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Monday May 17th, 2021 2:14PM

Baseball playoffs: Dominant pitching propels Flowery Branch to second round

By AccessWDUN Staff

FAYETTEVILLE — Flowery Branch is not a typical No. 3 seed, and they proved that on Wednesday in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

The fifth-ranked Falcons (24-7, Region 8-4A No. 3 seed) used its dominant pitching staff and powerful offense to sweep the Tigers, 10-0, 10-5, on the road and advance to the second round of the state playoffs.

Mason Compton and Jake Beaver were sensational on the mound for the Falcons. Compton, however, pitched a perfect Game 1, including seven strikeouts. Beaver, in Game 2, fanned 10 Tigers (23-10 Region 5-4A No. 2 seed) in five innings of work. 

"Playoff success always starts with great pitching," Head Coach Joey Ray said. "We may be young on the mound but our guys compete with toughness and grit. There are always opportunities for us to learn and grow from our outings on the mound, but I’m definitely proud of the way our starters did tonight and it was good to have an opportunity to get a couple of young guys some playoff experience as well."

In Game 1, JB Bell and Austin Bourrie led the offense with two hits apiece. Bell and Jake Beaver drove in three runs each, while Connor Larson, Nick Linkowski, Kaleb Freeman,  Beaver and Seth Larson with one hit each.

In Game 2, Bell smacked three hits and Jake Beaver ripped two in another explosive offensive performance. Bell also drove in two runs, finishing the day with five. Kade Smallwood and Connor Edwards had two RBIs.

Connor Larson, Nick Linkowski, Kaleb Freeman, Kade Smallwood and Connor Edwards finished with one hit each. 

The Falcons will most likely be on the road throughout the playoffs, a spot they're not familiar with this time of the year, but Ray says they are just happy to have the opportunity to play. 

"Being at home in the playoffs is a huge luxury but our guys are just hungry to compete and are looking forward to any opportunity they have to play," he said. " After losing last season to Covid we don’t take anything for granted and just want an opportunity to compete together."

Flowery Branch will play the winner of Mays-Cedartown next week. 


FIRST ROUND BASEBALL SCOREBOARD, Wednesday, April 28

Wednesday, April 28
CLASS 4A
Hampton 5-9, Chestatee 3-2
Flowery Branch 10-10 Fayette County 0-5
Jefferson 19-13, Mt. Zion-Jonesboro 4-3

CLASS 3A
North Hall 7-5, Coahulla Creek 0-0


FIRST ROUND BASEBALL SCHEDULE
(Games listed by date and classification, highest to smallest)
(Games listed by visiting team in alphabetical order)

(Area teams highlighted in bold)

Thursday, April 29
CLASS 6A
Alexander (R5, S4) at Buford (R8, S1) -- (DH), 4 p.m.
Habersham Central (R8, S4) at Carrollton (R5, S1) -- (DH), 3 p.m.

CLASS 3A
Lakeview-Forth Oglethorpe (R6, S3) at Cherokee Bluff (R7, S2) -- (DH), 4 p.m.
White County (R7, S3) at Sonoraville (R6, S2) -- (DH), 4 p.m.
West Hall (R7, S4) at Ringgold (R6, S1) -- (DH), 5 p.m.

CLASS 2A
Haralson County (R5, S3) at Banks County (R8, S2) -- (DH), 5 p.m.
Rabun County (R8, S4) at Bremen (R5, S1) -- (DH), TBD
Union County (R8, S3) at Callaway (R5, S2) -- (DH), 5 p.m.

CLASS A PUBLIC
Marion County (R5, S4) at Commerce (R8, S1) -- (DH), 5 p.m.


Friday, April 30
CLASS 6A
Alexander (R5, S4) at Buford (R8, S1) -- Game 3, if necessary, 5:55 p.m.
Habersham Central (R8, S4) at Carrollton (R5, S1) -- Game 3, if necessary, TBD

CLASS 3A
Lakeview-Forth Oglethorpe (R6, S3) at Cherokee Bluff (R7, S2) -- Game 3, if necessary, 5 p.m.
White County (R7, S3) at Sonoraville (R6, S2) -- Game 3, if necessary, 4 p.m.
West Hall (R7, S4) at Ringgold (R6, S1) -- Game 3, if necessary, TBD

CLASS 2A
Haralson County (R5, S3) at Banks County (R8, S2) -- Game 3, if necessary, 2 p.m.
Rabun County (R8, S4) at Bremen (R5, S1) -- Game 3, if necessary, 3 p.m.
Union County (R8, S3) at Callaway (R5, S2) -- Game 3, if necessary, 3 p.m.

CLASS A PUBLIC
Marion County (R5, S4) at Commerce (R8, S1) -- Game 3, if necessary, 1 p.m.

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