SPRINGFIELD -- The never-say-die Effingham County Rebels' quest for the Class AAAAAA baseball championship is very much alive.
The Rebels (28-5) swept the Valdosta Wildcats (23-10) 3-2 and 9-1 Thursday to qualify for the quarterfinal round next week at Winder-Barrow. The Bulldoggs defeated the Rebels 14-0 on March 2..
In Game 1 Thursday, Effingham County rallied from a 2-0 deficit. The clinching blow was a bases-loaded squeeze bunt by Ryan Harley that plated Holden Fields, who was pinch running for Chandler Hinely.
Hinely, Christian Campbell and Chase Howze also got aboard during the rally.
Late-inning heroics were unnecessary in Game 2 as the Rebels dominated throughout the contest.
Effingham County got stellar pitching in both games. Ethan Johnson gave up only three hits while going the distance in Game 1 and Merritt Evans notched nine strikeouts while twirling six frames in the nightcap.
Campbell had three RBI in Game 2 and Dustin Johnson added a pair.
See the May 8 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.