Defending their home fields with ease, No. 1 seeds Milton and Blessed Trinity — favorites among many to make deep runs in their respective classifications for much of the season — cruised past Lambert and Ringgold with two-game sweeps. Roswell, who entered the playoffs as a No. 3 seed, continued their success as road warriors by upsetting No. 1 seed Mill Creek in three games.
Following a hard fought battle with defending state runner-up Brookwood in round one, Milton (23-6-1 overall) topped Lambert 7-3 and 9-2. Payton Smith (7 IP, 5 Ks) went the distance in game one as Dylan Cease knocked in four runs at the plate. It was Cease (5.2 IP, 7 Ks) himself picking up the win in game two and Ryan Gridley (three RBI) sparking the offense.
Milton travels to 3AAAAAA champion East Coweta (28-3 overall) in the Elite Eight this week.
As has been the case for much of the season, Blessed Trinity (26-4 overall) used outstanding starting pitching to advance past Ringgold (5-2 and 1-0). Staff-ace Reed Scott struck out 13 in a complete game effort in game one while Cody Roberts (two RBI) provided enough offense to help the Titans win 5-2. Brian Kehner matched Scott with a complete game of his own in game two, striking out eight and needing just 83 pitches to work his way through seven innings of shutout baseball. Bronco O’Brien knocked in the game’s lone run with a sacrifice fly that scored Spencer McManes.
The Titans will travel to Douglasville in the Elite Eight to take on 4AAA champion Chapel Hill (24-5 overall).
Roswell (20-11 overall) needed a little more dramatics in their series against Mill Creek, winning a decisive third game for the second straight week to win their series (7-6, 0-8, 11-6).
Senior Syd Hopkins (4 IP, 4 Ks) picked up the win in game one before Roswell was blanked in game two. In game three Connor Johnstone and Devin Browning combined to go seven innings on the mound while Drew Davis, Alex Dickerson, Adam Terrinoni and Ryan Ritson each had two hits in the victory.
The Hornets travel to 1AAAAAA Champion Lowndes (21-10 overall) for their state quarterfinal matchup.
State quarterfinal series were scheduled to get started with a double-header last night — results were not available at press time. A third and deciding game will be played tonight if necessary.
Winning teams will advance to the state semifinals, to be played Monday and Tuesday.