Baseball finals set after Tuesday rubber matches

Georgia Bennett Photography

Class AAAAA No 1 Whitewater survived a dramatic 5-4 affair against Greenbrier Tuesday to advance to the state finals. The Wildcats clawed their way to a 5-0 lead in the third inning, but watched as Greenbrier scored the next four runs. Adam Sasser led off the seventh inning and drilled a pitch that appeared to tie the game, but Whitewater outfielder Jabari Richards climbed the fence to make a spectacular, lead-preserving catch. With a win, the Wolfpack would have made their third straight trip to the state finals.

Houston County will travel to Whitewater for the state finals Saturday. The Bears won Game 3 of their series tonight with a 7-4 triumph over Gainesville, as Blake Jackson drove in two runs with a clutch double in the sixth inning. The Georgia Tech-signee reached base in 12 of 15 plate appearances during the series.

Neither program has ever won a baseball state championship.


Class AAA

After getting shut out in Game 1 of their series with No. 2 Buford, the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes won the next two games of the series to advance back to the state finals. The defending champs won Game 3 Tuesday at Buford to keep alive their hopes of repeating.

The hosts jumped out to a 3-0 edge heading into the bottom of the second inning, but saw the Hurricanes score five runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-3 lead they would not relinquish. Cartersville will host Blessed Trinity in the finals Saturday.

The win was the 500th by Cartersville coach Stuart Chester.


Class AA

Region 6 has made a lot of noise in the playoffs by advancing all four teams into the quarterfinals. Benedictine, however, has made a living in this postseason of eliminating them. For the second series in a row, the Cadets hosted a Region 6 foe and sent it home packing. This time it was Wesleyan, which shut out Benedictine last night to force a Game 3, then gave up 19 runs Tuesday in the rubber game.

The Cadets banged out 19 hits, but saw the game Wolves hit seven homers and score 15 runs in the final four innings. Wesleyan scored six in the bottom of the seventh to make the hosts sweat. Benedictine scored seven in the top of the inning to take a commanding 10-run lead.

Cadets coach Kevin Farmer reached the 300-win milestone with the victory. It is Benedictine’s first trip to the state finals since 1961.

The Cadets will host Region 6 No. 4 seed GAC Saturday, which has been a bit of a Cinderella in this tournament. The Spartans got past region-rival Westminster Tuesday with a 1-0 victory. Despite not striking out any Wildcats, senior pitcher Ben Childers tossed a complete-game shutout behind some spectacular defense by GAC. Jackson O’Brien’s RBI double in the fifth inning was the difference.

The Spartans have now won road series over No. 7 Westminster, No. 8 Berrien, Pepperell and No. 1 Jefferson for retiring head coach Cliff Shelton. GAC has won two state titles, but none since 1982.




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