Defending state champion A.C. Flora opened the Class 3A state playoffs with a tough, 6-3 win Friday at home against Blue Ridge. The top-ranked Falcons (19-5) move on the second round in District 4 and a Monday home date with Chapman.
Andy Halletts bunch spotted Blue Ridge a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, then saw Fighting Tigers regain the lead with a run in the top of the sixth after the Falcons scored two in the fifth to tie the score.
ACF ended the suspense with a four-run burst in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a two-run double by Everett Eynon and a run-scoring single by Connor Desmond.
Matt Wallace was the winning pitcher in relief of starter Alexander Jenkins. Wallace allowed no hits and struck out three in his 1.1 inning stint.
Eynon was the Falcons hitting star, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Desmond and Schroder Carlton had two hits apiece. Jake Lewis had one hit and drove in two runs.