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STEM — The Granville Central Panthers captured an 8-1 win over Jones County in the first round of the NCHSAA 1A baseball playoffs May 7.
Granville Central broke the game open in the second inning with a double by Brady Smith. Austin Falls reached first on an error by the Jones County pitcher. Billy Blevins singled to score Smith and Falls for a 2-0 lead.
Wyatt Laws was able to reach first on an error by the third baseman and Blevins scored on the play. Hunter Tressler hit into a fielder’s choice and Blevins scored for a 4-0 lead after two innings.
Maitland Howard drew a walk in the top of the third inning for Jones, but the Trojans left him stranded at second.
JJ Tilley, starting pitcher for the Panthers, helped himself with a double to start the home half of the third inning. Tilley was able to move to third on a sacrifice bunt by Caleb Underwood. The Panthers left Tilley at third at the end of the inning.
Jones scratched in the top of the fourth inning. Tanner Batchelor singled to start the fourth inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Raegan Rouse.
Joe Delossantos started the home half of the fifth inning with a double and scored on a singled by James Marshburn to give the Panthers a 5-1 lead.
Underwood hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Marshburn to extend the lead. Smith hit his second double of the game and sent Underwood home for a 7-1 lead.
Falls hit a single into the gap that scored Smith, giving Granville Central an 8-1 advantage after five innings of play.
Tilley looked to go the distance on the mound and made quick work of Jones in the top of the sixth and seventh inning. The Panthers held on for the 8-1 first round win in the playoffs.
Granville Central moved to 14-8 on the season and advanced to play in the second round of the playoffs.
Tilley was the winning pitcher. He needed just 85 pitches to defeat the Trojans.
Statistics — Austin Falls (1-for-3, RBI), Billy Blevins (2-for-3, RBI, 2B), Caleb Underwood (RBI), James Marshburn (1-for-3, RBI), JJ Tilley (1-for-4, 2B), Joe Delossantos (1-for-2, 2B), Brady Smith (2-for-4, RBI, 2 2B) and Hunter Tressler (1-for-4, RBI).