knocked off Unicoi County by a score of 5-0. The Cyclones and Greene Devils also earned spots in Friday’s sectional round, where a berth in the state tournament will be at stake.
The winning rally
Ethan Eggleston got things started with a leadoff single, and he went all the way to third on an error.
After a walk and a fly out, Corey Russell walked to load the bases. Perkins followed with a shot to right-center field to plate Eggleston.
“He threw me a fastball on the first pitch and it was a ball, so I knew he was going to throw it again,” said Perkins. “He put it right down the pipe, and I just hammered it to right center.
“It’s always exciting to win a region game. Everything was on the line, so it was great to get the win.”
The Cyclones were down 2-0 with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning before Evan Carter legged out an infield single to drive in a run. Eggleston then scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
Tre Shoun went the distance, allowing just three hits and two runs, one earned. He walked one and struck out five.
Carter paced the Cyclones’ attack with three hits in four at-bats. Perkins and Eggleston each added two hits.
For West Greene, sophomore Nathan Watson was the tough-luck loser. He allowed eight hits and three runs, one earned while pitching into the seventh inning. The Buffaloes finished 22-9, which head coach Adrian Sauceman called the best season in school history.