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[Photo by Donna Kennedy /] Braden Osbolt tags out a runner at second base during the first game of a double header against the Bulldogs in the state playoffs. Catcher Caden Swift was perfect last week as he threw out three Thomson High School runners trying to steal second base.

Pirates advance to Sweet 16 in state playoffs

The Pike County Pirates hosted the first round of the Georgia High School State playoffs Thursday afternoon in Zebulon as they faced off with the Thomson High School Bulldogs in a double header. After the Pirates collected their fifth consecutive region 2-AAA championship, they turned their attention towards the first step in the quest for another championship. The Bulldogs entered the state playoffs on an 8-game winning streak and were looking to put an early end to the Pirates season.

The first game of Thursday’s twin-bill got off to a slow start with the game remaining scoreless through the first two innings. In the bottom of the third inning, Braden Osbolt opened the scoring with an RBI single that was abruptly followed by Mason Trucks RBI double and finally an RBI single for Kaleb Hammond and a 3-0 lead. The Pirates added five runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to close out game 1 with a 10-0 victory. Mason Trucks threw four scoreless innings to get the win, and Trevor Bagwell closed the game with two strong innings of relief. The defense shined in game 1 but especially Caden Swift who was perfect – throwing out three runners attempting to steal second base.

In the second game, Braden Osbolt threw six strong innings and Jake Carden closed the game with a solid inning of relief. The Pirates offense got on the board early with five runs in the first and three runs in the third and coasted to a 10-1 series-clinching victory. Ridge Smith had a solid game offensively for the Pirates, and Coleman Johnson made two highlight plays in left field to pace the defensive effort.

The victories on Thursday pushed the Pirates to the Sweet 16 round of GHSA play-offs this week.

They will be at home again and will face off against the Sonoraville Phoenix on Wednesday, May 4 at The Jack. The Phoenix come to Pike County fresh off sweeping Oconee County on the road. Sonoraville sports a 22-7 season record, as well as being the #3 seed from region 6-AAA.

Game times are set for 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon with a potential deciding game three scheduled for 4 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.

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