The Upson-Lee Knights traveled to Griffin on Wednesday to face the No. 8 state ranked Bears. The Knights entered the game in the midst of a playoff hunt. Upson-Lee, Woodland, and Dutchtown are battling for the fourth and final playoff spot, as the end of the regular season is just around the corner.
On Wednesday, the Knights held a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs and a runner on second base. With Kalen Puckett on the mound and working on a two-hitter, Puckett got the Griffin batter to pop-up in the infield. The ball seemingly hung in the air for minutes before finding the grass just behind second base, and the Bears runner on second base scored to tie the game. The Bears then stole second base, and with two outs Keyston Fuller delivered the Bears’ walk off hit of the game, scoring the winning run and breaking the Knights hearts with a 3-2 victory.
“This one is a tough pill to swallow,” said Knights head coach Wayne Puckett. “We make that play 99 out of 100 times. There is no reason that ball should not have been caught. We gave that game away, a game we deserved to win. I thought we really played well, and I thought Kalen pitched well. We only gave up three hits and lost 3-2, that’s tough. We just have to put this game behind us and get back at it tomorrow. We have two more games this week that we have to win. We are still in the hunt for the playoffs, but now we will need a little help. We just have to take it one game at a time.”
Brandon Blount led the Knights with two hits and a RBI. Upson-Lee collected six hits in the game, compared to the Bears three hits. The Knights were able to get out of trouble with some great defensive plays in the fourth inning and in the sixth inning. Puckett allowed just three hits in the game, and only walked one batter.
The Knights will host North Clayton on Thursday and Riverdale on Friday. The Knights host Dutchtown for Senior Night next Tuesday and Jonesboro next week before traveling to Spalding to end the regular season.
Upson-Lee sits at 7-8 in the region, while Woodland is 8-6. If the Knights can win out, they still have a chance if the Wolfpack can lose to Spalding, Locust Grove, and Jonesboro. If UL loses another game, they would have virtually no shot. So far this season, Woodland has lost once to Locust Grove and Spalding, but beat Jonesboro in their first match-up. Woodland will play on the road against Locust Grove and Spalding, but will host Jonesboro. If the Knights best scenario plays out, they would finish 12-8 in region play and Woodland would finish 11-9. If both teams finish 11-9, Woodland would get the tie breaker due to scoring differential. Upson-Lee beat Woodland in their first meeting 10-6, while Woodland won the second meeting 15-7, that’s a differential of plus four runs for the Wolfpack.