NORTH FULTON, Ga., - Blessed Trinity earns 6th straight semifinals berth — Blessed Trinity swept West Laurens 6-1 in both games of the quarterfinals to advance to the state semifinals for the sixth year in a row.
Pitching was once again vital to the Titans’ success as Peyton Glavine and Patrick McNamara each earned impressive wins.
Glavine got the start in Game 1 allowing two hits and one earned run in six innings. He struck out four and walked three.
Connor Durham relieved Glavine, allowing one hit.
McNamara threw a complete Game 2 with 47 strikes on 66 pitches in seven innings. McNamara allowed three hits and one earned run while striking out seven
The Titans’ offense had 16 hits in the series with Ryan Davis driving in three. David Dunn went 3-7 with an RBI and run scored, CJ Abrams went 3-6 with an RBI and two runs scored and Colin Davis had two RBIs.
In Game 1, BT got some help from West Laurens who committed four errors. Only two of BT’s runs were earned.
Blessed Trinity has surrendered seven runs in seven playoff games but will face a test in their semifinals opponent, Heritage Catoosa.
Heritage is averaging 8.2 runs per game this season and has already scored 73 runs in six playoff games.
Next series: Heritage Catoosa vs. Blessed Trinity, May 17-18.
Johns Creek sweeps, continues to win as underdog — Johns Creek didn’t secure a playoff spot until the final night of the regular season, downing Alpharetta in a must-win. That momentum has carried on as Johns Creek has defeated two No. 1 seeds and won every playoff game on the road to earn a semifinals berth.
Johns Creek downed the No. 2 team in Class AAAAAA, Allatoona, in two games last week to earn its second semifinals berth in four years.
The Gladiators took both games by a single run, 1-0 and 6-5.
Hayden McIlwaine threw a complete Game 1 for the Gladiators, allowing six hits and striking out two.
Johns Creek only had four hits in the game, but Matt Gravely scored on a Travis Sands single in the top of the fourth to score the game-winning run.
There was much more offense in Game 2, but once again Johns Creek was able to edge Allatoona.
Brandon Crews went 2-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored while Cole Neuber, Chaz Bertolani and Buddy Fultz all drove in runs for Johns Creek.
The Gladiators jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first and extended that lead in the second. Crews tripled to drive in a run, and Fultz hit a sacrifice fly to put Johns Creek up 3-0.
Allatoona quickly tied the game in the top of the third with a three-run home run off the Gladiators’ Jared Mihalik.
In the bottom of the third, Johns Creek regained the lead with a run on an error and a Neuber single.
Crews had another extra-base hit in the bottom of the fifth to put Johns Creek up 6-3, but Allatoona once again responded quickly with two runs in the top of the sixth.
Neuber replaced Milhalik on the mound in the top of the seventh and forced three straight outs to end the series.
The Gladiators pitching staff and defense has allowed just 11 runs in seven games, five of those runs scored by Allatoona in Game 2.
Johns Creek will take on Lee County in the semifinals, and once again, the Gladiators will play on the road.
Lee County eliminated Northview from the playoffs in the second round.
Next series: Johns Creek vs. Lee County, May 17-18.
King’s Ridge falls to Holy Innocents’ — King’s Ridge exited the playoffs in the quarterfinals for the second straight year as the Tigers were swept by Holy Innocents’, 3-2 and 4-1.
Carter Buchanan threw a complete Game 1 for King’s Ridge, but Holy Innocents’ used seven hits to score three earned runs.
King’s Ridge had stranded six runners in six innings and trailed 3-0 in the top of the seventh. Three walks from Holy Innocents’ loaded the bases with two outs and the Tigers were finally able to score.
Ryan Higginbotham hit a line drive single to score two runs and advanced the potential game-tying run to third.
Holy Innocents’ then made a pitching change and got the third out to avoid extra innings with a strikeout.
It took extra innings to decide Game 2 as both teams scored just one run in seven innings thanks to solid pitching from both starters.
The Tigers’ John Byrnes allowed just two hits and one run with seven strikeouts in seven innings. Holy Innocents’ Alfredo Grainer threw an eight-inning complete game allowing six hits and one earned run with six strikeouts.
When Byrnes was pulled after the seventh, Holy Innocents’ found quick success against Hayden Milling with two singles and a home-run, putting Holy Innocent’s up 4-1.
King’s Ridge put two runners on in the bottom of the eight after Tanner Wakefield was hit by a pitch and Carter Buchannan singled, but two straight outs ended the game and the Tigers’ season.
King’s Ridge finished the season with a 21-11 overall record.