CLAYTON -- On Friday, the North Putnam Cougars and the South Putnam Eagles played for the fourth time this season, this time in the championship game of the Class 2A Sectional tournament.
In the three previous games played against each other, North Putnam won each time by a total of six runs.
This time would be different as South Putnam earned its first sectional championship since 1987, defeating the Cougars, 2-0.
The game turned out to be a pitching duel between both schools' ace pitchers, South Putnam's Matt Hicks, and North Putnam's Jake Mullis.
Hicks gave up only one hit, a single by North Putnam's Griffen Dahlstrom in the seventh inning, had nine strike outs, and gave up six walks.
Mullis gave up three hits, all singles, by South Putnam's Marcus McKinney, Derek Cash, and Josh Hopper, had eight strike outs, and walked only one batter.
The game was tied at 0-0 at the end of four innings, when South Putnam scored the only runs of the game when John Davidson drove in Cash, and Noah Boswell drove in Hopper for the Eagles.
That would turn out to be the difference in the game.
"Back at the start of the season, the county coaches took a look at each other and we knew that this would be the best quality of baseball in the county, ever," South Putnam coach Matt Griswold said after the game.
"All four teams in the county have played very well all year. That was reflected in our ability to win more games. We've been playing well and we have been playing really good teams,"
"Matt Hicks' holding them scoreless until we could get ahead was the key in the game. "
"Our seniors enjoyed tremendous athletic careers at South Putnam and it was nice to see them get a sectional championship after playing in sectional championships in other sports."
"We've got a nice group of parents who have supported us for four years and it was nice to see a tangible reward for that this time," Griswold added.
North Putnam coach Brett Motz knew that beating South Putnam for the fourth time this season would not be an easy task.
"We only got one hit in the game and that was in the last inning, Obviously, it was a disappointing loss," Motz said after the game.
"Jake Mullis is definitely a competitor. He plays three sports and he competes well. He brought his game today, but offensively, we couldn't get anything going."
"Obviously, we've got to score to win, and when you don't score, it's tough to win a game like that. My hat's off to Matt Hicks. He brought his best stuff tonight."
"I am so proud of the way we have played the entire season."
"We came into this season not expecting much, losing seven seniors who started every game last season. To be able to come out with a whole new line up and win the county, win the conference, and win 20 games was a great achievement for this team," added Motz.
It was the final game for North Putnam seniors Luke Woolums and Levy Elliott.
The Cougars ended the season with a record of 20-8.
South Putnam 000 020 0 -- 2 3 0
North Putnam 000 000 0 -- 0 1 1
Hicks and Boswell; Mullis and Berry
WP -- Hicks
LP -- Mullis
Next Game - South Putnam (13-12) will play at Park Tudor Tuesday night.