Here are some Midlands highlights from the first round of the baseball state playoffs games on Thursday, April 28.
Chapin 11, Wilson 1
The Region 5-3A champion Eagles (17-5) had a five-inning laugher in the first round of the District 7 tournament Chapin hosts either region rival A.C. Flora or Georgetown on Saturday with the winner advancing to the district finals on Wednesday. Flora, which lost to Chapin in what was the region championship game on April 21, travels to face Georgetown on Friday. In Flora wins, the Saturday game at Chapin is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. If Georgetown is the second-round opponent, the game will start at 6 p.m. Taylor Alvarez improved to 4-2 on the mound in the opener, striking out five and allowing four hits. The senior right-hander is healthy after being plagued by a finger blister on his pitching hand for a significant portion of the regular season Nick Beline and Zach Haralambis were the offensive headliners. Beline had two hits and three RBIs and Haralambis had two RBIs. The Eagles also drew 12 bases on balls.
Gilbert 8, Andrew Jackson 7
The Region 3-2A champion Indians (24-2) escaped with a first-round District 3 win with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning after the visiting Volunteers tied the score with four runs in the top of the seventh. The decisive run scored on a two-out wild pitch Gilbert takes on Emerald at home on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The Vikings from Greenwood scored a 5-0 first-round win over Pendleton Jason Smith and Connor Owings drew one-out walks to get things going in the seventh. Smith and Owings moved up to third and second, respectively, with Austin LaBounty at the plate. After LaBounty popped up for the second out, AJ intentionally passes cleanup batter Taylor Burris to load the bases and set up a force at any base. The strategy did not come into play. Smith scampered home with the winning run when a 1-0 breaking ball in the dirt to Mike Morris eluded the AJ catcher.
Blythewood 9, Lancaster 0
Grayson Greiner threw six innings of shutout ball, allowing the visiting Bruins just four hits in the District 4 opening win. The ace right-hander struck out four and walked one ... Brandon Burris (2-for-3, 2 runs), Spencer Branham (2-for-2, 2 RBIs) and Daniel Young (2-for-3, 2 RBIs, 1 2B) were the Bengal offensive starts Blythewood (20-5) hosts J.L. Mann at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in second-round action. The winner advances to the district title round on Wednesday.
Pelion 2, Woodland 0
The Panthers rode the dominant pitching of veteran Wesley Camp to a District 8 first-round win. Camp fired a two-hit shutout with 15 strikeouts while upping his mound mark to 9-1 Pelion had just three hits, but scored single, unearned runs in the first and third innings. Camp had a doubled and scored in the third The Panthers must wait for the outcome of Friday’s game between Marion and Timberland before it knows where it will play on Saturday. If Marion wins, the Panthers hit the road for an 11 a.m. second round game. If Timberland scores an upset, Pelion will host a second-round game at 11 a.m.