NORTH FULTON, Ga. – Two of the four North Fulton high school baseball teams in Class AAAAAA advanced to the second round of the state playoffs, with the other two ousted in close two-game series.
Milton and Johns Creek both swept their opening series at home last Friday, May 2, with Chattahoochee and Roswell losing in two games at Gwinnett opponents.
Both Milton and Johns Creek host second-round series this week, with doubleheaders scheduled for Wednesday and third games on Thursday if necessary.
Milton, the defending AAAAAA champion, defeated North Gwinnett 3-2 and 8-0. The Eagles (21-7) play Grayson (19-9) in the second round. Grayson defeated Chattahoochee 2-1 and 5-4.
The Eagles broke a 2-2 tie in the first game with a run in the bottom of the seventh. Dylan Cease drove in two runs for Milton, which managed just four hits. Will Matthews pitched a scoreless seventh inning to get the win. Matt Geiger allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings with Bryce Johnson yielding a run in 1 2/3 innings of relief.
Alex Schnell tossed a four-hit shutout in the second game and struck out 11. Cease had two hits and three RBI for the Eagles, with Alec Miller collecting three hits and Eric Peterson two. Jack Thompson drove in two runs for Milton.
Johns Creek edged Brookwood 6-5 and 3-2 and will host Lassiter in the second round. Lassiter (13-15) knocked off Region 7 champion Mountain View (22-6) in the first round, shutting out the state’s fourth-ranked team in both games.
The Gladiators (16-11) tied the first game with two runs in the bottom of the seventh and won with a run in the eighth.
Tyler Dupre doubled to start the eighth inning for Johns Creek and Chase Solomon doubled to drive in the winning run. A two-run hit by Noah Wilmot tied the game in the seventh. Solomon went 2-for-3 and scored twice. Ross Funke went 2-for-2, and drove in two runs, with the two reaching base in the seventh to start the tying rally.
Gabriel Moore went the first six innings for the Gladiators, allowing one earned run and striking out seven. Nicholas Radivoi got the win with two scoreless innings in relief.
The Gladiators were ahead 3-0 after six innings in game two, but the Broncos scored twice in the bottom of the seventh and had the bases loaded with one out.
Charlie Hecht, who pitched a three-hitter for Johns Creek, struck out the last two batters he faced after yielding two hits and hitting two batters in the inning.
Cody Hardage had three hits for the Gladiators, with Austin Wedding and Bradley Flink delivering run-scoring hits.
Chattahoochee suffered two tough losses to Grayson, dropping the first game 2-1 despite allowing only three hits. The Rams rallied late to win the second game 5-4, with the Cougars leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh.
Roswell (16-12) also lost in two close games, with Mill Creek winning 8-7 in eight innings in the opener and 5-3 in game two.
The Hornets scored six runs in the fifth inning of the first game to take a 7-4 lead, but the Hawks tied the game on a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the seventh and won it in the eighth.
Mill Creek again jumped out to an early lead in the second game, with the Hornets scoring three runs in the bottom of the second to trail 5-3. Neither team scored over the last five innings.