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Monday February 24th, 2020 3:44AM

PLAYOFF BASEBALL: North Hall Game 3 moved to 5 p.m. Friday; area teams advance

By AccessWDUN Staff

Friday's deciding Game 3 between North Hall and Westminster at Jody Davis Field has been moved to 5 p.m. to adjust for potential rain expected to be in the area later in the afternoon.

The two teams' split their Class 3A second-round playoff doubleheader on Thursday with Westminster taking Game 1, 4-2, and the Trojans responding with a 13-5 blowout victory in Game 2.

In other baseball playoff action Thursday, the Buford bats finally came alive late in the game to rally past Kell, 5-4, and sweep the Longhorns in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs in Marietta, Thursday. 

Down 3-1 going to the bottom of the sixth inning, the Wolves (20-6, Region 8-5A No. 2 seed) scored four runs and held the Longhorns (26-3, Region 7-5A No. 1 seed) to one run in the top of the seventh to grab the win and a berth in the quarterfinals.

Buford won Game 1, 3-1.

Kell held the Wolves down for most of the game until the offensive explosion in the sixth. 

Buford opened the inning with singles from Austin Turner and Evan Place, then Riley Stanford walked to load the bases. The next at-bat, Brandon Joliff popped up a sacrifice fly that scored Turner. A strikeout and a walk later and bases loaded, Joseph Salvo walked scoring a run and Kaleb Elder blasted a single to centerfield that brought home Stanford and Eli Ledford to go ahead, 5-3.

Kell scored its fourth run off a sacrifice fly, then Dylan Lesko struck out the next two Longhorns. 

Sean Adams earned the win for the Wolves, giving up three runs on three hits and eight Ks in six innings. 

In game one, the Wolves managed to score three runs and hold on to beat Kell in game one of the three-game series Thursday on the road. 

The game featured two stingy pitching performances. 

Buford’s Ramsey David earned the win on the hill, allowing four hits, no earned runs and recorded nine strikeouts. Lesko struck out the side in the seventh to seal the win. 

Hal Stelljes was just as impressive on the mound for Kell, giving up two earned runs on four hits while striking out five in seven innings of work. 

Evan Place drove in two runs to lead the Wolves at the plate. Buford scored one run in second and two in fifth. Kell’s run came in the bottom of the fifth. 

The Wolves will face the winner of the Ola/McIntosh game May 8. Game time to be announced later. 

 

NORTH HALL 2–13
WESTMINSTER 4–5

The baseball marathon at Jody Davis Field in Gainesville finally ended around 11 p.m. Thursday night with the Trojans staying alive, rocking Westminster for 13 runs in game two in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. 

But, it was game one that ended after 10 innings and a seven-run game two final inning that shifted the fun run into a marathon. 

The Trojans (17-15, No. 2 seed Region 7-3A) rebounded well after losing the lead and falling to the Wildcats (18-12, No. 4 seed Region 5-3A) in game one.

It was a must-win situation for the Trojans and, after a slow start by both teams, North Hall exploded for a combined 12 runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings in the blow-out.

Wes Tadman pitched five solid innings for the Trojans to earn the win, allowing one earned run on five hits and one strikeout. 

Caleb Clark (3), Bradford Puryear (2), Jackson Dyer (1), Caleb Payne (1), David Seavey (1), Caleb Wiley (1), Tate Brooks (1) and Tyler Brooks (1) recorded RBIs in the win.

After the Wildcats cut the lead, 6-5, in the bottom of the fifth inning and a scoreless sixth inning, North Hall scored seven runs in the top of the seventh to push the lead out of reach, 13-5.

In game one, The Wildcats took the lead in the top of the seventh inning after loading the bases with no outs off a sacrifice fly that tied the game and a single to go up 2-1. 

North Hall answered in the bottom with a game-tying RBI double from Jackson Dyer to left field, scoring Caleb Wiley. 

Dyer, who pitched nine innings, and the Trojan defense sat the Wildcats down 1-2-3 over the next two innings. 

North Hall, on the other hand, stranded four runners in the eighth and ninth innings, leaving the door open for the Wildcats in the 10th. 

Westminster stepped through the door, opening the 10th with four singles, including the go-ahead run off a single from Ben Forte. Matthew Amerson’s sacrifice fly scored the Wildcats’ fourth run to take the two-run advantage. 

North Hall left one man on base in the bottom of the 10th. 

The two teams will play game three Friday at North Hall. Game time set for 6 p.m.

 

CARTERSVILLE 2–3
FLOWERY BRANCH 0–2

If you were looking for a pitching battle, Cartersville was the place to be Thursday afternoon in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs. 

In the two games, each pitching staff combined for 38 strikeouts and allowed only four earned runs. 

In game one, Flowery Branch’s Andrew Armstrong and Cartersville’s Mason Barnett, an Auburn-commit, combined for 21 strikeouts.

In game two, Logan Martin and Gage Morris combined for two runs on six hits and eight Ks for the Hurricanes. Flowery Branch's Zander Seachrist, Zack Wagner, Anthony Woeltje, Bailey Carpenter allowed seven hits, no earned runs and nine strikeouts. 

It was a two-game performance where both teams deserved to advance to the quarterfinals, but only one team earned the ticket. 

Cartersville (27-4, No. 1 seed, Region 6-4A) was able to cross the play five times in two games to sweep the Falcons (16-14, No. 3 seed Region 7-4A) with a thrilling 3-2 game two win.

The Hurricanes scored three runs early, all unearned, to take a 3-0 in the third. 

The Falcons battled back to cut the lead to one run in the bottom of the fifth. Grant Lackey singled on a fly ball to right fielder scored Nick Linkowski and Jake Beaver.

Flowery Branch left bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh.

In game one, Flowery Branch’s Andrew Armstrong and Cartersville’s Mason Barnett, an Auburn-commit, combined for 21 strikeouts in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs. 

Cartersville, however, found a way to score two runs and hold the Falcons scoreless in the win. 

Flowery Branch struggled to get much past the senior right-hander as Barnett sat down all but nine Flowery Branch batters, recording 12 strikeouts, and allowed one hit in 6 2/3 innings of work.

Armstrong’s performance was almost just a good, going the distance, giving up two earned runs on two hits and nine strikeouts. 

Cartersville finally broke through the Falcons’ stingy defense in the bottom of the fifth off a Kolby Adams single, then added the second run on the next at-bat with a bases-loaded ground out. 

 

COMMERCE 1–11,
PELHAM 3–1

The Tigers blasted Pelham in game two to split the Class A Public second-round action Thursday afternoon in Pelham.

The two teams will play game three Friday for a trip to the quarterfinals. First pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. 

Tucker Maloch surrendered one run on four hits over five innings and four strikeouts to earn the win for the Tigers. 

Chase Bridges (3), Gray Holbrook (2), Chandler Martin (2), Kody Mintz and Jacob Welch (2) drove in runs for the Tigers. 

Commerce scored three runs in the first, two in the second and three in the fourth and fifth.

In game one, Hayden Hutto drove in the Tigers only run in the top of the fourth. Pelham’s three runs in the third inning, two earned, were enough to win.

 

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