Worth the wait: Tattnall Square overcomes weather, Deerfield for spot in championship series

ALBANY — For four long days, Tattnall Square and Deerfield-Windsor waited for an opportunity to finish their GISA Class AAA semifinal baseball series.

In four short minutes Friday, it was all but over.

Tattnall picked up Tuesday’s postponed game leading 1-0 in the top of the third and turned it into a 6-0 advantage before the Knights came to bat.

In the end, the Trojans ran away with a 10-3 victory to take the deciding Game 3 and advance to play Dominion Christian for the championship beginning Monday.

Tattnall’s Colby Andrews laced a two-run double to the wall with the bases loaded in the inning, and by the time he crossed the plate on Hunter Wilkinson’s two-run single that followed, the celebration was imminent.

“I just wanted to get this thing over with,” Andrews said. “We came down here four times. It was time to get it over with.”

Andrews added another double, while DeAndre Smelter lofted a two-run home run just inside the left-field pole to add a twinge of relaxation to an otherwise tense seven days of rain and baseball.

The series was supposed to start May 22, before it was pushed back to Saturday, then Monday. There, the two teams split the first two games with Deerfield taking the first game 4-3, and Tattnall grabbing the second game 3-2 with a dramatic sixth inning comeback.

Game 3 made it through two innings Tuesday before the rains came. It was finally picked up Friday.

“These were two good programs going at it,” Deerfield head coach Rod Murray said. “I am just proud of our kids, even though it took a while to get here, I am proud we kept it going on for as long as we did. I am going to miss these seniors.”

Chief among those is Mercer signee Evan Boyd. He finished the season hitting .574 and led the Knights with a 9-2 record on the mound.

He pitched the taxing third inning Friday and was unable to make the play on a bunt down the line that allowed a runner and set the table for Andrews.

After his final postgame huddle, Boyd retreated by himself toward the outfield wall and took a knee on the warning track while the field behind him cleared.

The moment shook the entire group of Deerfield seniors that also lost to Tattnall Square at home in the state championship series last season.

“I can’t explain this, it is just a bad feeling,” senior Jake Moore said. “Sometimes it goes that way. They got some key hits in the third and that bunt down the line, and he got on base, that killed us. It stinks.”

It took seven days, four Tattnall trips to Albany and all 21 innings, but in the end the series that would never end finally did with the Trojans still playing.

“This series, there is no flow and no consistency to anything,” Tattnall head coach Joey Hiller said. “Pitchers have to get interrupted, then get back up. Then there is Plan B and Plan C. The turning point in this series was the top of the third (Friday).”