High school baseball playoffs: Huge first inning leads Christian Heritage to game 3 rout, spot in next round

Apr. 24—Christian Heritage 15, Taylor County 3

After splitting the first two games of a Class A DII playoff series with Taylor County on Tuesday, the Lions left little doubt in Wednesday's decisive game three.

Christian Heritage piled up 10 first-inning runs on the way to a 15-3 rout Wednesday that punched a ticket into the Class A DII second round.

The Lions will travel to Greensboro in the second round to face Lake Oconee Academy, the Region 8-A DII champion, in the state's Sweet 16. The three-game series will start Monday.

After winning the first game of the series 5-0 and falling in the second 10-7 in Tuesday's doubleheader, Christian Heritage needed just an inning Wednesday to put up more runs than the team scored in either of the opening two games.

The big opening inning came after Taylor County scored three runs in the top of the frame. Sawyer Corn got the inning started with a double, then a pair of walks loaded the bases. Jackson Locke was hit by a pitch, and Corn scored the first Christian Heritage run.

A Levi Holland single to left field netted three runs after a Taylor County error while throwing the ball in from the outfield, putting the Lions up 4-3. Holland came home on a wild pitch, then a Ben Weaver bunt brought home Lucas Roby for the sixth run of the inning. An error allowed Junior Castelo to run home for the seventh, and a bases-loaded walk brought in David Person for the eighth. Aiden Caylor brought in a ninth with a sacrifice fly, and a sacrifice bunt by Locke brought in Corn for the 10th run of the inning — the second one scored by the leadoff man for the Lions.

While holding Taylor County off the board the rest of the way, Christian Heritage added three more in the second — courtesy of a Corn single and Person triple — and two more in the fourth — another walk and a fielder's choice on a Person grounder.

The game was called after five.

Person pitched all five innings for the Lions, settling in after three walks helped Taylor get the three runs in the first. Person allowed just three total hits and struck out eight.

Lake Oconee Academy, the second-round opponent for the Lions, picked up a sweep over Wilkinson County in the first round, winning 15-0 and 16-2.