Facing a must win situation in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs the Druid Hills Red Devils pulled out a 6-3 victory in Game 2 of their best-of-three series against visiting Northwest Whitfield at Druid Hills on Wednesday afternoon.
Druid Hills (17-8) got on the board first with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning on the way to evening the series and forcing Game 3 on Thursday at 4:30 pm at Druid Hills Middle School.
The Bruins (21-10) won the opener 3-0 behind the pitching of left-hander Cade Fisher who set 16 Red Devils down via strikeout with at least two strikeouts each inning.
Northwest gave Fisher all the runs he would need in the first inning as Aidan Hosford singled to right field with two out to score Will Roper with the go-ahead run.
Druid Hills starter Joseph Weingartner kept the Red Devils within striking distance getting out of bases-loaded jams in the second and third innings. Weingartner allowed six hits and two runs while striking out three and walking 5 in four-plus innings. He managed to strand 9 baserunners.
The Bruins put up two runs in the fifth to extend the lead to 3-0 as Druid Hills reliever Ian O’Connor, who entered in the fifth with a runner on and no outs, gave up a walk and a pair of soft hits that led to two runs. O’Connor got out of a bases-loaded jam of his own with a strikeout to end the threat.
O’Connor set down seven consecutive batters to keep Druid Hills within striking distance, but Fisher set down eight in a row after giving up a double to Colin Ross in the fourth to close out the complete game shutout.
In other Class 4A action, the Stephenson Jaguars (9-9) dropped two straight on the road at Heritage-Catoosa on Wednesday afternoon. Heritage swept the series via wins of 15-9 in the opener and 10-3 in the nightcap.
Two other DeKalb teams also had seasons come to an end with playoff losses on Wednesday. The Chamblee Bulldogs (20-10-1) dropped their series 2-0 at Loganville (24-7) by scores of 13-0 and 4-1 to close out the year.
In Class 6A play, the Tucker Tigers (15-13) also fell in two straight with losses of 13-2 and 13-0 on the road at Houston County (25-6) to conclude their season.
Three DeKalb teams open the playoffs in host roles on Thursday. Lakeside (24-4) will be the first to hit the field with a 1:00 pm doubleheader against Lee County (10-20) in a Class 6A best-of-three series. A third game, if necessary, would be at the same site at 2:00 pm on Friday. The Vikings look to break a three-year string of first round losses as they look to add to their record season win total.
The Redan Raiders (15-8) are next up on Thursday as they host Hart County (20-8) in a 3:00 pm doubleheader. A third game, if necessary, would be at the same site at 5:30 pm on Friday. The Raiders want to extend their three-year string of first round victories.
Class 7A play has the Dunwoody Wildcats (18-10) hosting South Forsyth (19-11) in a 4:00 pm doubleheader. A third game, if necessary, would be at the same site at 5:55 pm on Friday. The Wildcats want to break a string of six consecutive first round series losses.
The Columbia Eagles (5-7) return to the state playoffs for the first time since 2017 as they go on the road in the Class 2A playoffs to Model (22-6) for a 1:30 pm doubleheader. A third game, if necessary, would be at the same site at 3:30 pm on Friday. The Eagles reached the Elite in 2015.
DCSD BASEBLL STATE PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
Wednesday, April 28
Houston Co. (24-6) 13, Tucker (15-12) 2
Houston Co. (25-6) 13, Tucker (15-13) 0
Houston Co. wins series 2-0
Loganville (23-7) 13, Chamblee (20-9-1) 0
Loganville (24-7) 4, Chamblee (20-10-1) 1
Loganville wins series 2-0
Northwest Whitfield (21-9) 3, Druid Hills (16-8) 0
Druid Hills (17-8) 6, Northwest Whitfield (21-10) 3
Series tied at 1-1
Heritage-Catoosa (23-7) 15, Stephenson (9-8) 9
Heritage-Catoosa (24-7) 10, Stephenson (9-9) 3
Heritage wins series 2-0
Thursday, April 29
South Forsyth (19-11) at Dunwoody (18-10), 4:00 pm (DH)
Lee County (10-20) at Lakeside (24-4), 1:00 pm (DH)
Hart Co. (20-8) at Redan (15-8), 3:00 pm (DH)
Columbia (5-7) at Model (22-6), 1:30 pm (DH)
Northwest Whitfield (21-10) at Druid Hills (17-8), 4:30 pm
Best-of-Three Series Tied 1-1
Friday, April 30
South Forsyth (19-11) at Dunwoody (18-10), 5:55 pm (if necessary)
Lee County (10-20) at Lakeside (24-4), 2:00 pm (if necessary)
Hart Co. (20-8) at Redan (15-8), 5:30 pm (if necessary)
Columbia (5-7) at Model (22-6), 3:30 pm (if necessary)
Source: DCSD Athletics