MILTON, Ga. – The Milton Eagles took another step toward defending their AAAAAA state baseball championship, sweeping past Grayson 9-5 and 10-1 last week in the second round of the playoffs.
Milton was to play Kennesaw Mountain in a doubleheader Tuesday, May 13, in the quarterfinals, with a third game if necessary on Wednesday. The semifinals will be played Monday and Tuesday next week, with the Milton-Kennesaw Mountain winner facing either Johns Creek or Valdosta.
As long s the Eagles remain in the playoffs, they will be the host team in every series.
The Eagles jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one inning in the opener before Grayson scored five unearned runs in the second, all with two outs. Milton starter Matt Geiger, who went the first five innings, and relievers Bryce Johnson and Will Matthews shut out the Rams on two hits the rest of the way.
Milton tied the game on Dalton Ewing’s 2-run double in the second and went ahead when Erik Peterson belted a 2-run homer in the fourth. Ryan Gridley had a hand in all four Milton scoring rallies, collecting four hits and scoring four runs. Peterson had three hits and also scored four runs, with Ewing driving in three. Dylan Cease had two hits and two RBI.
The Eagles led 10-0 after three innings in game two and easily completed the sweep. Alex Schnell limited the Rams to 4 hits and one run in six innings with six strikeouts to get the win.
Milton had 14 hits, two each from Peterson, Gridley, Alec Miller, Cease, Clayton Vaught and Steven Curry. Peterson and Jack Thompson had two RBI each.
The Eagles opened the state playoffs by defeating North Gwinnett 3-2 and 8-0, also on Milton’s home field.
Geiger worked the first 4 2/3 innings, allowing one run, with Johnson yielding one run in 1 1/3 innings in relief. Matthews worked a scoreless seventh to get the win.
The Eagles took the lead with two runs in the fourth inning before North Gwinnett tied the game 2-2 with a run in the sixth. Dylan Cease drove in two of Milton’s three runs with a single in the fourth.
Schnell tossed a 4-hit shutout in the second game, striking out 11. The Eagles led 3-0 after four innings and put the game away with five runs in the seventh.
Miller had three hits, Cease had two hits and three RBI and Peterson added two of Milton’s 12 hits. Thompson knocked in two runs.