MABLETON — Two huge first innings powered Wesleyan’s baseball team to a sweep of host Whitefield Academy in Tuesday’s Class A Private quarterfinals.
The Wolves scored nine first-inning runs to spark an 18-0, four-inning victory in Game 1, then put up eight runs in the first inning of the nightcap, a 9-5 win.
The Region 5-A Private champions advance to Monday’s Final Four, where they will host Mount Paran, the 7-A Private champion.
The first four Wesleyan batters of Game 1 drew walks to lead off the nine-run first inning, which was followed by a single run in the second inning and four runs each in the third and fourth innings. Forrest Lietz was 3-for-3 with five RBIs, including a three-run home run, a double and a squeeze bunt in the opener, while Nate Kerpics delivered three hits, three RBIs and two stolen bases.
Carson Ballard (2-for-4, three runs, two RBIs, double), Cooper Blauser (2-for-3, two RBIs, two runs, walk, double, two stolen bases) and Dominick Scalese (2-for-3, double, run) also had multi-hit games. Druw Jones, Bryce Hubbard and Schley Gordy walked two times each and combined to score nine runs.
Kerpics (three innings, five strikeouts) and Scalese (one inning, one strikeout) combined for the four-inning no-hitter on the mound.
In Game 2, Jones pitched five innings for the win, striking out six and scattering four hits and three earned runs. Blauser pitched a scoreless inning of relief with two strikeouts.
The pitchers had plenty of support thanks to the eight-run first inning, which was filled with singles and stolen bases. Ballard (2-for-4, two runs, RBI, double, two stolen bases) was the only Wesleyan player with multiple hits in the nightcap.
Jones was 1-for-1 with an RBI, two walks and four stolen bases, while Hubbard and Blauser drove in two runs each. Hubbard stole three bases and Blauser stole one. Kerpics was 1-for-3 with a triple, an RBI and a walk, while Gordy and Reed Purcell drove in a run each.