Veterans jumped out to a quick lead Wednesday in Game 3 of its GHSA Class AAAA quarterfinal series at St. Pius X, rolling to a 6-1 victory and a spot in the semifinals.
Playing as the designated home team, Veterans scored two runs in the bottom of the first on Leyton Pinckney’s two-out double. He added a sacrifice fly in the third to drive home another run, and Tyler Daughtry’s two-run homer in the fifth put Veterans up 5-0.
The Warhawks scored their final run on a fielder’s choice play in the sixth. St. Pius’ run came on a balk in the top of the seventh.
“Tyler tacked on a couple of runs with the home run, and that helped us,” Veterans head coach David Coffey said. “Leyton really set the tone with the first inning and that two-out, two-on shot.”
Daughtry, the winning pitcher, scattered three hits in six innings of shutout work before giving way to Griff Faircloth in the final inning. Daughtry struck out three and walked three.
Offensively, Daughtry went 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI. Jacob Giles went 2-for-3, as well, while Gabe Holt scored two runs.
“I can’t say enough about the pitching staff,” Coffey said. “All three rounds, they’ve been amazing.
“For Game 3, I thought we might have to piece something together, get three or four innings out of Tyler, and we got six. Just an amazing job by him.”
Veterans (21-11) will host Whitewater on Monday in the semifinals. Whitewater swept its quarterfinal series, defeating North Hall 8-2 and 10-1.
Buford will travel to the winner of the Wayne County-Cartersville series in the other semifinal. Buford swept Locust Grove 10-0 and 8-5, while Wayne County and Cartersville split their doubleheader and will finish their series Thursday in Jesup.
“Whitewater is a quality team,” Coffey said. “They played Houston County for the (Class AAAAA) title last year and fell a little bit short. They return everybody, and they have D-I guys all over the field. Certainly our work is cut out for us.”