The Thomas County Central Yellow Jackets exploded for 13 runs in the first two innings of a decisive third game and ended the Effingham County Rebels’ season with a 21-4 victory Saturday in the Class AAAA state baseball playoffs.
In the three games, the Yellow Jackets (19-10) scored 44 runs. They will meet Woodward Academy in the second round.
The Rebels (16-12) won the first game 12-11 as Jonathan Rotureau hit a grand slam and made a diving stop with two on and two out in the seventh inning to preserve the victory.
But the Yellow Jackets, behind Taylor Payne and Brandon Bynum, rebounded for a 12-1 win in Game 2. Bynum gave up four hits, walked four and struck out three.
Rotureau’s RBI single drove in Effingham’s lone run of the second game.
Thomas County Central jumped out with five runs in the first inning off Dylan Scott, getting two bases-loaded walks.
Payne had four hits for the Yellow Jackets.