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Wednesday January 27th, 2021 3:36PM

Playoff baseball: Still plenty at stake as a number of area teams head to Game 3

By AccessWDUN Staff
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GAINESVILLE — It figured to be a wild and grueling first round for area baseball teams in the state playoffs.

Friday's results did nothing to dispute that.

Seven of the 15 area teams to advance to the playoffs were forced to Game 3s while five teams got swept. Three teams swept their first round opponents.

Perhaps the most interesting of the results was Flowery Branch, making its first appearance since 2014, shocking Riverwood in Class AAAAA with an impressive two-game road sweep, 4-0 and 5-3, behind some stellar pitching.

In Class AA, both Banks County and Rabun County swept their way into the second round. Banks County routed Hapeville Charter 18-0 and 16-1 while Rabun County, a No. 4 seed, whipped Region 6-AA champion South Atlanta 8-2 and 13-3.

Perhaps the biggest stunner of the day was Jefferson getting steamrolled by Heritage, Catoosa 11-1 and 18-1 in Class AAAA. The Dragons just two years ago played for the Class AAA state title. Also in Class AAAA, Chestatee, which was making its first-ever playoff appearance in program history, was sent home quickly in a pair of 10-0 losses to LaGrange on the road.

In Class AAA, Fannin County was overwhelmed by No. 1-ranked and Region 5-AAA champion Redan, 3-0 and 16-2. Jackson County, a state semifinalists in 2016, was knocked out early by Ringgold 7-3 and 5-0. In Class A, Towns County fell to Bowden 5-4 and 17-1.

Which leaves us with a busy Saturday. It could turn out to be a banner day or it may be one area baseball fans will want to forget.

Perennial powerhouses Gainesville, Buford, and North Hall, along with West Hall, Stephens County, Dawson County, and Commerce all will try and pull out all the stops to snag one more win and continue toward their quests for titles.

STATE BASEBALL PLAYOFF RESULTS
First round series
Class AAAAAA
Gainesville 1, Dalton 1
Game 1: Dalton 10, Gainesville 3
Game 2: Gainesville 9, Dalton 2
Game 3: Noon Saturday at Gainesville

Class AAAAA
Flowery Branch 2, Riverwood 0
Game 1: Flowery Branch 4, Riverwood 0
Game 2: Flowery Branch 5, Riverwood 3

Buford 1, North Springs 1
Game 1: North Springs 4, Buford 1
Game 2: Buford 12, North Springs 4
Game 3: 2 p.m. Saturday at Buford

Class AAAA
West Hall 1, Troup 1
Game 1: Troup 1, West Hall 0
Game 2: West Hall 4, Troup 3
Game 3: 1 p.m. Saturday at Troup

Stephens County 1, Northwest Whitfield 1
Game 1: Stephens County 5, Northwest Whitfield 2
Game 2: Northwest Whitfield 8, Stephens County 6
Game 3: Saturday at Northwest Whitfield

LaGrange 2, Chestatee 0
Game 1: LaGrange 10, Chestatee 0
Game 2: LaGrange 10, Chestatee 0

Heritage, Catoosa 2, Jefferson 0
Game 1: Heritage 11, Jefferson 1
Game 2: Heritage 18, Jefferson 1

Class AAA
Dawson County 1, Lovett 1
Game 1: Lovett 11, Dawson County 2
Game 2: Dawson County 7, Lovett 2
Game 3: 3 p.m. Saturday at Dawson County

North Hall 1, Pace Academy 1
Game 1: Pace Academy 7, North Hall 3
Game 2: North Hall 4, Pace Academy 1
Game 3: 6 p.m. Saturday at Pace Academy

Redan 2, Fannin County 0
Game 1: Redan 3, Fannin County 0
Game 2: Redan 16, Fannin County 2

Ringgold 2, Jackson County 0
Game 1: Ringgold 7, Jackson County 3
Game 2: Ringgold 5, Jackson County 0

Class AA
Banks County 2, Hapeville Charter 0
Game 1: Banks County 18, Hapeville 0
Game 2: Banks County 16, Hapeville 1

Rabun County 2, South Atlanta 0
Game 1: Rabun County 8, South Atlanta 2
Game 2: Rabun County 13, South Atlanta 3

Class A
Commerce 1, Johnson County 1
Game 1: Commerce 6, Johnson County 5
Game 2: Johnson County 7, Commerce 2
Game 3: Saturday at Johnson County

Bowdon 2, Towns County 0
Game 1: Bowdon 5, Towns County 4
Game 2: Bowdon 17, Towns County 1

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