The Woodland baseball team is in a heated race for the fourth and final state-playoff spot out of Region 7-AAAAA.
The Wildcats are one game behind Villa Rica for that coveted fourth-place position, but projections would have likely had the ’Cats falling two games behind after Monday’s game against the No. 3-ranked team in Class 5A and region champ, Carrollton.
That was not the case.
Behind a complete-game pitching performance from Cauy Williams, Woodland upset the Trojans by a score of 5-3 at Woodland High.
The win keeps the Wildcats at 7-7 in the region, one game back of Villa Rica with two games to go for each team.
Cass also is sitting at .500 with an 8-8 region record and with no games left. Woodland’s last two games come against last-place Hiram.
Villa Rica, meanwhile, has one two-game series left with East Paulding, the No. 3 team in the region.
Cass holds the tiebreaker over Woodland, but the ’Cats hold the tiebreaker over Villa Rica.
Due to the playoff scenarios, there is little question that Woodland’s state-tournament chances hinged on Monday’s game against Carrollton.
With that being the case, Woodland turned to South Carolina Upstate commit Williams.
Williams allowed three runs, but just one earned, on six hits and no walks with three strikeouts.
The majority of his run support came in the fourth inning. With the game tied at one-apiece, Woodland’s first two batters went down in order.
Despite the slow start to the inning, six straight walks to Dylan Webb, Garrett Cornett, Jacob Frye, Hunter Reaid, Williams and Noah Ludy brought home three runs.
A wild pitch brought home a fourth and allowed Woodland to take a 4-1 lead.
Carrollton would score one in the fifth on a sacrifice fly and another in the seventh on an error, but that would be all as Woodland held on.
Woodland scored its runs in the first inning on an RBI single by Koby Stansel, who drove in Reaid after Reaid singled and advanced on Williams’ single.
That inning, like the four-run inning for Woodland later in the game, came after the first two batters of the inning made outs.
Woodland will resume its playoff chase Wednesday on the road at Hiram.