Spirited run ends for Lewis' squad


GRAY, Ga. --- Derek Beasley and Tyler James were unstoppable in the opening game of Harlem's second round playoff series against Jones County.


The rest of their teammates couldn't match their offensive production, and the Bulldogs couldn't keep up with Jones County's power surge in a 9-4 loss in the opener of the best-of-three series in the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.

Jones County lefty Kyle Perry quieted the Harlem bats for most of Game 2 for a 6-2 win and a series sweep.

"They were just a better team than us," Harlem head coach Jimmie Lewis said. "If we play two more (today), they probably win both."

Beasley and James were a combined 8 for 8 with four runs scored and four RBI.

The rest of Harlem's lineup went 3 for 27. Beasley, the No. 3 hitter, knocked in James, the leadoff hitter, in four of the seven innings.

In three of those instances, James led off the inning with a base hit.

Perry held Beasley and James to a 2 for 6 effort in Game 2, and reliever Dylan Durpee retired both the one time he faced them.

"I thought we had a good matchup with lefty vs. lefty in Game 2, and Perry did a good job of keeping them off balance," Jones County head coach Barry Veal said. "I don't think Beasley ever slowed down. He's a great hitter."

The Greyhounds showed their offensive prowess throughout Game 1 and in spurts of Game 2.

Zach Blount hit a grand slam and Cody Lanford added a two-run home run in the first game.

Perry allowed two runs and three hits through 5Q innings pitched, and Dupree came in to close the door on the Bulldogs in Game 2.

Jones County will travel to Whitewater on Tuesday in the quarterfinals.

"I'm not trying to sound cocky, but we expect to be in this position year in and year out," Veal said. "And it's because the talent of these players."

The Greyhounds got their bats in gear midway through Game 1, and they stayed hot at the plate the rest of the day save for a three-inning stretch in Game 2.

Blount's third-inning grand slam came after Terrance Gore's attempted sacrifice bunt went past the pitcher for a single to load the bases.

Blount drilled a home run over the outstretched glove of center fielder Zach Morris, who was hanging on the Greyhounds' outfield fence in an attempt to rob the homer.

"I don't think there is a better feeling than hitting a grand slam," Blount said. "I was really just trying to get a bat on the ball and make good contact."

The home run put the Greyhounds up 4-2 and they continued to cushion the lead with big innings later in the game.

Jones County's offensive burst in Game 2 came on a two-run home run by Cody Evans in the fifth inning and a two-run double in the sixth inning by Blount to put the Greyhounds up 6-1.