Entering the top of the seventh Sunday afternoon against Hardin County in a District 13-AAA tournament winners' bracket game at Munford, it looked like Brighton was headed to a loss and an elimination game.
Well, that didn't happen.
Brighton (21-6) rallied for four runs in the seventh to pull out a wild 7-6 win. The victory clinched a spot in next week's region tournament and in tonight's district title game at 7 at Munford High School. Brighton plays the winner of Dyer County and Hardin County, which play each other today at 4 p.m. in an elimination game. Dyer County or Hardin County will have to beat Brighton twice to take the title.
"I'm very proud of the fight in all our players and not giving in when the odds were stacked against them," Brighton coach Ryan Wood said. "It's a testament to how hard they’ve been working all year long. Our coaching staff has done an excellent job in making sure the guys are prepared."
Dylan Forbes and Logan Rushing led off the seventh with singles and Hardin County chose to intentionally walk Dalton Rushing, who hit his 10th homer of the season earlier in the game, to load the bases. Hunter Deering brought home two runs with a single to cut the lead to 6-5 and Garrison McBride drove in the game winners with a single to right.
Logan Rushing came on in relief of Dylan Baskin in the seventh and retired the Tigers in order to pick up the win. Baskin struck out seven, walked six and allowed six hits over six innings.
"Going into the game we knew if we took care of business we could go ahead and check a goal off on our list," Wood said. "Baskin didn’t have his best stuff yesterday, but he battled hard for six innings because even if we didn’t pull out a win we knew we could burn too much pitching. After the third being up 3-0 we knew if we could throw up a zero and get back in we’d have a great chance to seize momentum."
Baskin doubled in the second inning and Sam Dunlap drove him in with a double to give Brighton a 1-0 lead.
Dalton Rushing hit a two-run homer to right to put Brighton ahead 3-0, but Seth Copeland hit a three-run homer for Hardin County in the fourth to highlight a five-run inning. The Tigers tacked on another run in the fifth to go ahead 6-3.
If the Cardinals win the title they will host a region semifinal game next Monday.