Stars roll into second round

ROME -- Billy Mangum and Kevin Dodson gave the Providence Christian baseball team two strong pitching efforts Friday, leading the Stars to a sweep of Darlington in the first round of the Class A state playoffs.

Mangum (4-1) struck out a career-high 11 batters in Game 1, a 13-3 Providence win. He gave up two earned runs, five hits and two walks in six innings, retiring the last seven batters he faced before giving way to David Pence, who worked a perfect seventh.

Dodson (3-5) also went six innings and gave up one run on six hits, striking out five batters and walking two as the Stars won Game 2 by a narrow 3-2 margin. Alan Skinner earned a save by closing out the seventh inning.

The victories send the Stars (16-12) into a Wednesday series at another Gwinnett program, Hebron Christian.

Game 1 was close until Providence scored five runs in the fifth and six more in the seventh. Skinner led the offense, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and three RBIs. Erich Stahl was 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI and Tyler Brown was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a double.

Dodson's two-run single was the big offensive blow in Game 2, while Skinner drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Stahl was 1-for-2 with a double and a run.

Christin Stewart was 1-for-2 in each game and was intentionally walked twice.