The North Hall baseball team made a statement in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A playoffs Wednesday in Baxley.
The Trojans (22-14, Region 7-3A No. 2 seed) scored a combined 21 runs on 18 hits to sweep Region 3-3A champion Appling County, 11-2 and 10-0, and advance to the semifinals for the second time in three seasons.
They'll travel to Region 5-3A No. 1 seed Pace Academy for a three-game series beginning Tuesday with a trip to the state title game on the line.
"We did a good job being aggressive early in the count in Game 1," North Hall coach Trevor Flow said. "We attacked pitches early and had some really big two- out and two-strike hits. Game 2, we just took what they gave us. We didn’t hit the ball exceptionally well, but we did a good job capitalizing on mistakes."
Kelton Kieschnick tossed six scoreless innings, surrendering four hits and one strikeout.
The Trojans took advantage of Appling's pitching woes in the second inning to blow open Game 2, 6-0. Dylan Wiley recorded the Trojans' only hit in the inning and scored the first run of the game off a wild pitch with the bases loaded.
Jace Bowen walked in and Jay Johnson and Caleb Clark scored on an error to extend the lead, 4-0. B Puryear drove in two more runs a batter later on a fielder's choice. Tyler Brooks and Caleb Wiley both scored.
The bottom of the sixth inning was almost a carbon copy of the second. Appling County's pitching collapsed, hitting two Trojans, one error, one hit and three walks, including the game-winning walk that scored Tyler Brooks. The Trojans scored four runs in the inning to run-rule the Pirates.
In Game 2, North Hall scored six runs in the sixth inning to run past Appling County, 11-2.
The Trojans big inning was boosted by Jackson Dyer, Zach Warwick, Tyler Brooks and Caleb Payne.
Jackson Dyer was stingy on the mound for the Trojans, only giving up two runs on three hits over the six-inning outing. He struck out one Pirate.
The Trojans racked up 14 hits, with Dylan Wiley, Tyler Brooks, Payne, Caleb Clark and Dyer all reaching base several times in the playoff battle.
Appling County (25-7, Region 3-3A No. 1 seed) scored one run in the first and one in the fourth inning.
The Buford baseball team used an Ola error in the fourth inning to propel them to the win in Game 2 Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A playoffs.
The win forces a decisive third game on Thursday in McDonough.
The Wolves (23-10, Region 8-5A No. 2 seed) scored two runs off an error on a hard hit grounder by Kaleb Elder. Brandon Joliff and Jake Pope scored to push Buford ahead 2-1. The error by Ola was one of four in the game.
Dylan Lesko allowed just one run on four hits and six strikeouts in seven innings on the mound.
Buford added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning off an Eli Ledford single that scored Pope, who was running for Pat Walker.
In Game 1, the Wolves struggled to score runs in a 5-2 loss.
The Mustangs (25-9, Region 4-5A No. 1 seed) scored one run in the fourth and two in the fifth and held Buford scoreless through the final 3 1/2 innings in the win.
SCHLEY COUNTY 8–0
The Tigers turned their Game 1 trouble into a Game 2 celebration with a blow-out win against the overall No. 1 seed Wildcats Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Class A Public playoffs in Ellaville.
The win means Game 3 on Thursday will decide who advances to the semifinals.
Commerce (21-11, No. 9 seed) exploded for 11 runs to run-rule the Wildcats.
Chase Bridges led the scoring rout, driving in four runs on a 2-for-4 day at the plate. Gray Holbrook knocked in three Tigers, Colby Rogers had two RBIs and Chandler Martin and Hayden Hutto drove in one each.
Tucker Maloch pitched an almost perfect game, giving up only two hits, one walk and four strikeouts in the complete-game performance.
The Tigers scored five runs in the first, two in the second, third and fourth innings.
In Game 1, the Tigers found themselves down 5-0 after two innings and scored their lone run in the sixth inning in the 8-1 loss.
Schley (24-3, No. 1 seed) extended its lead, 8-1, after scoring two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth inning.