ENTERPRISE - Smithville baseball coach Jordan Summerford had the guy he wanted at the plate at the end in Game 3 of the MHSAA Class 1A baseball playoffs.
Down 4-2 in the top of the seventh with Tyler Jackson on second base, senior Drake Young stood at the plate. He had already hit a solo home run.
"There's nobody I'd rather have up there than Drake at that time and he hit a missile," Summerford said. That's just baseball. We rode his back."
The missile was a hard line drive, that third baseman Bo Garrett just happened to be right in the way of.
West Union coach Ashley Russell was in tears following his team's win. He was visibly thrilled that his Eagles are entering unchartered territory.
The Eagles (14-11) beat Smithville to advance to the school's first-ever appearance in round three.
Sophomore pitcher Taylor English pitched a complete game and retired two final dangerous Smithville hitters in the top of the seventh inning in his team's second straight win in the best-of-three series.
West Union started the season 1-8.
"It's just awesome," said Russell. "The kids never put their heads down. They kept working."
Young and Datrune Freeman each had a solo home run in the third to pull Smithville (13-15) within 3-2. English homered to open the bottom of the inning. He got Freeman to fly out before Young's line drive.
"It feels great to get this far and be able to experience this," said English. "They're a great baseball team We just laid it out there."
Smithville coach Jordan Summerford had the guy he wanted at the plate at the end.
Garrett's two-run bases loaded single in the third inning put West Union ahead 3-0.
"It's just nice to know," said Russell. I fell like the good guys won for once."
Young had thrown 132 pitches in Thursday's 15-8 Smithville win. West Union bounced back to win Game 2 7-0 at Smithville.
Smithville started the season slow too, at 3-9.
"We started out about as slow as we could have," Summerford said. "We beat Hatley in the county tournament and it was a while before we won another one. They kept plugging away, kept fighting and made a good year out of it."