River Ridge, the only other Cherokee County team to qualify for the playoffs, was swept by Rome.
Creekview (18-11) advanced to the second round of the Class AAAAA tournament by beating an Allatoona team that had lost just two games going into the series. It took the Grizzlies three games to prevail, but coach Mike Nayman said playing a three-game series ended up being a good thing for his team.
Creekview won the opener 6-2 and was tied in the second before Allatoona rallied for a 3-1 victory. In Game 3, Creekview dominated 10-4.
Nayman said the important thing the final game of the series showed was that that the Grizzlies could find a way to come back.
“I think that, any time you go out, you want to string together quality at-bats and get pitchers quality innings on the mound,” Nayman said. “At the end of the series, if you look back, you try to compare what the teams did. If you win both of those battles, you should be in pretty good shape, and we did that (against Allatoona).”
Creekview will travel to play Loganville (20-8) for a second-round series that opens with a doubleheader today at 4:30 p.m. Nayman said he doesn’t know much about the Red Devils, but he’s tried to track down information through common opponents.
“I’ve talked to a few of the coaches that have played them, and it’s like same old, same old with Loganville,” Nayman said. “They are good about every year. They do an awful lot of things well. From what I understand, they play very fundamental ball. They can hit it around and bunt it and try to manufacture runs. Then, you throw in the pitching and you see they are a pretty seasoned team.”
Sequoyah (19-9) beat out Creekview for the No. 3 seed from Region 7AAAAA, but the two rivals are the only ones remaining from their region after the top two seeds — Sprayberry and Pope — were ousted in the first round.
The Chiefs swept Rome 3-0 and 10-0 in the first round. Sequoyah coach Joseph Jones said his team played well in the first round, and they will have to do that again if they want to prevail in the second round at Gainesville.
“Our pitching was really on,” Jones said. “Erikson Lanning pitched a no-hitter, and you really can’t ask for better than that. (Brian) Exley came in and pitched a complete game in Game 2, which was only five innings.”
Sequoyah hasn’t played since Friday, which should have all of the players — especially the pitching staff — well-rested. They will need to be at their best against Gainesville (22-6), a perennial top team that easily defeated Tucker in the first round.
“Any team in the second round — in the playoffs, really — is there for a reason,” Jones said. “We are just going to have to go there and see what we can do.”