0

Wesleyan Winn's big, rolls in opening playoff series

NORCROSS - Have a day, Connor Winn.

Behind the hitting of Winn and the steady pitching of Grayson Garvin and Tony Plagman, Wesleyan notched a first-round sweep of Oglethorpe County in the opening round of the Class AA state playoffs on Friday.

Winn was 5-for-7 over both games, hitting three solo home runs and scoring six runs as Wesleyan won the first game 9-0 and took the nightcap 6-2.

Garvin and Plagman also did their part on the mound as each pitcher turned in complete games. Garvin allowed just two hits in Game 1, striking out 11 and walking just one.

Plagman matched Garvin's performance for the win in Game 2, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out 11 and walking one.

"Last year we played here in the opening round as a No. 2 seed, same type of situation as this year, and we got swept," Wesleyan head coach Mike Shaheen said. "This (sweep) was huge."

Winn got things going in Game 1 when he led off the bottom of the first with a solo homer to right on the third pitch from Patriot starter Jake Boswell.

Boswell kept Wesleyan scoreless until the fourth when Wesleyan scored a pair of unearned runs on an error by second baseman Jess Dillinger.

The fifth inning proved to be the knockout blow to the Patriots as Wesleyan scored five runs in the inning.

Winn led off the inning with his second homer to center while Kevin Ruiz and Chris Jensen, who were both 2-for-4 in Game 1, each added RBI singles as the Wolves pulled away.

On the mound, Garvin was nearly flawless, going the distance on just 93 pitches.

"Garvin had his stuff and pitched the way Garvin can," Shaheen said.

Game 2 opened with Wesleyan scoring once in the top of the first on a throwing error by catcher Lee Griffiths when he tried to pick Plagman off at first.

The ball hit Plagman in the right shoulder and bounced away, allowing Winn to score.

Oglethorpe answered with two runs in the bottom half on an RBI single from Ryan Martin and a fielder's choice RBI from Russell Branch.

Martin, who started Game 2 for the Patriots, held Wesleyan at bay until the fifth. Winn led off with a triple and scored on James Ramsey's single to left. Ramsey scored later on Jensen's sacrifice fly to center, putting the Wolves ahead at 3-2.

Wesleyan went up 4-2 in the sixth on Winn's third homer of the night and Jensen put things out of reach with a two-run double in the top of the seventh, giving him a 2-for-4 night with three RBIs.

The two runs Wesleyan scored in the fourth pumped new life into Plagman as he set down the last 11 batters he faced.

"Tony didn't have his stuff early on but he kept battling," Shaheen said. "For some reason he got some strength because it looked like he was throwing the ball a lot harder those last three innings."

Wesleyan will play in the second round next Wednesday against Pepperell, which swept Pace Academy on Friday.