Bryson City – Tuesday the Maroon Devils hosted the 3rd round of the NCHSAA 1A Baseball Playoffs. In town for the contest was the 5th seeded Union Academy Cardinals. Swain (the 4th seed) and Union played as even as their seeding. Both teams went back and forth in a highly entertaining 7 inning contest. In the end the Maroon Devils would see their dream season come to an end as Union came away with a tough 10-9 win.
The Maroon Devils undoing proved to be a 7 run 5th inning for the Cardinals, which gave Union a 9-6 lead. To borrow a boxing analogy the two teams traded punches the whole game. In the bottom of the first the Maroon Devils scored a run to take a 1-0 lead. Union answered in the 3rd scoring a run of their own to tie the game. Then in the bottom half of the 3rd Swain added another run and took a 2-1 lead. The Cardinals would answer back in the top half of the 4th and tie the game again. Swain distanced themselves in the bottom of the 4th by scoring 4 runs to take a 6-2 lead. Then came the top of the 5th where Union took their first lead with the 7 run outburst that put them up 9-6. Union added another run in the top of the 6th to stretch their lead to 10-6. In the bottom of the 6th the Maroon Devils plated 3 runs to pull within one at 10-9. Swain would advance a runner to second in the bottom half of the 7th inning but could not get him home.
For the Maroon Devils Gabe Lillard had a pair of hits and scored twice. Lawson Woodard also scored twice, while Cooper Hyatt drove in a pair of runs. Carson Taylor worked 4 walks on the day, Carter Hayes and Woodard had a pair of walks each.
Swain ends their season with a 15-4 overall record, that included a 14 game winning streak and a Smoky Mountain Conference Championship.