The first two games of the Jeff Davis-Rockmart Class AA state championship best-of-3 series were dominated by pitching, as Rockmart won the first game 4-1 and Jeff Davis took the second 4-2, in a battle of Yellow Jackets.
The third game is scheduled for today (Wednesday) at 4 p.m. at Luther Williams Field in Macon.
Rockmart junior Ty Floyd, who has already committed to play collegiately with LSU,
threw a 2-hitter, striking out 12 JD batters in the first game.
And in the second game, Jeff Davis lefty Caleb Leggett scattered seven hits, striking out seven, while closer Britt Metts retired all five batters he faced.
In the opener, Rockmart struck in the bottom of the first inning with a single and a 2-out double off starter Matthew White to go up 1-0.
Jeff Davis got to Floyd in the third inning, scoring a run but missing an opportunity to put more runs on the board. Metts drew a one-out walk to start things and Garrison Miles hit a hard grounder to third that the third baseman couldn’t handle, putting runners at 1st and 2nd. After a strikeout, Jashaun Kirby drew a walk to load the bases. Designated hitter Hamp Hayes then singled to center to score Metts to tie the game 1-1, but Miles was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second.
That was all the scoring for Jeff Davis. Rockmart scored two runs in the fourth on a 2-out, 2-run single. Their final run came in the fifth on a 2-out double.
Hayes’ run-scoring single and a double by Bubby Chaney were the only Jeff Davis hits.
White took the loss, giving up three runs on four hits, walking four and striking out two, in four innings on the mound. Cole Baucom pitched the final two innings, giving up one run on three hits, walking none and striking out none.
While Floyd struck out 12, the Jeff Davis batters made him work for the win, as he threw 123 pitches in seven innings.
In the second game, Rockmart again struck first with two runs in the top of the first inning. After Leggett got the first two batters out, he gave up a single, a walk, a single and then balked as Rockmart took a 2-0 lead.
It was a rough start for Leggett but for the remainder of the game he was solid.
Jeff Davis got all four of their runs in the third. Garrett Taylor led off the inning with a single. Cade Walters walked and Metts followed with a long double over the left fielder’s head to score Taylor, cutting Rockmart’s lead to 2-1.
Miles then grounded out to short to score Walters to tie the game, and send Metts to third. Colby Marchant followed that with a double to score Metts, giving Jeff Davis a 3-2 lead. After another ground out, Hayes singled to left to score courtesy runner Braydon Creech from second, making it 4-2.
In the sixth, Rockmart threatened to tie the game as they loaded the bases with a trio of singles around a Leggett strikeout.
With Leggett’s pitch count at 102, Coach Paul Glass pulled the lefty and putt Metts on the mound. On Metts’ first pitch, the batter lofted a short popup to right and Kirby hustled in to make a diving catch for the second out, and no runners advanced.
On Metts’ second pitch, the batter popped up into foul territory on the 3rd base side and Walters made a difficult catch of the high popup to end the inning.
Jeff Davis threatened in the bottom of the inning as Marchant and Kirby opened the inning with back-to-back walks, but they couldn’t capitalize.
Metts closed out the game in the seventh with a line out and a pair of fly outs to preserve the 4-2 win.
Metts led the offense with a pair of doubles and an RBI. Marchant doubled in a run, Miles and Hayes singled and had an RBI each, and Taylor singled.
Leggett took the win, going 5 1/3 innings and giving up two runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out seven.
Metts earned a save, going 1 2/3 innings, giving up no runs, no hits, walking none and striking out none.
Score by innings:
JDHS 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 -1
RHS 1 0 0 2 1 0 x -4
RHS 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 -2
JDHS 0 0 4 0 0 0 x -4