Late heroics from Fuller and Swanson lead Callaway to sweep of East Jackson in the first round of the playoffs

Published 9:38 pm Thursday, April 25, 2024

Callaway left it until late in both games of the opening round of the 2A state playoffs on Thursday. The Cavaliers got the sweep and moved on to the round of 16 in the state playoffs. Last year, Callaway baseball had one of its worst seasons ever, getting swept in the first round. Not this year, this year the Cavaliers got to do the sweeping.

“There is nothing like a home playoff game, we love playing here in front of these fans,” Callaway coach Dusty Hubbard said.






The second game of the evening was another closely contested game with the Cavaliers punching their ticket to the next round with an 8-3 win.

“I was a little nervous, I thought we’d let the second game just kind of get away from us,” Hubbard said. “It says a lot about our kids coming through the last inning with six runs.”

Just like the first game of the day, this was a pitcher’s duel in the early goings before the offenses got hot late. Blake Harrington pitched a complete game for Callaway, striking out 12 batters while allowing just four hits and three earned runs.

Callaway eventually broke the deadlock with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning. Cass Fuller and Lashun Gates scored on two separate errors to make it 2-0. 

The Eagles eventually responded, sending a three-run homer into orbit in the bottom of the sixth to take a 3-2 lead.

This set the table for a rally that would send Callaway into the next round. The Cavaliers would score a whopping six runs in The top of the seventh to end the Eagles’ season. Blake Harrington hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game up at three runs each. With two outs, Cass Fuller was the hero when he hit a single to drive in two runs to give Callaway a 5-3 lead. 

“He’s a freshman, and he is a guy that at the beginning of the year, he was not in our rotation. He was a JV-only guy, but he had some success on JV and he has had some success in practice and he is he’s turned himself into a good player in the last few weeks,” Hubbard said.

Bryce Hubbard cleared the bases with a double and crushed East Jackson’s spirit to put Callaway up 8-3

Wesley Williams has a big game from the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Fuller was also huge offensively, finishing the game 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Julian Dukes and Hubbard had a hit apiece.






Callaway fell behind early in game one as East Jackson put a rub on the board in the top of the first. 

The game stayed locked at 1-0 until Callaway took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the third. Bryce Hubbard got the Cavaliers on the board with a two-run single. 

The Eagles had a quick response, tying the game up at two runs apiece in the top of the fourth inning.

Both teams’ pitching staff were in complete control from there right up until Callaway scored the decisive run in the bottom of the sixth inning. It was senior Brantin Swanson who played the hero. With runners on first and second with one out, Swanson smoked a double to right field that drove home Slade Hunt for the winning run.

“I thought the first the first game was back and forth,” Hubbard said. “Both guys on the mound were pitching their butts off and Brantin came through in a big moment for us.”

Callaway only had four hits in the game and two of them came in the bottom of the sixth, proving quality tops quantity. Hunt, Swanson, Hubbard and Cass Fuller all had a hit each.

Hubbard got the start on the mound and ensured that Thursday would not be his final day in Cavalier red. The senior pitched a complete game in which he allowed just three hits and one earned run on nine strikeouts. Hubbard also led the team with two RBIs in the game. 



Callaway will either travel to take on reigning state champions North Cobb or will host Fannin County. The team’s split the opening two games on Thursday and Callaway will have to wait until Friday night to know its next opponent.