"It means a lot for their confidence. Like I said earlier in the summer, the more they win the more they believe they can win. I've known all along this group can win, they have the tools, but the more they actually win ball games, I see that they start to really believe that every time we hit the field we can win a baseball game. I hope that will carry over. I think it will," HC coach Chris Wigley said.
The game was a pitcher's duel for the first four innings of the game, with MZ's Hunter Dressler and Haralson County's Hunter Craft matching each other pitch for pitch.
The Eagles got the first run of the game after a leadoff double from Garrett Frazier and an RBI groundout from Tee Watson in the top of the second inning to go up 1-0.
In the bottom of the third, the Rebels tied things up after Justin Akins got a one-out single, moved to second on a balk and later scored on a wild pitch.
The score remained 1-1 until the fifth inning when the Rebels needed just one hit to score six runs, as HC drew four walks and had a batter hit. The big blow came on Craft's bases-clearing triple to turn a two-run game into a 7-1 advantage.
Along with the big hit, Craft went all six innings, allowing just one run on four hits with a walk and a pair of strikeouts to continue the strong summer for the rising junior.
"He's a player. He came through with that base-clearing triple. He's an upcoming junior for us and what I like to call a gamer. He gets it done wherever we put him. He plays outfield for us, third, plays second, pitches. I've been proud of him all summer," Wigley said.
For the Eagles, it is about trying to eliminate those big innings defensively.
"Something I've talked to them about is that it's got to be a team effort, not individual effort. A lot of the kids are buying in, but there are still a few that want to do it their way. Until everybody buys in, then we're going to get the results we have," MZ coach Wade Cohen said. "Hopefully they'll all buy in and we'll be a force to be reckoned with if they all buy into that philosophy."
Haralson County will play a doubleheader today, facing Villa Rica at 2:30 p.m. and New Manchester at 4:45 p.m. The Eagles will then play New Manchester in the final game of the day at 7 p.m.