WARNER ROBINS — Mitchell Miller’s complete-game performance in Game 2 of the AAAAA state championship Monday evening helped force a decisive third game Tuesday in Houston County.
Loganville lost Game 1 by a final of 7-3 thanks to Houston County home runs from Tanner Hall and Jake Fromm. The Red Devils jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the second thanks to an RBI single by Rhett Mixon, an error that allowed Mixon to score and an RBI single from Jonathan Lee.
However, the second inning was the one and only time Loganville was able to plate runs in Game 1. On the flip side, Houston County’s offense exploded with a run in the second, Hall’s solo homer in the third, three runs in the fifth and Fromm’s two-run blast in the sixth.
Despite giving up two homers and being credited with a loss, University of Georgia commit Timothy Elliot recorded a season-high 12 strikeouts for the Red Devils. Elliott went six innings on 110 pitches with eight hits, four earned runs and two walks. Elliott’s future Bulldog teammate Tony Locey was credited with the win for Houston County.
Loganville bounced back to win Game 2, 4-1, forcing Tuesday’s Game 3.
Miller went seven innings on 123 pitches while allowing just three hits, one run and four walks. Miller’s 10 strikeouts gave him 117 on the season, setting a Loganville record for strikeouts in a season previously held by Brandon Moss with 114.
“It definitely lifted the team spirits knowing after we lost Game 1 that we had Mitchell rolling out there on the mound in Game 2,” head coach Jeff Segars said. “We knew we were going to get a great effort out of him. He’s been a leader for our pitching staff and a leader for out team and he threw a great game.”
But Miller got help offensively in Game 2 with runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
The second contest was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when Loganville finally scratched a run on the board thanks to a passed ball that allowed Cody Mixon to score from third. The Bears answered with a run of their own in the sixth when Tyler Truell scored on a passed ball to tie the game.
However, in the bottom of the sixth, Houston County intentionally walked Morgan Copeland and Lee to load the bases for Marcellus Campbell, who ended up being walked four pitches later, scoring Rhett Mixon. The next batter, Bryce Fowler hustled out a single up the middle by diving into first base on a fielder’s choice while Cameron Taube scored from third. Lee then scored on an error to make the score 4-1.