Jeff Davis High’s baseball team saw its season come to an end Tuesday in Nashville as the Jackets lost the best-of-3 series with Berrien County 2-6, 9-3, 1-4.
Berrien will face Benedictine in Savannah in the Class AA State Finals.
Elbert County’s baseball team came into last week’s third round matchup with Jeff Davis High with one strong pitcher. The Yellow Jackets, on the other hand, had a stable-full of hurlers, but only needed three as they defeated the Blue Devils 3-2, 12-3 to extend their playoff win streak to 16 games.
Jeff Davis improved to 23-12 with the sweep and traveled to Nashville Monday to face Berrien County in the GHSA State Baseball Tournament semifinals. The Rebels won the first game Monday 5-2 as the game was called after five innings when heavy rains moved in. The second game was scheduled for Tuesday at 5 p.m.
In other Class AA action last week, Berrien defeated Heard County 8-2, 8-2, Benedictine downed Social Circle 11-1, 9-1, and Callaway topped Thomasville 3-9, 2-1, 9-6. Monday in Callaway, Benedictine and Callaway split their first two games with Callaway blanking BC 10-0 and then BC blanking Callaway 7-0. The third game was scheduled for Tuesday.
Last Wednesday’s matchup in Elberton was a repeat of the 2017 State Championship Series in Savannah won by the Yellow Jackets.
The Blue Devils’ starting pitcher held Jeff Davis scoreless through five innings as the hosts built a 2-0 lead. But in the top of the sixth, the Jackets scored twice to tie the game and, in the seventh, senior third baseman Seth Graham drove in the winning run with a single and starting pitcher Chandler Davenport shut out Elbert in the bottom of the seventh for his second straight playoff complete-game performance.
In the second game, the Jacket offense exploded in the fourth and fifth innings to turn a 1-1 game into a 12-3 rout. JD scored four runs in the fourth and five more in the fifth.
In the opener, the Devils put runners on base in every inning but, time and time again, Davenport and the Yellow Jacket defense left the runners stranded. Davenport gave up 10 hits, walked no one and hit one batter while striking out four.
The Jackets were out-hit 10-7 but they made the most of their hits. Centerfielder Hunter Foster had a double and a single, first baseman Caleb Chaney singled twice, Graham had his run-scoring single, and Colby Marchant and Garrison Miles also singled. Graham also had a stolen base.
In the second game, senior left-hander Ross Rush took the mound and turned in a 6-inning, 5-hit performance. He walked three, hit two batters and struck out eight. The Blue Devils put 10 runners on base against Rush but, as in the game before, the pitching and defense kept the runners on base. Rush reached his pitch count and was replaced by Garrison Miles who threw the seventh inning, giving up a hit, walking no one and striking out one.
The Jacket bats came to life in the final game as they banged out 13 hits, led by Garrett Baucom with a double and two singles and an RBI. Foster again doubled and singled, and added a sacrifice as he drove in one run. Graham and Davenport both had a pair of singles and two RBI, Alex Sanders singled twice and stole a base, Colby Marchant had a run-scoring single and Britt Metts doubled.
The Jacket defense committed only one error in the 14 innings of play while the Blue Devils were plagued by repeated miscues, especially in the second game.
Score by innings:
JDHS 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 -3
ECHS 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 -2
ECHS 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 – 3
JDHS 1 0 1 4 5 1 x -12
JDHS 0 1 1 0 0 0 -2
BCHS 0 1 3 0 0 2 -6
BCHS 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 -3
JDHS 0 1 1 5 2 0 x -9
BCHS 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 -4
JDHS 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 -1