And much like in its loss to Rome, Bartow made an attempt to rally but came up short of its desired result as Paulding County went to an 8-4 victory.
"It's a learning [experience]," Blue coach Greg Hight said. "They gotta learn to play from behind. Both nights we fell behind, and we gotta learn to come back. We fall three or four runs behind. We play on top well, but we gotta learn to play from behind, too."
With things knotted up at 3-all going into the fifth inning, the Stingers pushed out ahead, getting an RBI single from Braylin Fisher -- on a hit to shallow left field -- and on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Jarred Knight.
After capitalizing on a few Bartow errors, Paulding County led 8-3.
Hoping to storm back with their final six outs, the Blue loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth as Noah Dutton got hit by a pitch followed by back-to-back walks from Maddox Teems and Grayson Bagwell.
The Stingers then dug into their bullpen, bringing on Logan Fox to get them out of a jam. Fox induced a groundout to third baseman Justin Raake, who went to home plate with the forceout. Following a pop-up, which Raake also recorded, Fox struck out the final batter, but not before allowing the Blue to score its fourth run on a passed ball.
Bartow would not get a better scoring opportunity than the fifth as Fox sat batters down in order to close the game in the sixth.
Asked what hurt his team in the loss, Hight said, "Just not getting the hits at the right time. I think we left [runners on] second and third [base] twice and left the bases loaded there one time. You gotta push [those] runs across the plate if you're gonna win ball games.
"That's what they did when they took the lead on us."
The Blue grabbed a one-run lead in the second when Devon Isaac drove an RBI single to shallow right to score Teems, who led the inning off with a walk.
The Stingers seized the lead in the third, scoring runs on Judd Schlies' hit down the first-base line, Taylor Hornbuckle's bunt hit and on a Bartow error.
Proving that it was equal to the task, the Blue tied the game up in the bottom half of the third. Halen Huskins' groundout plated Bartow's second run and Cody Henderson hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-all.
Paulding County, however, exploded later on to preserve the win.
Hitters for the Blue were Macland Shay (1 for 2), Teems (1 for 1, two walks) and Isaac (1 for 3, RBI), while Schlies (1 for 2, RBI), Nicolas Kruzlik (1 for 2), Hornbuckle (1 for 2, RBI), Seth Camp (1 for 2), Raake (3 for 3, hit by pitch) and Fisher (1 for 3, RBI) recorded hits for the Stingers.
Despite the loss, Bartow realized an accomplishment not seen for a few years by making it to the top level of Dizzy Dean's state tournament.
"It's an accomplishment," Hight acknowledged. "[In] Dizzy Dean you have to qualify each year to get to the 'A' state [tournament] and they qualified. We qualified to go to the 'A' state, so we'll be playing [in] it next weekend.
"It's a big plus for 'em, they hadn't been there in a few years -- this age group right here."
Paulding County plays the Rome Green Jackets today at 6 p.m. for the championship. Game 2 would be played at 8 p.m. if the Stingers were to win the first game.