Two local baseball teams saw their seasons come to an end last weekend in the first round of state tournament play.
The Evans Knights and Harlem Bulldogs each dropped their first round series. The Knights fell on the road to Northgate, and Harlem lost to Troup at home.
The Bulldogs' season ended with a 20-8 record and another subregion title under their belts.
"A 20-8 record is a pretty good year for this crowd," Harlem baseball coach Jimmie Lewis said. "We'll lose four good ones - (Mike) Sanders, (Rodney) Scruggs, Kyle (Knight) and (Alex) Hintz. It's going to hurt losing them."
Those four Harlem seniors led the Bulldogs to a No. 2 seeding entering the Class AAA state tournament last weekend. Harlem split with Troup in a Friday afternoon double-header, but Troup took game 3 on Saturday with a 10-8 Tiger win.
Five Bulldog errors in the first inning led to eight Troup runs and the end to Harlem's season.
"They battled back, but our defense let us down in this one," Lewis said.
A young Evans squad never made it to a Game 3 after dropping the first two games to top-seeded Northgate on the road on Friday. Evans appeared headed for a win in the first game after freshman Tevin Nelson came through with an RBI single to give the Knights the lead in the top of the seventh. Northgate stole the lead on a solo home run and an RBI single with a runner on third base in the bottom of the seventh for a 3-2 win.
The first-game victory was all the momentum the home team needed. Northgate took Game 2 with a score of 11-0.
"In Game 2 they really got after us a little bit. They swung the bats very well and we couldn't muster anything up offensively," Evans baseball coach Ricky Beale said.
The Knights' season ended with a 16-11 overall record. Beale said he would like to have gone further in the state playoffs, but there's still a silver lining to a first-round exit.
"The way we look at it, in Game 1 we started four sophomores and had a freshman get a big hit for us," he said. "Lots of young kids got some good opportunities. Hopefully they'll learn from this, and it'll help them prepare for the future."
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