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Peachtree Ridge splits with West Forsyth in AAAAAA first round

SUWANEE --One unfortunate streak ended Friday night for the Peachtree Ridge baseball team, but it will take Game 3 to decide what will happen to another.

The Lions won Game 1 for the first time in their brief playoff history, beating West Forsyth 7-2, but lost 3-1 in the nightcap of the best-of-three Class AAAAAA state playoff series. They now need a victory in the deciding game for the first playoff series victory in school history.

Game 3 is scheduled for 11 a.m. today in an attempt to beat the rainy forecast.

"Historically, we've been on the other side of (losing Game 1 and winning Game 2)," Peachtree Ridge head coach Ryan Hanik said. "Hopefully it works out the same way for us and we'll win (Game 3)."

Ryne Inman nearly pitched Peachtree Ridge (18-10) to a Game 2 victory with a nine-strikeout effort. He held onto a 1-0 lead until the sixth inning, when West Forsyth (16-11) rallied for three decisive runs.

That split the series after Tyler Haswell pitched the Lions to a victory in Game 1.

"Haswell and Inman both pitched their tails off," Hanik said. "We just didn't get the big hits. We had one big hit in the second game from (Drew) Wharton. We had a couple of other opportunities. We just didn't finish it. We were just five outs short."

Haswell (6-2) allowed a pair of fourth-inning runs in Game 1, but his team was already up 6-0 at that point. He didn't allow a run in his other six innings, finishing with nine strikeouts. He gave up just six hits, half of those in the fourth.

The senior was staked to a lead when the Lions scored six runs in the second inning, sending 11 batters to the plate. The inning was long enough for Anthony Perez to be hit with pitches in two separate at-bats. Perez also singled in his other at-bat later in the game.

Perez got hit by a pitch to start the second and Wharton walked before an RBI grounder by Blake Best, along with an error, plated the game's first two runs. Cooper Burdick had an RBI single and Haswell drove in a run with a sacrifice fly later in the inning before Jonathan Hudson brought in two runs with a double.

Chad Pollitt (who also doubled in Game 2) manufactured the Lions' seventh run in the sixth inning with a single, followed by a wild pitch and a stolen base. A throwing error allowed the senior, who went 2-for-3 in Game 1 with two runs, to score.

In the nightcap, Peachtree Ridge managed just four hits and a run off West Forsyth lefty Addison Albright. Perez had two of those hits, scoring his team's only run in the fourth inning on Wharton's RBI double.

That lead held until Inman ran into his sixth inning trouble. The sophomore right-hander pitched well enough for a victory, but didn't get much offensive support.

"The first game we got big hits in big situations and the second game we didn't have it," Hanik said.