Defense and pitching set the tone for Evans in the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.
Starters Garrett Wilkinson and Kyle Anderson combined to allow eight hits, the defense committed no errors and the Knights swept away Ware County, 3-0 and 3-1.
Evans (18-6) advances to play Tuesday at Hardaway in the second round.
“Our pitchers have given us a chance all year,” Evans coach Ricky Beale said. “We played a great game defensively.”
Ware County (15-10-1) never got on track, though the Gators threatened in the first game. Wilkinson, who struck out four, walked four and allowed just three hits to notch the complete-game win, escaped jams in the first, second and fourth innings, stranding eight runners.
“I’ve got confidence in the defense. I can throw whatever pitches I want to throw,” Wilkinson said. “(Catcher) Matt (Anderson) is going to block it if I throw a breaking ball in the dirt. It gives me confidence.”
Evans did all its damage in the second inning, taking advantage of RaeKwon Bennett reaching on an error. Two hitters later, Andrew Smith smacked an RBI double. Kelvin McCladdie followed with an RBI groundout, while Wilkinson added an RBI single for a 3-0 lead.
Ware County threatened in the fourth with Laban Faulk and Grayson Yeomans opening with leadoff singles. But after Austin Chaney advanced the runners with a sac bunt, Wilkinson struck out Kobe Manders and Josh Aspinwall to escape unscathed.
In the second game, Wilkinson led off with a single and came around to score on a Jeremy Clements sacrifice fly. Bennett added an RBI single for an early 2-0 lead.
Clements struck again in the fourth, blasting a fastball over the right-field fence for his first career home run.
Kyle Anderson pitched into the seventh, allowing one run on five hits.