POWDER SPRINGS — Mill Creek fell victim to Deion Walker and Hillgrove in its Class AAAAAAA state baseball quarterfinal doubleheader, with the host Hawks sweeping the visiting Hawks by scores of 7-4 and 8-3 Wednesday at Hillgrove.
Walker went a combined 4-for-8 in the series, hit two home runs, a double and drove in five as Hillgrove (30-8) advanced to the state semifinals, where it will host Grayson, which swept Newnan in its quarterfinal doubleheader.
In addition, the 6-foot-4, 180-pound senior pitched five innings in the opener, allowing three hits, two runs while striking out eight to earn the win.
In Game 1, the teams combined for only one hit through the first 3 1/2 innings, but in the bottom of the fourth, Justin Tew led off with a single and advanced to second on an error.
Two pitches later, Walker hit the ball into the trees behind the left field wall for a 2-0 Hillgrove lead.
An RBI single by Cameron Fiveash was followed by Alex McKay scoring from second on a ground out to make the Hillgrove lead 4-0.
Mill Creek (23-15) tried to answer in the top of the fifth behind a solo home run by Keaton Anthony, a triple by James Schmidt and an RBI single by Garner McKeon to cut the lead in half, but Tew and Walker quickly got the runs back.
With one out, Tew connected over the left field wall for a solo home run. Walker followed with his second blast, this one over the left-center field fence to push the lead back to four runs at 6-2.
In Game 2, Hillgrove led 3-1 when Walker connected for a two-run double down the left field line to break the game open. He also helped start a rally in the sixth with a bunt single he pushed past the pitchers mound.
Reid Brown and Cameron Powser followed the RBI singles to help put the game out of reach.
Mill Creek tried to post a seventh inning rally. It scored twice and had the bases loaded, but McKay came in to strike out the last two batters.