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Flowery Branch puts away Arabia Mountain in two-game sweep to open 4A baseball playoffs
Baseball 2022
Flowery Branch's Riley Mitchell throws across the diamond in Game 1 against Arabia Mountain in the first-round Class 4A playoff series Wednesday at the Hog Mountain Sports Complex. - photo by Bill Murphy

Jake Beaver has been an ace on the mound during his four-year career for Flowery Branch. 

But, when he was called on to start Wednesday, he was needed just to compete at a high level, after experiencing a minor injury just two weeks ago. 

Facing Arabia Mountain in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs, Beaver was sound for four innings before giving up a couple runs in the fifth inning to complete the series sweep with a 9-2 win.

“Jake did a great job,” Flowery Branch coach Joey Ray said. “He was eager to get the ball today and go out and compete for his team.”

Flowery Branch won Game 1 of the best-of-three series 14-4. 

Now advancing to Round 2, the Falcons (20-10) await a trip to Lagrange next week. Game times are still to be determined. 

With Beaver setting the tone on the mound in the nightcap, Flowery Branch got the scoring starting in the second inning as Austin Bourrie scored on a bunt from Kyle Adamec to the third base line. 

Then in the fourth inning, the Falcons plated two more runs on a fly out to deep right field from Connor Edwards. With two runners in scoring position, the lead runner tagged and made it home before the throw to the plate went to the backstop, allowing another run to score. 

Kade Smallwood would add a two-run triple in the fifth inning. 

Then in the sixth inning, Edwards lined a lead-off double to the outfield. 

Beaver was cruising along on the mound until the fifth inning when the Rams loaded the bases. Their first run scored on a passed ball, then the second came in when the batter was hit by a pitch and no bases open. 

Still, Flowery Branch didn’t panic as it went to the bullpen in the sixth inning and got solid work from Ethan Mieldezis. 

In the opener, Flowery Branch didn’t need a hero at the plate. The Falcons simply took what was given to them and closed the game out in four innings. 

Flowery Branch drew 11 walks and stole 10 bases. 

“We didn’t play perfect today, but we played pretty aggressively,” Ray said. 

Bourrie was the only Falcons player in Game 1 with multiple hits. 

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