Taking down an offensive power like second-ranked Pace Academy proved to be too tough for the North Hall baseball team Tuesday in Atlanta.
Pace Academy (25-6, Region 5-3A) scored a combined 17 runs in two games to sweep the Trojans (21-16, Region 7-3A No. 2 seed) in the semifinals of the Class 3A playoffs.
The Knights exploded for nine runs in Game 1 en route to a 9-1 win. In Game 2, a four-run fifth inning helped lift the Knights past North Hall, 8-4.
The Trojans answered Pace Academy's run in the bottom of the third inning to tie Game 2, 1-1. Caleb Wiley's single to centerfield scored Tyler Brooks.
And, in the fourth inning, North Hall's offense struck again. This time, Caleb Clark, who was 4-for-4 with one RBI, tripled to right field scored Dylan Wiley. Clark strolled home on a Brooks pop fly. The runs left the Trojans up, 3-1, after four innings.
The fifth inning, however, is where the game started to unravel for the Trojans. North Hall gave up two singles, a triple and three walks in the inning, falling behind 5-3.
Pace added three more runs in the seventh off a three-run double by Andrew Jenkins.
Game 1 -- Pace Academy 9, North Hall 1
Pace Academy exploded to beat North Hall in Game 1 of the best of three Class 3A semifinal series Tuesday in Atlanta.
The Knights rocked the Trojans for a combined five runs in the second and third innings.
Coupled with a high-powered offense and North Hall's struggling bats, Pace Academy hit the cruise control switch in the fourth inning and never looked back.
College of Wooster-commit TJ Rafeedie was tough to hit in the complete-game performance. He surrendered just one run on five hits and handed out 10 strikeouts while walking one.
North Hall's Kelton Kieschnick, who's playoff earned run average was 0.00 going into Game 1, gave up nine runs on 13 hits and three strikeouts in six innings of work.
Tyler Brooks' single in the fifth inning wiped the zero off the board, scoring Tate Brooks' courtesy runner Jay Johnson.
Pace Academy answered with a run in the bottom on a ground out.
The Knights scored three more runs in the sixth inning off a homer by Jenkins and a double from Brian Zeldin.