GAINESVILLE — Lakeview Academy was hoping its first foray into playoff baseball in a decade would be a lengthy one.
Hebron Christian, however, rained on the Lions’ parade Thursday in the two teams’ best-of-three Class A Private series at Lakeview Field.
Hebron Christian took advantage of several early mistakes to take Game 1, 8-6, and then completed the improbable sweep over No. 4-seed Lakeview with a 7-5 victory in Game 2.
Lakeview (19-6) was making its first playoff appearance since 2009. The Lions received a first-round bye last week and the nearly two-week layoff was evident.
In Game 1, Hebron jumped on Region 8-A Player of the Year Andrew Estes quickly in the first loading the bases on a bunt hit, a catcher’s interference, and a walk with one out. Thomas Headley then gave Hebron a 2-0 lead with a high-chop single over third driving in pair runs. Estes got of the inning striking out Jack Ihm and Jason Lockhart to get out of the inning.
Hebron added an unearned run in the fourth to push its lead to 3-0. In the fifth, another Lakeview error with two outs set up Jackson Hackney’s three-run double to make it a 6-0 Hebron lead.
Lakeview finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth. Ian Echols and Jordan Thomas both singled and pinch-hitter Tanner Allen doubled to left-center driving both in to cut the lead to 6-2. Hebron, however, added single runs in the sixth and seventh to push it back to 8-2.
In the bottom of the seventh Lakeview mounted the comeback. Holden Cooper singled in a run and Campbell Melson drove in a run on a bad-hop single to right to cut the lead to 8-4 with one out and the bases loaded. Sam Stewart followed with a two-run double to left trimming it to 8-6 and putting the tying runs at second and third.
Hebron brought in Jackson Boyd to pitch and Melson was gunned down at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch. Skyler Thellman then walked and moved to second on another wild pitch by Boyd.
But Echols grounded out to second to end the game.
In the second game, Lakeview got the early lead with a pair of first-inning runs on a catcher’s interference with the bases loaded and a double play. Hebron cut the lead to 2-1 in the second and then took a 7-2 lead after plating two runs in each of the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings.
As in Game 1, Lakeview again mounted a late rally. The Lions got an RBI single from Thellman and Thomas to cut the lead to 7-4 and Thellman later scored on a double steal.
But Cooper struck out with the tying runs on base to end the game and the series.