Thomasville visits Callaway for quarterfinal matchup

Published 12:31 pm Monday, May 7, 2018


Daily News

The Thomasville Bulldogs were pushed to the brink before punching their ticket to the quarterfinals.

Thomasville beat Harlem 4-1 on Friday afternoon in the third and deciding game of their Class AA playoff series, and its reward is a trip to the quarterfinals to play the Callaway Cavaliers on Wednesday.

In Saturday’s third and deciding game, Thomasville head coach Erik McDougald gave the ball to Buck Bennett, and the senior responded with a big-time effort, throwing 5 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out seven.

Thomasville made the most of its five hits on Saturday, with Nathan Smith leading the way with two hits and two RBIs, and Hayden Donalson had a hit and an RBI.

It was tied at 1-1 when Thomasville took control with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Thomasville opened the series with a 12-1 win over Harlem, with Hurston Waldrep throwing five innings to get the win, and Jimmy Cipriani had four of his team’s 16 hits.

Harlem bounced back to win game two 4-3, despite a complete-game pitching performance from Thomasville’s Ryan Smith.

Callaway earned its spot in the quarterfinals by sweeping Rabun County.

After Chandler Lott threw a four-hit shutout in a 3-0 victory, Callaway finished the sweep with a dramatic 9-7 victory.

In the second and deciding game, Braelin Mitchell hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning, and Austin Barber threw a scoreless bottom of the seventh to finish it.

Barber, pitching in relief of starter Wesley Marchman, threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings to get the win.

Trailing 7-6, the Cavaliers scored three runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead, with Mitchell providing the big blow with his two-run home run.

Mitchell had three of the Cavaliers’ eight hits, Lott had two hits and two runs scored, and Walt Stewart had a hit and four RBIs.

Marchman added a hit and an RBI, Trent Sheppard knocked in a run, and Kyle Campbell had a hit, a walk, and two runs scored.

Rabun County scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 7-6, but thanks to some clutch pitching from Barber and a timely home run by Mitchell, the Cavaliers rallied for the win to avoid a winner-take-all game three on Friday.

“Coach (Dusty Hubbard) always teaches us to never give up, always compete, and good things can happen,” Mitchell said. “And good things happened.”

In the first game, Rabun County had no answer for Lott, who needed just 64 pitches to throw the complete game in the 3-0 victory.

Lott also had two hits and two RBIs, leadoff hitter Drake Wade had two hits and two runs scored, and Trent Sheppard and Bryce Kurian each had two hits.

Callaway scored single runs in the first, third and fifth innings.



WHAT: Class AA quarterfinal series

WHEN: Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. (doubleheader), Thursday, 3:30 p.m. (if needed)

WHERE: Callaway

ON THE LINE: Winner advances to the Class AA semifinals to play either Social Circle or Benedictine