COVINGTON, Ga. — Peachtree Academy put an end to Horizon Christian Academy’s baseball season during the first round of GICAA Varsity Baseball Division II-A playoffs on Friday.
The Panthers (17-3, 6-0) will advance two to second round of their playoffs. Peachtree Academy forced the Warriors to take a mercy ruling for the first game that ending 15-0 in the Panthers’ favor. Peachtree Academy took the sweep as they won the second game 9-0.
Game One: Peachtree Academy 15, Horizon Christian Academy 0
The Panthers showed no mercy as all players on the lineup got at least one run. The game was stopped after the third inning.
“As a coaching staff we’re trying to keep our team focused,” said Peachtree Academy baseball coach Skip Argo. “We’re trying not to let them get too high or too low. We want to keep them steady. We don’t want them to peak.”
Peachtree Academy had their biggest plays in the bottom of the second inning, getting nine runs. Brice Kiser started it off by hitting a double. He stole third base as Connor Jett was at bat.
Soon enough, Jett hit a single that brought Kiser home. Later, with one out, Garrett Payton gained two RBIs as he knocked a double. Payton brought Jett and Walker Payton home to push the score to 8-0.
Charlie Byers, Dakota Boeckman and Hunter Payne all hit singles thereafter. Byers, who brought Payton to the home plate, was able to get from first base to third as Boeckman hit his single. The three players bumped the score to 12-0, even with two outs looming over their heads.
Kiser and Jett both had two runs each in the second inning. After getting to first base, Kiser was able to run all the way home after Jett hit a double. Grayson Hopkins helped Jett reach the home plate before Peachtree Academy received their third out.
The game went into the bottom of the third inning 14-0, after Horizon was not able to produce any runs. Byers gained the game winning run as he hit a single, stole second and was brought home by Boeckman. Byers did this with two outs.
The third inning was the shortest for the Panthers as Horizon switched to pitcher Changi Yun, and only four Panthers went to bat.
At the bottom of the opening frame Kiser, Hopkins, Payton, Jett and Byers all won their battles with Horizon’s starting pitcher Jacob Grinstead. They all hit singles and made it home before the team reached three outs for a 5-0 score.
Horizon struggled to stay on offense the entire game. Peachtree Academy showed great defense along with Seals’ pitching prowess.
“Bryce Seals did a fantastic job,” said Argo. “He did a really good job and had command of the strike zone.”
The closest Horizon came to scoring was in the second inning when the Warriors loaded the bases with Ethon Rieck, Tyler Eidex and Camden Moore. No runs came out of their loaded bases as the Warriors gained their third out with the next batter.
Game Two: Peachtree Academy 9, Horizon Christian Academy 0
The Warriors were able to stretch the second game out until the top of the seventh inning, but they still suffered the same fate as in game one, this time suffering a 9-0.
After the second game — and second shutout — Argo said he was pleased with his team’s workman-like performance.
“The team has been focused since the first part of the season,” said Argo. “They’ve had a professional air about them where they take care of business.”
Peachtree Academy did all of their scoring in the first three frames.
At the bottom of the first inning, Kiser started off the scoring again as he hit a single and stole his way home with Jett at bat. After, Jett hit a triple and was brought home from a Hopkins sacrifice. Payton also got a run after hitting a triple as well, bringing the score 3-0 before going into the second inning.
Byers, Kiser and Jett both won their battles against Yun and hit triples at the bottom of the second stretch, all resulting in runs. Hopkins and Boeckman also scored runs in the second inning, bringing their lead to 8-0.
Byers, like in the first game, scored the Peachtree’s last and only run in the third inning. With Byers at first, Boeckman sacrificed himself for the Panthers’ 9-0 score. Dillon Dankowski pitched for Horizon in the third inning.
The Warriors improved on their defense during the second game; however, their offense remained anemic. They spent little time on offense receiving their outs quickly against stout Panther defense and stellar pitching from Jordan Jett during the first four innings and pPayton during the last three innings.
No Horizon batters made it to second base safely until the Warriors were able to load the bases in the last inning.
“(Horizon) didn’t quit,” said Argo. “Their coach should be very proud of them.”
Dankowski, Jake Walker and Rieck were left on the bases as Horizon received nothing but outs after.
After the impressive first round showing, the Panthers will host Praise Academy in a second round, three-game series
Friday with a doubleheader that starts at 4 p.m. and a Saturday, 1 p.m. if necessary game.