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Wolves makes first round look easy

NORCROSS - Wesleyan entered the Class AA baseball playoffs ranked No. 1, meaning that everyone will be trying to knock off the Wolves.

It looks like Wesleyan can handle the extra pressure, though.

The Wolves took the first step toward what they hope will be their first state title by crushing eight homers in a decisive opening-round sweep of visiting Washington-Wilkes on Friday.

Wesleyan smacked six homers in the second game of the doubleheader, winning 14-2 after an 11-1 victory in the opener.

The homer rampage continued an amazing long-ball display by the Wolves, who hit seven in a 13-1 victory over defending state champion Holy Innocents' last week that gave Wesleyan its second straight Region 6-AA title.

The Wolves (22-3-1) haven't lost since March and have been unstoppable recently.

"We're clicking at the plate just when we need to be," Wesleyan coach Mike Shaheen said going into the postseason.

Washington-Wilkes, the No. 4 seed from Region 8-AA, certainly was no match for the Wolves.

James Ramsey hit two homers in the second game and Grayson Garvin went deep in each contest. Garvin's blast in the opener was a mammoth blast to right field.

Max Hightower led off the first game with a home run - the third time he has done that this season - and the Wolves hit three in the opening inning of the second game, with Conor Welton, Ramsey and Garvin connecting.

Connor Winn, the team leader with 11, Kevin Ruiz and Ramsey hit the other homers in the second game.

The Wolves were able to sweep the doubleheader while pitching ace left-hander Garvin just one inning. The Vanderbilt signee is resting a tender elbow.

Devin Stanton went five innings in the opener, improving to 5-0. The sophomore left-hander allowed just two hits, one a homer by Drew Wilson, and walked none while striking out nine. He fanned two in each of the first three innings and the side in the fifth.

Stanton left in favor of sophomore right-hander Brooks Colquitt, who was making his season debut after elbow problems. Colquitt allowed a hit, but struck out two in his inning on the mound as the game was stopped early by the mercy rule.

Ben Tucker (5-0) got the win in the second game. The left-hander allowed just one hit in three scoreless innngs, striking out four and walking none. Garvin, Phillip Freeman and Drew Fithian finished up, each pitching an inning.

Ramsey had four hits in the second game, adding a pair of singles to his two homers. Welton drove in four runs with his three hits.

The victory over Holy Innocents' in the regular-season finale moved Wesleyan up to No. 1 in the rankings.

Now the Wolves are determined to hold that spot through the playoffs.