Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 15, 2014

Wolves oust Hornets in Class AA quarters

ADEL — Wesleyan used 6 2-3 innings of shutout ball from starter Christopher Peden and stellar defense from shortstop Carter Hall to beat Cook 3-0 and oust the Hornets from the quarterfinal round of the Class AA state playoffs.

The Wolves struck early, scoring one run in the bottom of the first off of Cook starter Pate Betts when Christian Stark grounded out to second with a runner on third base after Colin Hall doubled off the wall in right field.

The run would prove to be crucial, as it was all Peden needed. The right-hander displayed stellar command and pitched well to contact, as he struck out three with no walks and allowed only five hits in 6 2-3 innings. From the second to the sixth inning, Peden retired 12 of the 14 Cook batters he faced.

Hall, Wesleyan’s shortstop, played an impressive game defensively, recording eight putouts. His last was worthy of a highlight reel, as he bare-handed a ball that deflected off of Peden and fired an off-balance throw to first to quell any chance the Hornets had of rallying in the seventh inning.

In the fifth, Wesleyan catcher Grant Colton delivered the final offensive blow, as he doubled off the wall in left-center field to score two runs and push the lead to 3-0. Center fielder Jahmai Jones paced the Wolves offensively, going 3-for-3 and scoring a run. Jones finished the series with seven hits in his last seven at-bats.

Betts kept Cook in the game, as the side-armed righty recorded four strikeouts over 4 2-3 innings and didn’t walk a batter. The Hornets were led offensively by third baseman Dalton Rentz, who recorded two hits in three at-bats. Parker Bennett, Maysoe Wiley and Blake Cowart also tallied hits for Cook.

The Hornets finished the season 20-14 and played impressively throughout the playoffs. The Hornets won two three-game series before falling at the hands of Wesleyan. The Wolves, who pushed their postseason record to 6-1 with Wednesday’s win, will face Benedictine in the next round with a spot in the state championship on the line.

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