LILBURN -- With Region 8-AAAAA shaping up to be a dogfight for postseason spots, Parkview's 5-4 win over South Gwinnett on Friday night could go a long way in determining the playoff fate of both teams.
The Panthers entered Friday's contest with a one-game lead in the region standings over the Comets and Matt Olson's go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the sixth giving Parkview (15-2, 5-0) a little bit of cushion at the top of the region.
"I'm thrilled with this win," Parkview head coach Chan Brown said. "I was worried about tonight because of our emotional win on Wednesday (a 14-4 defeat of Brookwood) and South comes to play every day.
"Our guys are finding different ways to win games. The region is tight this year and we gave ourselves a little breathing room but you can never relax."
Parkview led 4-1 after five innings when South (8-7, 3-2) came off the deck in the top of the sixth with three runs to tie the game at 4-4.
Kevin Vassar led off the inning with a walk off starter Zack Reinstein, who was then pulled for reliever Brooks Davis.
Davis' stint got off to a bad start when Kent Rollins reached on an error and Mack Adams singled to left to load the bases with no outs.
Davis then coaxed Jamie Suggs into an RBI groundout and then struck out Jake Hauser, who homered earlier in the game, for the inning's second out.
However, Taylor McCauley, who finished 2-for-3, came up huge with an two-run single to center, tying the game at 4-4.
"That was a huge hit for him," South head coach Steve Teschner said. "He's been having a tough year at the plate and hopefully that will get him going. We're going to need him."
However, Parkview came right back in the bottom half, scratching out one more run when Austin Wheeler led off the inning with his second double of the game, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored off of Olson's single to right.
Jack Esmonde pitched a perfect seventh inning for the save, preserving Parkview's perfect region record.
"It was a typical South-Parkview ball game," Teschner said. "It was well-pitched with excellent defense. They just scratched out one more run than we did."
Despite plating five runs, Parkview managed just six hits off South starter Tyler Patterson, who pitched all six innings with one strikeout and one walk.
The Panthers made those hits count, getting a two-run homer from Brandon Kregel in the fourth and an RBI single from Kenny Miller in the fifth.
Parkview starter Reinstein was solid but received a no decision, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts and one walk.