Saturday June 3rd, 2023 4:57AM

Baseball playoffs: Towns Co. knocked out in Elite 8

By AccessWDUN Staff

TWIN CITY, Ga. — Ninth-ranked Towns County ran into a hot fourth-ranked Emanuel County Institute squad on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Class A Division 2 playoffs.

The Bulldogs swept out the Indians, 13-3 and 7-0, to advance to the semifinals. They ran their win streak to eight straight and have allowed just eight runs during their playoff run.

In the opening game, ECI (28-8) scored in every inning, including a seven-run fifth, to take the win in six innings. In Game 2, Lawson Mercer tossed a four-hit shutout for the Bulldogs to clinch the series.

It was the first back-to-back losses for the Indians (22-13) since late March.

In the first game, Towns County starter Kade McConnell lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing 11 runs on 14 hits, striking out just three as ECI pounded out 18 hits, including three home runs.

The Bulldogs led 2-0 after the second inning when Towns County tied the game in the third on a Seth Gillis RBI double and a RBI single from Caleb Berrong. But ECI answered with a run in third and two in the fourth. 

Connor Chastain knocked in a run with a double in the fifth to pull Towns County within 5-3. But the Bulldogs used their big fifth inning to explode for a 12-3 lead. ECI got the game-winner in the sixth to invoke the mercy rule.

In the second game, ECI hit two more home runs jumping out to a quick 4-0 lead after the second inning. 

The Indians’ Zane Floyd went four innings, surrendering five runs on seven hits. Matthew Chastain threw the final three innings in relief giving up a pair of runs.

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