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Streak reaches 13 games as Knights advance

Evans awaits Glynn Academy

Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Evans High baseball's winning streak reached 13 after it swept its home playoff series with Dutchtown High of Hampton, Ga.

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The Knights won 13-2 and 9-1 in the best-of-three series to open the Class AAAA state playoffs. Evans plays host to Glynn Academy in today's second round.

Glynn Academy stunned top-ranked Lee County in the first round.

In its two wins over Dutchtown, Evans didn't commit an error, collected 29 hits and enjoyed two dominant performances from its starting pitchers.

Every batter reached base for the Knights at least once in both games, even with the first game shortened to 41/2 innings because of the mercy rule. Given 30 minutes to regroup between games, Evans remained dominant in the second game, and led 7-0 after 11/2 innings.

"We were going to have to stay focused; we knew that," said outfielder Corey Holloway, who tripled and hit a home run in the second game.

Holloway said the team has been rejuvenated by new batting drills in practice. Evans has yet to score fewer than nine runs during its winning streak. (Two wins were forfeits by Butler, which technically go down as 1-0 victories.)

Pitching with that kind of support is less complex, said Matt Blume, who won the first game to improve to 7-2.

"Just wanted to come out, throw strikes and get a lead," he said.

Junior Michael Farr allowed only two hits in six innings in the second game. The only Dutchtown run came when the Bulldogs led off the second inning with a home run.

"Both those guys were pitching ahead (in the count) all night," Evans coach Ricky Beale said.

Faced with the possibility of failing to play host to a playoff series for the second consecutive year -- the Knights were 5-4 on March 21 and started Region 3-AAAA play 2-2 -- Evans' winning streak has pushed it into position to potentially play the next two series at home. One thing's for sure: The Knights will be at home in the second round in a quarter of the bracket that is suddenly missing the No. 1 team in the state.

"That's big; it sounds real nice," Blume said.

Lakeside Panthers sweep past Griffin

After capturing its first region title in 13 years, Lakeside extended its winning ways into the postseason.

The Panthers beat Griffin, 4-0 and 11-6, to advance in the Class AAAA playoffs.

Lakeside (22-5-1), the Region 3-AAAA champion, will play host to Harris County today.

"If we'd have lost this series, we would have felt like underachievers," first-year Lakeside coach T.J. Davis said. "I think we're starting to learn how to win and beat teams we need to beat."

Panthers senior Ryan Hutchins struck out 10 in five innings to pick up the win in the first game. Lakeside pounded out 17 hits in the second.

Second baseman Spencer Starnes hit a two-out, two-run single for the Panthers in the fifth inning of game 1 to break a scoreless tie. Right fielder Zach Hayden had two of Lakeside's five hits and scored two runs.

Hayden, a junior, went 6-for-7 in the doubleheader. Outfielder Collin Parker went 4-for-5.

In Game 2, Gram and Patrick Arrington homered in the first two innings for Lakeside. Arrington's three-run blast to center field in the second staked the Panthers to a 6-3 lead.

Lakeside pitcher Harrison Brawley allowed a walk and four consecutive singles to Griffin's first five batters. The senior right-hander scattered four hits the following three innings to earn the victory.

Ben Black, who notched the save in the first game, and Hayden combined to close out the Bears.



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