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Only half survive first round in baseball
Tough matchups in next round for local AAAAA teams

A few pretty good baseball teams saw their seasons end last weekend in the first round of the high school baseball playoffs.

That can't help but be the case when two of the state's most powerful baseball counties, Gwinnett and Cobb, see their teams meet on the opening day of the postseason.

Only three local teams survived in the Class AAAAA bracket, and at least one more team will be going home after the second round, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

That's because two of Gwinnett's remaining teams play Wednesday, when top-ranked Brookwood, fresh off a first-round scare against Alpharetta, hosts Region 7-AAAAA runner-up Norcross. The Broncos feature one of the state's most productive offenses, but they will face one of the county's top pitching staffs led by Forrest Garrett and Taylor Rakes.

The survivor of that best-of-three series will have proven worthy of a quarterfinal trip, and the same can be said about Mill Creek and its second-round matchup.

The Hawks, champions of 7-AAAAA, swept last year's state runner-up Kennesaw Mountain in the first round. Now they host Walton, the 2007 state champion, on Wednesday. Like Norcross, 10th-ranked Mill Creek is bolstered by strong pitching - Brandon Bast and Matthew Grimes each had a solid start in the Kennesaw Mountain series.

In AA, Wesleyan is the last local team alive after rolling through Washington-Wilkes in the first round. The No. 1 Wolves earned another home series for the second round, this one against Callaway.

The only second-round series for a local team that won't be held in Gwinnett features Providence Christian, also a team that swept its first-round opponent. The ninth-ranked Stars play at No. 8 Bremen on Wednesday.

SideBar: State baseball playoffs

Second round

Wednesday's games

(all doubleheaders)

Class AAAAA

· 4 p.m. - Walton at Mill Creek

· 4:30 p.m. - Norcross at Brookwood

Class AA

· 4 p.m. - Callaway at Wesleyan

Class A

· 3:30 p.m. - Providence at Bremen

Thursday's if-necessary games

Class AAAAA

· 5 p.m. - Walton at Mill Creek

· 6 p.m. - Norcross at Brookwood

Class AA

· TBA - Callaway at Wesleyan

Class A

· 5 p.m. - Providence at Bremen