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Hawks' Alonzo, Grimes deliver sweep

WOODSTOCK — The Mill Creek Hawks got back-to-back complete games from their starting pitchers Wednesday to sweep the Etowah Eagles out of the playoffs.

After Eric Alonzo won Game 1 with a 3-2 dominating performance for the Hawks, Matthew Grimes got 10 strikeouts to lead Mill Creek to a 5-2 victory and the sweep.

"Both of our starters were just outstanding for us today," Mill Creek head coach Doug Jones said. "That's the way we do it. Have Eric take the first game and then Matthew to work in the second game."

It was all pitching for both teams with no score through the first four innings in Game 2. Then, in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Hawks blew the game wide open with five runs.

With runners on second and third and only one out, Devin Bonin delivered a three-run home run to left. Mill Creek's runner on third was actually trying to steal home when Bonin took what appeared to be a check swing and lifted the ball over the wall.

"He wasn't even supposed to swing," Jones said. "Breaks are huge when you get into the playoffs and you usually win if you get them to go your way."

Mill Creek added two more runs in the fifth for a commanding 5-0 lead.

Etowah did put some pressure on Grimes in the sixth, putting two runs on the board in the top half of the inning. But Grimes kept his composure and was able to pick up the complete game.

Alonzo gave up just four hits and two runs with six strikeouts in his complete game effort in Game 1.

In the top half of the third, following a ground out by Connor Kasten, Bonin got a one-out single for the first hit of the game. He then stole second and third before being driven in by Jerad Curry's single to left to go up 1-0.

Mill Creek added two more runs in the top of third, giving Alonzo all the support he needed.

In the bottom of the sixth inning Etowah finally put some pressure on Alonzo. Alonzo gave up a leadoff single to the start the sixth, and then walked the next two hitters to load the bases with no outs.

Alonzo kept his cool and got a great double play from his defense. Etowah did manage to get the run in from third, but after double play, Alonzo struck out the next batter looking to end the Eagles' threat.

He then went three-up-and-three-down for a perfect ninth to record the complete game win. Etowah's final batter in Game 1 did get a single, but got called out when he tried to stretch it into a double to end the game.