Patriots pitcher Austin Childers needed only three pitches in the seventh inning to seal Westside’s doubleheader sweep of Metter, 3-1 and 5-3, on Friday.
The win advances the Patriots to the second round of the Class AA state tournament. They will be at home in that round as well, with a doubleheader likely to be played Wednesday.
“It’s just a two-out-of-three thing. It doesn’t matter which two. Had we split, I’d be saying the same thing,” Patriots coach Gerald Barnes said. “But it’s good to get it done.”
Westside starting pitchers David Hagelston and Childers both pitched well, with Hagelston striking out nine to get the win in the first game. Childers then settled in after allowing two first-inning runs, setting down 12 in a row at one stretch in the second game.
The Patriots (20-7) also saw their bats wake up in the second game after Westside got only three hits in the opener. At the end of the Game 2’s first inning, Westside already had three hits.
Chandler Silas was the most consistent offensive threat for the Region 3-AA champions, getting six total hits in the doubleheader. He was at his best in the second game, however, going 4 for 4.
Westside ran itself out of more runs in the second game, but it had a trick to get out of potential damage. In the bottom of the sixth, with it just 4-3 Patriots, and the Tigers (14-13) had two on and two out.
That’s when Childers faked a throw to second base. The fielders pretended the throw went into the outfield, causing the runner on second to take off for third. But Childers had the ball the entire time and sped toward third to tag the runner.
Childers then needed only those three pitches to eliminate the tough No. 4 seed.