GHSA Quarterfinal Playoff Recap

Posted 5/11/2022

Metter and John Luke Glanton swept past Gordon Lee in the quarterfinals in Class 1A Public.


GHSA Quarterfinal recap

A look back at some of the highlights from the GHSA quarterfinal baseball playoff round

Class 7A

BEST SERIES: Mill Creek at Lowndes: A pair of one-run games decided the first two games of this series. Beau Brailey's complete-game three-hit shutout in a 1-0 Game 2 victory outdueled Lowndes' William Joyner who allowed just a run on five hits in a masterpiece. Game 2 was intense. Then in Game 3, Hunter Pirkle's complete-game three-hit shutout helped Mill Creek win the series. The Hawks are in the semifinals for the first time since 2018.  

MOST SURPRISING SERIES: Woodstock at Newnan: The Cougars didn't wow this season with a bunch of top prospects or all-state caliber players, but the gutsy Cougars gave the Region 5 champion Wolverines all they could handle before Woodstock won both games late. In the Game 2 victory, Woodstock needed nine innings to take the victory in a series sweep that was a lot closer than the scores indicated. Brayden Davis' three-hit shutout in Game 1 set the tone for the Wolverines.

MOST INTENSE SERIES: North Gwinnett at Etowah: The fourth-seeded Bulldogs gave Etowah a tough time in the first two games. After dropping Game 1, 8-2, North Gwinnett's Tyler Bak broke a 3-all tie with a walk-off solo homer in Game 2 to force a decisive Game 3. But Etowah got the last laugh, rolling to an 11-1 victory in the Game 3 to win the series.

THIS & THAT: Parkview is in the semifinals for the fourth straight year. The three-time defending state champions are bidding to become the first team in Georgia history to win four consecutive state baseball titles since Richmond Academy won seven in a row from 1951-57. The Panthers swept their third straight postseason series Monday with a sweep of Colquitt County. .... Woodstock will play host a semifinal series for the first time. The Wolverines finished as the state runner-up in 2017, but they didn't get to host the semifinal round that year.

SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS: Parkview at Woodstock; Etowah at Mill Creek


Class 6A

BEST SERIES: Buford at Houston County - With national media outlets all over this one, this series didn't disappoint. Buford took Game 1, then Houston County rallied for the Game 2 victory to force a third and deciding game. But something one may have never seen in recent memory is for Houston County to get run-ruled. Buford took an 11-1 victory in Game 3 to win the series.

MOST SURPRISING SERIES: Lassiter at South Paulding: Lassiter forced a third game and ruined the best season in South Paulding's history with a come-from-behind 7-6 victory in Game 3 to make the semifinal round for the second straight year.

MOST INTENSE SERIES: Pope at Evans: In a hostile environment, the two games in this series went back-and-forth. Evans held a one-run lead in the sixth inning of Game 2 before a four-run bottom of the sixth inning by Pope helped the Greyhounds take the lead for good. It propelled them to the victory and a series sweep. The Greyhounds will get a date with Buford, whom Pope put out of the postseason in the second round in 2021 in a stunning series win.

THIS & THAT: Nobody has been able to figure out Alexander during the first two rounds of the state playoffs. However, Allatoona did, sweeping a pair of games and ending Alexander's Cinderella-run through the playoffs. The Buccaneers made it look easy over the Region 5, No. 4-seeded Cougars, winning both games by a combined 18-2.

SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS: Lassiter at Allatoona; Buford at Pope


Class 5A

BEST SERIES: Wayne County at Apalachee - You'll likely get a moan from Wayne County, but Apalachee continues to make history in weird ways. After the teams split a pair of games on Monday to set up a winner-take-all Game 3, Wayne took a 9-0 lead and appeared to be on its way to winning the game and the series. But Apalachee scored 10 unanswered runs and Ashton Sapp belted a two-run homer for the walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh in a wild finish. Sapp, who pitched four innings of scoreless relief, also earned the victory on the mound., 

MOST SURPRISING SERIES: Greenbrier at Cartersville: After David Bell no-hit the Purple Hurricanes in a 3-0 Game 1 victory, the Purple Hurricanes rallied back to win Game 2, then took Game 3, 6-4, as Colt McKibben and Phillip Schiltz combined to cut down the Wolfpack and take the series. Cartersville will be making its 13th trip to the state semifinals in school history. It will be the Hurricanes' first since they finished as the Class 4A state runner-up in 2018.

MOST INTENSE SERIES: None: After Apalachee's wild series win and Cartersville's gritty series victory, Loganville cruised to a sweep of Ware County in Waycross while Decatur made it look easy in a sweep of Starr's Mill.

THIS & THAT: Loganville is back in the state semifinals for the sixth straight year. The last time the Red Devils' season ended before the semifinal round was in 2015 when the Red Devils lost to Allatoona in three games in the quarterfinals. Pitching has been the biggest strength for Loganville beside starters Dawson Coe and Trenton Burnett. .... Decatur has swept Calhoun, Veterans and defending state champion Starr's Mill to get to the semifinals for the first time since 2019. The young Bulldogs keep finding ways to win impressively.

SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS: Apalachee at Cartersville; Decatur at Loganville


Class 4A

BEST SERIES: Troup County at Benedictine - After a convicing 8-1 victory in Game 1, Benedictine took the lead in Game 2 only to fall 9-8 when Troup's Reed Morris hit a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Tigers to a walk-off victory and force Game 3. But in the finale, Benedictine took control early and eliminated Troup with a 7-3 victory to take the series. Benedictine will play North Oconee, a team it beat in 2021, for the second straight year in the state semifinals. This time, however, it will be in Savannah.

MOST SURPRISING SERIES: Heritage-Catoosa at LaGrange: The fourth-seeded Generals hit LaGrange early and took a 4-1 victory in Game 1, but the Grangers rallied to win Game 2 behind pitcher Trevor Booton's masterpiece and force the third and deciding Game 3. LaGrange took command and rolled to a 5-0 victory in Game 3 to take the series.

MOST INTENSE SERIES: North Oconee at Thomas County Central: After North Oconee took Game 1, 9-3, it took 11 innings to decide Game 2. But Bryce Toci's two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th sent the Titans to a 4-2 victory and a series sweep. It was also North Oconee's 32nd straight victory.

THIS & THAT: Cedartown's sweep of Perry sent the Bulldogs to the state semifinals for the first time since 2016 and just the second time in school history. .... The Bulldogs have been very dominant in playoff sweeps of McDonough, Cairo and Perry.

SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS: Cedartown at LaGrange; North Oconee at Benedictine


Class 3A

BEST SERIES: Franklin County at Pierce County - Pierce County ended Franklin County's dreams of getting back to the state championship series. After splitting the first two games of the series, Pierce took a three-run lead in the first inning of Game 3, fell behind by three runs when Franklin scored all six of its runs in the bottom of the third, then the Bears used a four-run top of the fourth inning to regain the lead at 7-6 on Davis Green's two-run double and Brett Tuten's RBI single to highlight the inning. Reliever Hoke Skipper did the rest, working the final 4 1/3 innings to record the save and preserve the 7-6 Game 3 win. He allowed just two hits. Pierce will be making its first trip to the semifinals since 2017.

MOST SURPRISING SERIES: North Hall at Harlem: In a place that is never easy to win at, North Hall made it back to the state semifinal round after sweeping a pair of games over Harlem. In Game 1, Jaret Bales went 3-for-4 with two homers and four RBIs and was also the winning pitcher to help North Hall to a 7-4 victory. Then in Game 2, North Hall made the most of two hits in a 3-2 victory. Hunter Brooks earned the complete-game victory.

MOST INTENSE SERIES: Pike County at Greater Atlanta Christian: After surviving Sonoraville in the second round, Pike County did it again, this time on a bigger stage when the Pirates upended Region 5 champion in Game 3, 8-1, to take the series. Pike provided starting pitcher Trevor Bagwell all the run support he needed in a four-run first inning. Bagwell and reliever Kole Hammond combined to allow GAC just a run on three hits. 

THIS & THAT: Redan swept Burke County in a series that last more than seven hours. In the two games, Redan combined to outscore Burke County 30-14.

SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS: North Hall at Pike County; Redan at Pierce County 


Class 2A

BEST SERIES: Jeff Davis at Thomasville- After Thomasville's 7-2 victory in Game 1, Jeff Davis' Alex Mason pitched the Yellow Jackets to a nail-biting 3-2 victory in Game 2 to force a Game 3. But Thomasville's Anderson Everett allowed just two hits in a complete-game shutout to send Thomasville into the state semifinals. Thomasville is searching for its first state baseball championship since 1999. The victory is significant for Thomasville to eliminate Jeff Davis. The defending state champion Jackets will miss the state semifinal round for the first time since 2016.

MOST SURPRISING SERIES: Callaway at Vidalia: After Bryson Whited's five-hit shutout in Game 1 of Vidalia's 2-0 victory over Callaway, the Indians broke out the bats and run-ruled Callaway in Game 2, 17-0. It wasn't supposed to be like this in the quarterfinal round.

MOST INTENSE SERIES: Lovett at Model: Not many teams have been playing as well as Model, but Lovett does what Lovett seems to do every year -- get hot in the postseason. After the two teams split their first two games on Monday, Lovett scored all five of its runs in the third inning of Game 3, then held on behind pitchers Conner Partin and Daniel Sams who combined to allow Model just two runs on seven hits in a 5-2 victory. Lovett is back in the state semifinals for the second straight year.

THIS & THAT: Pace Academy has swept Rabun County, Toombs County and Region 3 champion Bleckley County in the postseason so far. The top-ranked Knights, who have held the top spot all season, will look to slow down a Thomasville team that has won 20 of its last 21 games.

SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS: Lovett at Vidalia; Thomasville at Pace Academy


Class 1A Public

BEST SERIES: ECI at Commerce - If you like offense, this was a series to watch as the two schools combined to score 47 runs in the three-game series. ECI, the No. 4 seed from Region 3, ambushed Commerce in Game 1 to stun the Tigers 4-2. But Commerce, built for a three-game series, rallied back to win Game 2 before coming from behind to win Game 3, 8-5, and take the series.

MOST SURPRISING SERIES: Schley at Charlton and Gordon Lee at Metter: Charlton swept Schley County with relative ease, while Metter bested Gordon Lee in a sweep. The surprise? Charlton County run-ruled Schley in Game 2, 13-1, while Metter topped Gordon Lee 10-1 in Game 2. Neither Schley nor Gordon Lee have suffered such lopsided defeats in the postseason since the GHSA split public and private schools into a separate classification in 2013. 

THIS & THAT: Social Circle and ACE Charter went back-and-forth in their three-game set before Social Circle survived a 5-4 victory in Game 3 to win the series and advance to the semifinals for the first time in school history. .... Region 8 will have two teams in the Class 1A Public semifinals - region champion Commerce and Social Circle.

SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS: Social Circle at Charlton County; Commerce at Metter 


Class 1A Private

BEST SERIES: Fellowship Christian at Savannah Christian- The only series that needed a Game 3 was a good one - at least if you are a fan of Fellowship Christian. Savannah Christian took Game 1, 4-3, before Fellowship rallied back to win Game 2, then Fellowship Christian pitchers Wilson Long and Sam Albee combined on a shutout in a 6-0 Game 3 victory as Fellowship took the series.

MOST SURPRISING SERIES: Wesleyan at Whitefield Academy: When it gets to the third round, blowouts are supposed to stop. Wesleyan routed Whitefield 18-0 in Game 1, then continued their momentum in a 9-5 Game 2 victory to sweep the series. Wesleyan is playing its best baseball of the season, just in time for a semifinal matchup with top-ranked Mount Paran Christian. Mount Paran swept Wesleyan in the Class 1A Private state championship series last year.

MOST INTENSE SERIES: North Cobb Christian at Prince Avenue Christian- North Cobb Christian hung on for a 2-0 victory in Game 1 behind Armando Nunez and Juan Vargas who combined on a two-hit shutout. Then in Game 2, North Cobb Christian clung to a one-run lead before the Eagles scored four in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead for good and win the series.

THIS & THAT: Mount Paran Christian has won 16 in a row, including all six of its postseason playoff games. The Eagles swept Saint Anne-Pacelli on Tuesday. 

SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS: Mount Paran Christian at Wesleyan; North Cobb Christian at Fellowship Christian