Monday was a good night for Columbia County teams in the Region 2-AAAAA baseball tournament.
Evans High School, Greenbrier and Lakeside each won the third and deciding game in their respective best-of-three series, moving to the tournament's semifinal round while automatically earning a berth in the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA state tournament.
No. 3 seed Evans topped No. 2 Jones County, 7-2, on the road, No. 2 Lakeside beat No. 3 Warner Robins 5-3 and No. 1 Greenbrier came back to defeat No. 4 Northside, Warner Robins, 4-3.
Against Jones County, Evans' David Rivera got the win, striking out 11 in six innings of work. He was backed by two hits apiece from Elliot Melton, Garrett Wilkinson and Colin Dominy while Kelvn McCladdie and Matt Anderson each contributed a double.
At Greenbrier, Chris Michals helped save the Wolfpack's season by depositing a first-pitch curveball over the left-centerfield fence for a two-run home run, giving the Wolfpack the come-from-behind 4-3 win in the seventh inning.
On Wednesday, Greenbrier will play host to Evans while Lakeside will travel to No. 1 Houston County.
Michals' home run brought the Wolfpack (17-5, 11-1) all the way back from a 3-0 second-inning deficit, an inning in which they committed two errors with just one of the three runs earned.
The Wolfpack got one back in the fourth on a Knox Marchman RBI single and one in the fifth on an Adam Sasser single. Connor Hoover led off the seventh reaching on an error and was sacrificed to second by Braz Staples, setting up Michals' heroics.
Looking for a curveball off Eagles' pitcher Jason Gifford (2-5), Michals got what he was looking for.
"The first pitch he threw me one and the thought in my mind was hit it to the right side and the other part of my mind was smash it, and I chose the latter one," said Michals.
Sasser led the Wolfpack with three hits including two doubles while Michals had two hits in four at-bats.
Gifford surrendered 10 hits to the Wolfpack, but limited scoring chances by stranding seven runners, including getting inning-ending 1-2-3 double plays in the third and fourth innings before recording the final out of the fifth inning with the bases loaded.
Sasser started on the mound for the Wolfpack and allowed just two hits in his three innings of work while giving up the three runs. Nick Sandlin, who got the Wolfpack's Game 1 win over the Eagles Thursday night, came on in relief in the fourth inning trailing 3-0. He slammed the door shut the rest of the way, shutting down the Eagles (6-14, 2-9 region) with 10 strikeouts in four innings of work without allowing a hit and getting the win.
"I felt pretty good, I thought I had a lot of velocity," said Sandlin. "My arm's been acting up a little bit but you think about how long you'll have to rest and it might be the last game of the season, you go out there and give it all you got."
Wolfpack head coach Jason Osborn liked his team's resilience.
"I told our guys I was proud of the fact they were able to get it done," said Osborn, "That team over there didn't deserve to lose, they came in here and did a heck of a job against us. How we found a way to answer, I'm not sure."