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Rockwood senior Collin Smith has had a lot of big hits during his four years at Rockwood High School. None, however, were bigger than Smith's two-out infield single in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday evening as that hit drove in Hunter Golliher with the winning run in a 6-5 victory over Midway in a District 3-A Tournament elimination game.
For Midway, Tuesday's loss was the second heart-breaker of the tournament as 24 hours earlier Grace Christian Academy also beat the Green Waves with a walk-off single.
Tuesday's contest was close throughout as the lead switched hands several times in the final few innings.
Midway scored first with a run in the top of the third inning.
Matt Jarvis singled to start the frame and he eventually scored on a ground ball to short off the bat of Thomas Viar.
The first lead change of the contest came in the bottom of the inning as Rockwood scored two runs.
Riley Clem walked and stole second to start the inning and he scored on a single from Tavin Napier. Napier eventually scored on a wild pitch to make the score 2-1.
Rockwood added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning as Lucas Jolley singled and scored on a Kyler Hagler ground ball to make the score 3-1.
Midway, however, bounced back with three big runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 4-3 lead.
Logan Davidson reached on an error to start the inning and Jarvis followed with a walk. Josh Manning would drive in the first run of the inning with a single then Viar drove in another run when he reached on an error. Austin Keeling drove in the final run of the frame with a two-out single.
Things really heated up in the bottom of the sixth inning. Isaac Allen walked to start the inning and that was followed by a double from Smith.
Midway then went to their bullpen and replaced Keeling with Manning. With the infield in and runners on second and third, Manning got the first two outs of the frame with no damage being done, but Hayden Freels grounded a single up the middle that scored both runs to give the Tigers a 5-4 lead.
Midway, however, came right back and tied the game in the top of the seventh inning. Austin Parkison led off the frame with a double and he scored on a single from Viar.
Rockwood manufactured the winning run in the bottom of the frame.
Trevor Templin led off the inning with a single and his pinch-runner, Golliher, took second on a sacrifice bunt from Jared Breazeale. Allen followed with a ground ball that moved Golliher to third then Smith hit a smash to second that was just out of the reach of Parkison, who knocked down the ball but had no play at first.
Smith (2-3, 2B, 1 RBI, 1 run) was the leading hitter for Rockwood on the day while Viar (2-4, 3 RBIs) led the way for Midway.
Golliher picked up the win after pitching 2 2/3 innings in relief of Matt Cofer. Golliher allowed one run on three hits while striking out one.
With the victory, Rockwood advanced to a Wednesday evening showdown with Harriman. The winner of that game advanced to next week's Region 2-A Tournament while the loser's season comes to end.
Midway finishes the season with a record of 17-8. The 17 wins are a school record.