Rabun sweeps past Rockmart in opening round of state playoffs, advances to Sweet 16

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Friday’s opening round of the 2A State Playoffs for Rabun County was a movie we’ve seen once before. The Wildcats (12-16), playing at Rockmart, took game one 3-0 and game two 3-1 behind stellar pitching from seniors Grayson Lane and Chase Horton, who didn’t allow a run until the fifth inning of game two.

Rabun County had faced and beaten Rockmart earlier this season in a 2-1 win.

GAME ONE

Lane was rarely touched in game one, shutting the home team out in six innings.

After back-to-back perfect frames in the third and fourth for Lane, the Wildcats broke a scoreless tie with a three-run fifth inning. Aaron Bryson notched the first run-scoring hit of the contest. Colin Crosby followed shortly after with a two-run single.

Lane surrendered a two-out hit in the fifth and sixth, but worked around the trouble. The Cats looked to add to the lead in the top of the seventh after a pair of hits, but a double play ended the threat.

Lane went six scoreless innings, striking out eight against no walks and only four hits. Jonathan Henson slammed the door in the seventh to earn the save and preserve the 3-0 win.

GAME TWO

Chase Horton got the nod to start game two, in which the Cats were the “home team.” He got off to a solid start, retiring the side in the first. The senior helped himself with a two-run single in the bottom half, immediately backing himself with support. Brady Wilson added a sacrifice fly to give the Wildcats an early 3-0 lead.

Horton was unhittable until the fourth when he surrendered his first hit of the game, but still held the shut out going into the fifth. Rockmart got its first run of the day – in either game – with a two-out bloop hit to pull within 3-1.

Horton finished what he started, striking out the final hitter to seal the deal, sending Rabun to a 3-1 win and a sweep into the Sweet 16.

Jacky Jones 2018

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