The playoff drought for Bryan County High School baseball ended Tuesday night in dramatic fashion as the Redskins held on to beat McIntosh County Academy, 5-4, in Region 3A Public play.
The victory secured the Redskins a spot in the GHSA Class A state playoffs which begin next week. Coach Justin Covington said this is Bryan County’s first playoff berth since 2016 when current softball coach Jason Roundtree was coaching baseball.
The Redskins, then playing in Class AA, lost to Metter in the first round. Prior to that season Bryan County had last made the playoffs in 2009 under Coach Al Butler when Covington was a senior. That team lost to Washington-Wilkes in the opening round.
The Redskins (15-7, 8-5) will conclude regular season play against McIntosh on Friday. The game will be played at Mill Creek Park in Statesboro due to the damage Hendrix Park suffered in the recent tornado.
Should the current standings hold up following the end of regular season play on Friday the Redskins would be a No. 3 seed and play at Patula Charter School in Edison, which is in Calhoun County.
The win at McIntosh was Bryan County’s third straight including two wins over last-place Portal following a four-game skid in which it lost twice to defending Class A state champion Metter and Claxton. Metter has clinched the region championship while Claxton owns the tie-breaker for second over the Redskins.
Konnor Leggett, with last inning relief help from Tanner Ennis, got the win over McIntosh. It was the junior lefthander’s eighth win against two losses while Ennis was picking up his third save.
Leggett leads Bryan County in hitting at .365 while Ennis, the only other starter over .300 at .304, has been lights out in a relief role. In 12 appearances the hard throwing sophomore has 43 strikeouts in only 20.2 innings while giving up nine hits and 13 walks.
Bryan County jumped on McIntosh for three runs in the first inning and added one in the second for a quick 4-0 lead. The Buccaneers got to Leggett for three unearned runs in the third but other than that he was in control.
Aaron Bailey, who has seen his average drop from .354 to .294 in the last seven games, singled to drive in the first run of the game and Zach Sitton added a two-run single. Ennis’ single drove in a run in the second and the Redskins scored what proved to be the winning run in the fifth when Sitton crossed the plate on one of the Bucs’ seven errors.
McIntosh got to Leggett for a run in the seventh – none of the four runs he allowed were earned – and were threatening to tie the game when Ennis came in and got the final two outs to send his team to the playoffs.