Originally created 05/07/02

Evans earns playoff berth



Only 72 hours and five innings after the Evans baseball team destroyed McIntosh in game one of their Region 4-AAAAA playoff showdown, the Knights finally got around to finishing the job Monday.

Evans starting pitcher John Wehr scattered seven hits and one earned run, and the Knights, led by catcher Michael Armstrong's two RBI, scored eight runs in the final three innings to get by the visiting Chiefs 9-2, earning a series sweep and a state playoff berth.

For Evans coach Ricky Beale, whose team mercy-ruled McIntosh 10-0 Friday and then had to wait three days to play because of inclement weather, it was a nice way to start the postseason.

"We've been hitting the ball real good lately," Beale said. "When we can do that, I'll take our chances with anybody."

Especially with the way the Knights (19-6, 13-4 Region 4-AAAAA) played defense Monday. Backed by some solid glove work from third baseman Seth Newsome, Evans turned four double plays to get Wehr out of a couple jams.

"That was real big," said Wehr, whose record improved to 6-1. "You know, a double play is a pitcher's best friend."

But so is a rabid Knights offense, which got nasty in the fifth. Tied at 1-1, McIntosh (14-10-1, 10-7) starter Tim Battle - who struggled with his control all game (six walks, four wild pitches) - walked two batters before balking in a run and giving up an RBI double to Jon Lee and a sacrifice fly to Armstrong to make it 4-1.

His relief wasn't much better, and the Knights got RBI hits from Ryan Page and Travis Clark off McIntosh's John King in the seventh to put the Chiefs away for good.

"Tim had enough gas to keep us close," Chiefs assistant coach Joe Muck said. "But they got a couple of key hits and we had that fluke balk, and the momentum just shifted."

Reach Josh Katzowitz at (706) 823-3216 or josh.katzowitz@augustachronicle.com