ROSWELL — Every round of the postseason is supposed to get tougher -- and yet every round sees the Jefferson baseball team get better.
The Dragons put together two extraordinarily impressive performances in Tuesday's state semifinals, and it earned them a spot in the Class 4A state championship series.
Jefferson swept past Blessed Trinity -- last season's Class 4A runner-up -- 10-7 and 2-0 in Roswell and as a result will now take on Cartersville next week for the crown.
The Dragons (26-11) did it with offense in Game 1, racking up 13 hits against four different Titans pitchers.
After falling behind 1-0 in the bottom of the second, Jefferson caught fire in the top of the third on a two-run single from Zac Corbin and an RBI single from Justin Cole to take a 3-1 lead. The Dragons never trailed again, building a lead as big as 7-1 after five and 10-4 in the middle of the seventh.
Corbin launched a home run in the fifth to make it 5-1 and provided a double as he finished 3-for-4 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. Cole also finished 2-for-4, while Mason Cooper was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI. Lane Watkins, Sammy Elegreet, Clayton Jones and Kade McNally also each doubled.
Patrick Hickox started and pitched 6 2/3 innings to claim the win, yielding 10 hits and 7 runs (3 earned). Derek Vaughn also picked up the save in 1/3 of an inning.
In Game 2, Jefferson managed just five hits -- but two proved ultimately timely. And thanks to Watkins' effort on the mound, it was more than enough.
Watkins tossed a complete game, yielding just 5 hits while striking out 4 batters. He also provided two hits at the plate and scored a run.
Meanwhile, Elegreet and Cooper came up big in the bottom of the fourth -- each providing two-out RBI singles, Elegreet plating Watkins and Cooper driving in Ryan Godfrey.
It was more than enough to push Jefferson over the finish line and into the 4A finals in Rome.
The Dragons will take on Cartersville on Monday in a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. at State Mutual Stadium in Rome. The Purple Hurricanes swept Heritage, Catoosa to claim its ninth state championship series appearance.