Callaway sweeps to playoff win
Published 12:34 am Saturday, April 28, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Braelin Mitchell got some pitches to handle, and he didn’t let them go to waste.
Mitchell hit home runs in each of Friday’s game as Callaway swept B.E.S.T. Academy in the opening round of the Class AA state playoffs.
Callaway won each of the games by the same 16-0 score to advance to the second round, and it will host Rabun County on Thursday.
Rabun County beat Rockmart twice on Friday to reach the second round.
For Callaway, Mitchell was part of an explosive offensive attack.
In the first game, Mitchell hit a two-run home run during a 14-run first inning.
In the second game, Mitchell delivered another two-run home run in the first inning as Callaway scored three runs.
Drake Wade, Callaway’s leadoff hitter, also had his home-run swing working with a three-run shot in the second game.
B.E.S.T.’s pitchers didn’t have a whole lot of velocity, and Mitchell said it was all about being patient.
“You just have to wait back on it, and get a good swing on it,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell did that on both of his home-run swings.
While there was some doubt as to whether the first home run would clear the fence, there were no questions about the second one.
“The second one, I knew that was gone,” Mitchell said.
While the offense had no problems putting runs on the board, the pitchers got it done as well.
Chandler Lott and Wesley Marchman were the starting pitchers, and they both threw two innings.
Austin Barber threw a scoreless inning to finish the first game, and Dawson Wright tossed a shutout inning to close the second game.
Both games were shortened to three innings because of the run rule.
“I was proud of the way they played,” Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard said. “I don’t think we played down to our level of competition. And that’s what we talked about coming in.”
In the first game, the Cavaliers look care of business early with 14 runs in the first inning, with Mitchell knocking in two of those runs with his home run.
Leadoff hitter Drake Wade had two hits in the inning, including a two-run double in his second at-bat.
Chandler Lott had a two-run triple, Wesley Marchman had two hits and three RBIs, Jabari Smith had a double, Walt Stewart and Buster Perry had RBI singles, Bryce Kurian had a double, Kyle Campbell walked twice, and Trent Sheppard walked and drove in a run.
Callaway scored two unearned runs in the second inning, and the game ended after B.E.S.T. failed to score in the top of the third.
In the second game, the Cavaliers were the home team, and they scored three runs in the top of the first before exploding for 12 runs in the second inning.
Callaway capped the scoring with two runs in the third inning.
Wade, hitting in the leadoff spot once again, had a big game for the Cavaliers with two hits, including a three-run home run during an 11-run second inning.
Wade’s home run sailed over the left-field fence with plenty of room to spare.
Lott had a pair of RBI singles for Callaway, Marchman had two hits, Taylor Smith and Jabari Smith each had an RBI hit, and Kurian, Zach Neighbors, Austin Cardwell, Wright, and Campbell each had a hit.
Brooks Bledsoe walked twice and scored a run.
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