By Anthony Gagliano
The Lowndes Vikings won't have to play the No. 2 team in the state in the AAAAA quarterfinals. They'll just have face the team that beat them.
No. 9 Kennesaw Mountain knocked off second-ranked Roswell 5-4 in eight innings on Thursday to advance to the third round of the GHSA baseball playoffs.
"That's what rankings will do for you," Lowndes coach Danny Redshaw said after traveling to Kennesaw for the matchup. "I thought (Kennesaw) was the best team."
Both teams are region champions, but Lowndes, ranked No. 3 in AAAAA, will host the series since the Vikings (22-8) are on the top half of the draw. The series will open Tuesday at Noel George Field with a 5 p.m. doubleheader. Game 3, if necessary, would be at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Roswell, which won the first game off Wednesday's doubleheader 5-2, battled back in the bottom of the sixth to tie the contest at 4 after trailing 4-1. The Mustangs (25-6) went back ahead with a solo home run to lead off the top of the eighth. Roswell (24-6) put the leadoff runner on in the bottom of the eighth, but an illegal slide turned a fielder's choice into a double play, ending the Hornets' attempt at a rally.
Chris Masters (8-1) pitched six shutout innings Wednesday in Game 2, with Josh Means finishing the 5-0 victory for the Mustangs.
The Vikings capped a chaotic Wednesday by rallying for two runs in the top of the seventh, winning the decisive third game 8-7 to sweep a pair of games from Newnan. After losing in the first round in three games to East Coweta last year, the first time that had happened in Redshaw's tenure, the Vikings are back in the quarterfinals, where they were ousted in 2003 by Redan.
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