Jackets sweep to district baseball crown

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Buford earns Class A Upstate title series bid

By The Staff

The Buford High baseball team, in a do-or-die situation, delivered in a major way.

The Jackets, needing two wins over host Williston-Elko to capture the District IV baseball title and stay in the hunt for the Class A Upper State championship, responded with a sweep of the Blue Devils – 4-3 and 18-6 in five innings.

“I tip my hat to our players, coaches and fans for their grit and determination,” BHS coach Eric Funderburk said. “We’ve put over 1,300 miles on the bus in the last week going all across the Upper State, but we came through and I’m proud of them for hanging in there. It was a lot of time and energy, and it was worth it.”

Buford, which fell to W-E 6-5 in eight innings to open the district tournament last Thursday, launched play Wednesday with the one-run win.

Colt Ellis gave the Jackets a complete game, scattering four hits and allowing three runs – two earned, three walks. He struck out four.

The 12-10 Jackets, who forged an early 3-0 lead before W-E sliced the margin to 3-2, tallied the winning run in the sixth inning when Logan Segee reached on an error. Donald Kirkley then pushed a bunt singled which advanced a hustling Segee to third base. He tallied the decisive run on a wild pitch.

“Hustle and heads-up play got us that run and it was the difference,” Funderburk said. “We needed as much pitching as possible for a second game and Colt saved some arms with a complete game.”

Senior catcher Joseph Wright paced the BHS offense with two hits and drove in two runs. Britt Wells aided the offense with two hits, a RBI and scored a run.

Gavin Flynn added a hit and drove in a run. Justin Altman and Ricky Lewis each had a hit and scored a run.

In the nightcap, Buford completed the sweep in impressive fashion, taking the district crown in five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

BHS ignited for seven runs in the first inning when the Jackets unleashed five of their 14 hits. The Blue Devils battled back to make it 7-6 after two innings, but the Jackets rallied again with four runs in the third and a seven-run fifth inning to seal the victory.

Altman keyed the third inning with a three-run double and Lewis ripped a three-run triple in the fifth.

“We came out swinging and kept the pressure on them,” Funderburk said. “We responded with our seniors leading the way.”

Lewis led the attack with three hits, five RBIs, two runs and a stolen base. Flynn had three hits, a RBI, walk and scored a run. Altman rapped two hits, drove in four runs and scored three runs. Ellis added two hits, two RBIs and scored twice. Joseph Wright chipped in a hit, run batted in and scored two runs. Segee had a hit, run and RBI. Dillon Hydrick supplied a hit and scored two runs. Kirkley walked twice, scored two runs and was hit by a pitch.

Altman, in five frames, yielded six runs, seven hits, five walks and hit a batter. He struck out three.

Buford continues play Saturday when it hosts District III champion Chesterfield at noon.

Jackets win, stay alive

Buford stayed in the hunt for the district baseball title with a 7-4 road win over Greenville Charter School on Tuesday.

Ricky Lewis, who hurled five innings, was the winner, allowing two runs, four hits and six walks. Justin Altman worked an inning, allowing two runs, two hits, a walk and hit two batters. Colt Ellis hurled an inning and fanned two to post the save.

Lewis backed the attack with two hits, scored a run and drove in a run. Ellis had a hit, drove in a run and scored a run.

Dillon Hydrick and Logan Segee each supplied a hit, RBI and scored a run. Altman and Britt Wells each had a hit and tallied a run. Donald Kirkley added two stolen bases and a run.