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Lassiter takes down No. 1 Parkview

LILBURN -- Lassiter's two starting pitchers overwhelmed the Parkview bats on Tuesday, limiting the No. 1-ranked Panthers to only one run and 10 hits in a two-game sweep at Hugh Buchanan Field.

Lassiter won the first game 7-0 behind a 10-strikeout performance of Brandon Stephens, then followed with a 4-1 victory in the second game behind Ross Ripple's four-hitter.

"You have to give credit to their pitching staff," said Parkview coach Chan Brown. "To keep us to 10 hits, that's a pretty good feat."

The sweep meant a disappointing second-round elimination for the Panthers (25-5). Lassiter (22-8) advances to play the Luella-East Coweta winner in the Class AAAAA quarterfinals.

The hard-throwing Stephens scattered six hits in the first game, as Parkview moved only two runners into scoring position all game. Ripple allowed only four hits -- two of them in the last inning -- and struck out four.

"That's the No. 1 team in the state and come over here and sweep them, it's huge," Stephens said. "This will give us a lot of momentum going into the next round."

The first game was tight until Lassiter broke it open with five runs in the top of the sixth, when the Trojans sent 11 men to the plate. Parkview starter Jesse Foster pitched to one batter in the sixth before being relieved by Brooks Davis, who had no luck and was able to get only one out. Phillip Taylor got the final two outs, but the damage had been done.

Lassiter's Nelson Ward had four hits, including a solo homer in the seventh, and Cody Johnson added three hits. Stephens, Wes Burns, Brent Nelson and Beau Welborn each added two hits for the Trojans.

In the second game, Parkview's Kenny Miller put the Panthers ahead 1-0 in the fourth inning with a solo homer to left-center. Lassiter tied it in the fifth with a two-out rally, as ninth-place hitter Jimmy Mayer doubled down the third-base line and Nelson Ward plated him with an opposite field single.

The big blow for Lassiter came in the sixth. The Trojans got the first two players on base, the second on a botched sacrifice, and Andrew Gordon launched one over the Jeff Francoeur jersey in left field.

"That's the way it's been for us," said Lassiter coach Scott Kelly. "Andrew Gordon is striking out and swinging at bad pitches, then the next thing he hits a three-run jack. We were sitting there and had chances inning after inning and we finally got the big hit we needed."