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Redan rallies to knock Mill Creek out of playoffs

Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips. Mill Creek's Devin Bonin throws his helmet to the ground as Redan celebrates in the background Wednesday. The Hawks lost 10-6 in the deciding game of their state playoff series.

Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips. Mill Creek's Devin Bonin throws his helmet to the ground as Redan celebrates in the background Wednesday. The Hawks lost 10-6 in the deciding game of their state playoff series.

HOSCHTON -- Redan baseball coach Marvin Pruitt isn't used to his team making late comebacks.

After the Raiders' series with Mill Creek, he should be feeling pretty comfortable.

Redan used a seventh-inning rally Tuesday to force Game 3 against Mill Creek in the quarterfinals of the Class AAAAA playoffs.

The Raiders came from behind again Wednesday.

Redan scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to beat the Hawks 10-6 and advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2003.

"The wheels fell off," Mill Creek coach Doug Jones said. "They are a very hot team and we told them if we can keep the crooked numbers off the board we'll be okay."

Mill Creek led 5-3 going into the bottom of the sixth with Redan batting in the bottom of the inning as the home team via coin toss.

Hawks' starter Brian Stillwell gave up three base hits to start the inning before he was pulled for Taylor Alexander. The senior gave up two hits as Redan tied the game with no outs. Chip Fleming relieved Alexander, but the hits kept coming from the Raiders (21-13).

Redan posted seven runs off seven hits in the inning and a hit batter also brought in a run.

"If we can keep doing this, I'll be okay," Pruitt said. "During the tournament, we've done a great job coming back. They do a great job hitting the ball one through nine in the lineup."

Johnny McLean's RBI double in the top of the seventh was the only run Mill Creek could manage in a comeback attempt. The Hawks had seven hits in the game with McLean leading the way with two doubles.

"As you can see I'm heartbroken," a teary-eyed Jones said. "They are great kids. They are Mill Creek and what Mill Creek means."

Mill Creek was the Region 7-AAAAA runner-up and has reached the playoffs the last six years. This was the Hawks' first appearance in the quarterfinals and the team's overall record of 26-7 is also the most wins in school history.

After blowing a three-run lead in the seventh Tuesday and having Redan come back in the sixth on Wednesday, it was the first time the Hawks lost back-to-back games all season.

"That kind of stuff doesn't phase them," Pruitt said. "I don't think they realize the caliber of Mill Creek."

The Hawks took a 2-0 lead in the second after Casey Parham's solo home run to centerfield and McLean's RBI double.

Mill Creek added another two runs in the third with Nick Tillman and Parham driving in runs for a 4-0 lead.

Redan scored in the bottom of the fourth and two more in the fifth to trail 4-3. Greg Brody had an RBI double for the Hawks in the top of the sixth, but Redan took control of the game in the bottom of the frame.

"I told some people the only way we're going to get out this series is if the baseball Gods shine on us and I think they did," Pruitt said.