Callaway, Hart County split first two games of series

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 30, 2016

By Kevin Eckleberry

HARTWELL – It’s a one-game season for the Callaway Cavaliers.

Callaway and Hart County split a doubleheader on Friday, setting up a decisive Game 3 today at noon in their best-of-three state-playoff series.

Callaway rolled to an 8-3 victory in Game 1, but Hart County secured a 1-0 win in Game 2 to keep the series alive.

Hunter Rollins was the tough-luck loser in Game 2.

The senior pitched a complete game and was dominant, but Callaway was unable to get anything going at the plate.

The Cavaliers had a great chance to break through in the bottom of the sixth inning with men on second and third and one out, but they couldn’t push the tying run across.

“We just weren’t able to get the big hit when we needed it,” Callaway coach Dusty Hubbard said. “I think we out-hit them 6-4, but we couldn’t get them when we needed them.”

In the first game, Josh Hanson got the complete-game win for Callaway, and he only allowed one earned run.

Callaway staked Hanson to the early lead with five runs in the top of the first inning.

Devin Brock and Hunter Rollins led off the inning with singles, and after the first run scored on an error, Noah Hammett had a two-outhit to plate two runs and make it a 3-0 game.

Ben Griffin then reached on an error, allowing two more runs to score.

Later in the game, Ty McCann drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and he also had an RBI hit.

In the sixth inning, Dylan Johnson had a two-run double to cap the scoring.

Callaway, which has won at least one playoff series for four straight years, will try to keep that streak alive today.

“It’ll be who gets the most out of their third starters, and who gets those timely hits,” Hubbard said.

LAGRANGE ACADEMY: The Warriors got a big 6-5 road win over Brandon Hall on Friday to secure second place in GISA Region 4-AA, and they’ll be at home for the first round of the state playoffs next week.

Zach Callaghan had three hits for the Warriors, Nick Keating and Jake Keeble each had two hits, and Payton Barry, Colby Heath and Riley Hess had one hit apiece.

Callaghan got the start for the Warriors and pitched six strong innings, and Mason Brown threw the final two innings.

“It was one of those games where it felt like a Game 7,” LaGrange Academy coach Brandon Lybrand said. “Everything’s on the line.”

The Warriors have played well down the stretch, and their reward is a home playoff series.

“I’ve been so proud of our guys, gelling, and coming together as a team, and fighting for each other, and going to battle for each other,” Lybrand said.

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports