Evans' bats come alive

For a while Wednesday, Travis Ward thought his second-inning run would be the only one Evans could muster during its deciding game against Glynn Academy.

The senior reached on a walk, moved to third on a passed ball and a wild pitch, and scored on a fielder's choice. It was the only type of offense Glynn Academy starter Blake Strickland allowed through five innings.

"I really did think I was going to be the only one," Ward said. "Because he was dealing."

But Evans finally broke through with a big sixth-inning and beat the Terrors 7-1 to clinch the Class AAAA second-round playoff series.

The Knights will go on the road to face defending state champion Loganville on Tuesday in the best-of-three quarterfinals. The Red Devils defeated Lakeside-Dekalb 3-1 and 6-3 in their second-round series.

"All we know right now is defending state champs," Ward said. "That's all we've heard so far."

Glynn Academy was eliminated after pulling off the biggest upset of the playoffs during the first round, beating nationally ranked Lee County in two games. Wednesday's loss was the final game for coach Chuck Fehr, who is retiring after 33 seasons and 485 career wins.

After the game, Fehr spoke to each of his players individually and passed out hugs.

"I just thanked them for what they did," Fehr said. "Really, this is the furthest we've gone in many years."

The Knights pulled away in the sixth. Two Evans players were hit by pitches, and two reached on errors.

Evans coach Ricky Beale kept the pressure on, calling for a double steal with one out to put Kevin Caughman and Jeffrey Rice in scoring position.

Both scored when Tyler Barden reached on a two-out error.

"They're too good of a team to sit on any type of lead," Beale said. "We had to get as many as we could to try to keep the momentum."

After the Terrors scored 11 runs to win Game 1, the Knights held them to two during the final 14 innings.

Barden started for Evans in Game 3. He allowed only two hits through five innings.

He left with two on and none out in the top of the sixth. Reliever Zack Minter immediately picked off the runner on first and retired the next five batters, allowing only a sacrifice fly.

Reach Stephen Fastenau at (706) 863-6165 ext. 116 or stephen.fastenau@augustachronicle.com.

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