MILTON, Ga. – The defending state champion Milton Eagles swept their third straight baseball playoffs series, defeating Kennesaw Mountain 5-4 and 9-5 last week to reach the Class AAAAAA semifinals.
The Eagles hosted North Fulton opponent Johns Creek on Monday, May 19, with a third game if necessary scheduled for Tuesday. The winner advances to the finals against Lambert or Parkview, with Milton the home team if the Eagles defeat Johns Creek.
Milton (25-7) won both games against Kennesaw Mountain in its final at bat. After the Mustangs tied the first game 4-4 with a run in the top of the seventh, the Eagles scored in the bottom of the inning on a game-winning hit by Jack Thompson.
The Eagles trailed 5-4 after six innings in the second game, but scored five runs in the top of the seventh on six hits to complete the sweep.
Milton jumped out to a 3-0 lead after three innings in the opener. Dylan Cease singled in a run in the first, and Dalton Ewing’s RBI-double keyed a two-run third. But the Mustangs, limited to one hit the first five innings by Milton starter Matt Geiger, tied the game on a three-run homer in the sixth.
The Eagles regained the lead in the bottom of the inning on hits by Clayton Vaught and Steven Curry. But the Mustangs again tied it on a solo homer in the seventh off reliever Will Matthews, who wound up with the win when the Eagles scored in the bottom of the inning.
Curry belted a two-run homer in the second inning of game two as Milton again took an early 3-0 lead. The Mustangs scored three runs in the third and two in the fifth against Milton ace Alex Schnell, with all five runs unearned.
Ryan Gridley, who had three of Milton’s 17 hits, singled and scored as the Eagles went ahead 4-3 with a run in the fourth before Kennesaw Mountain (24-8) took its first lead of the series with two unearned runs in the fifth.
Schnell pitched a complete game, allowing four hits and five walks with seven strikeouts, and got the victory when the Eagles erupted with a string of hits in the seventh.
Ewing and Thompson started the inning with singles, and Dalon Farkas tied the game on an RBI single. Vaught followed with the key hit of the game, a two-run triple that snapped the 5-5 tie. Curry’s third hit of the game drove in a run and Gridley added his third hit to lead to the final Milton run.