High School Sports

Fitzgerald headed to Wesleyan in baseball playoffs

Fitzgerald opened the GHSA Class AA baseball playoffs by winning series at home.

Then the Purple Hurricane made the trip from south Georgia through Middle Georgia to west Georgia and beat Heard County in three games.

Now, Fitzgerald will have to travel more than three hours to take on Wesleyan in a semifinal best-of-three series, which begins at 3:30 p.m. on Monday.

Fitzgerald is in the semifinals for the first time in program history and takes a 23-8 record to metro Atlanta, while Wesleyan is 27-4.

Both are region champions, while the Wolves haven’t left home for the playoffs, and they have won all six of their games with an average margin of victory of 9.7 runs with five shutouts.

The Purple Hurricane have had two three-game series in the postseason, and they’ve on been a roller-coaster ride. After beating Long County 15-0 and 10-4, Fitzgerald had to beat Union County 5-3 in the third game.

The trip to Heard County was a wild one. The Braves won the opener 10-0, with the Purple Hurricane getting four hits with two errors. Fitzgerald flipped the script in the second game with a 10-0 win, with Heard County having four hits and two errors.

But the Purple Hurricane were clutch in the finale, trailing 4-3 entering the bottom of the seventh.

Johnny Croley led off with a double and scored the game-tying run on Moah McMinn’s single. A sacrifice bunt from Ryan Davis followed, and Caleb Ray -- who was the game-winning pitcher in the second game -- drove in McMinn with the game-winning run.

Darlington hosts Rabun County in the other semifinal. The Fitzgerald-Wesleyan winner will host the state championship.