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High school baseball: Flowery Branch splits first two games against Arabia Mountain in second-round playoff series
Game 3 set for 4 p.m. Friday in Lithonia

Baseball coach Joey Ray received his 200th career win as his Flowery Branch High program split with Arabia Mountain in a second-round doubleheader in the best-of-three playoff series Thursday in Lithonia.

Kaleb Freeman went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI, while AJ Gonzalez (2 for 3) and Connor Larson (2 for 4) each drove in a run to boost the No. 3 seeded Falcons to a 7-6 win in Game 1. Andrew Armstrong was the winning pitcher for Flowery Branch (19-16), striking out six over six innings. Gonzalez was credited with the save.

The Falcons fell, 4-2, in the nightcap game despite Zander Sechrist’s (six innings pitched) 11 strikeout performance from the mound.

Grant Lackey (1 for 4) connected for an RBI-double and Andrew Armstrong (2 for 3) was the lone Falcon with a multi-hit performance from the plate. Connor Larson (1 for 3) and Trace Merck (1 for 2) both cross the plate for Flowery Branch.

Both teams reset for the decisive Game 3 scheduled for 4 p.m. today in Lithonia.

BUFORD SWEEPS SECOND-ROUND DOUBLEHEADER: The No. 2 seeded Wolves advanced in the Class 5A baseball tournament defeating Decatur, 10-2 and 5-4 in Decatur.

Evan Place (2 for 4) and Brandon Jolliff (1 for 3) combined for six RBI, while Garrison Price connected for a three-run homer for Buford (23-11). Wolves’ starting pitcher Ramsey David struck out 11 batters over 6 1/3 innings to get the win. 

In Game 2, Reese McIntyre went 3 for 4 with an RBI to lead Buford’s order. Price (1 for 3) and Grant James (1 for 3), each drove in a run for the Wolves as well. Buford starting pitcher Sean Adams struck out seven over four innings before handing it over to the Wolves’ bullpen. Garrett Glover got the win in relief, striking out five in two innings pitched. Classmate C.J. Couch was credited with the save.

Buford moves on to play the winner of Ola/Wayne County next Wednesday at a time to be determined.

Compiled by Sarah Woodall

High school scores can be reported each night by 10:30 p.m. by calling 770-718-3415 or email