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Brownlee’s walk-off homer keeps Wilcox playoff hopes alive

ROCHELLE- The Wilcox County baseball team kept their playoff hopes alive on Thursday afternoon when they defeated the Lanier County Bulldogs in their final regular season game of the season.

The Patriots got on the board first in the game with a five run bottom of the second inning. Kam Bruce led off the inning with a double to left, and an infield hit from Philip Fisher gave Wilcox runners at first and third with no one out. Bruce ended up scoring the first run of the game on an error by Lanier, and Seth Satterfield reached base shortly after with a bunt single. Next, Brock White loaded up the bases with a bunt hit of his own, and Cameron Patterson then walked with the bases full to make the score 2-0 in favor of Wilcox.

Rhett Davis then extended the Patriot lead with an RBI groundout that scored Satterfield. Branson Owens knocked in the fourth Wilcox run of the game with an infield hit shortly after, and another Bulldog error allowed Patterson to score the final run of the inning. Wilcox entered the third inning with a 5-0 lead.

Lanier County came back with seven unanswered runs to take a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Patriots were able to get a run back in the sixth inning to give themselves a chance to win the game in the decisive final inning. Owens walked to lead off the inning and he was able to make the score 7-6 after a third Lanier error. The Bulldogs held a 7-6 lead going into the seventh inning.

A perfect 1-2-3 top of the seventh inning pitched by Brandon Brownlee sent the game to the bottom of the frame, where the Patriots would come up with some late game heroics.

White, Patterson and Davis all three reached base with one out to give the Patriots a big scoring opportunity. Desmond Tisdol was subbed in to pinch run for White, and he ended up scoring the game tying run on a passed ball shortly after. Brownlee then came up to bat with two outs and two runners on, and he provided the walk off hit with a three-run home run to deep left field.

Brownlee also got the win on the mound after pitching the final two innings in relief of Owens.

The win boosted the Patriots’ playoff hopes slightly, and at the conclusion of Thursday’s games, Wilcox sat at number 22 overall in the GHSA single A playoff picture. The top 24 teams in the rankings make it into the state playoffs.