The homestanding Wildcats won the opener 11-1 in a five-inning mercy-rule victory, then followed that performance with a 10-2 victory in Game 2 to advance to the second round.
The Wildcats (27-4), ranked No. 3 in the state, got it done with the barrel of their big bats in each game, albeit it in a different fashion.
In Game 1, four different hitters had multiple hits for White Plains, led by shortstop Brock Wright’s grand slam in the third that took the score from 6-1 to 10-1. Wright finished 2-for-3 with five RBIs. Jonathan Bradshaw was 2-for-2 and knocked in a pair of runs. Zach Cunningham was 3-for-4 and Konnor Amis was 2-for-3 and scored two runs.
Justin Turner recorded the win on the mound for the Wildcats, going all five innings while giving up four hits and striking out seven.
Dalton Screws led the Panthers at the plate, going 2-for-3, while Preston Woodard took the loss.
In Game 2, no one had more than one hit for the White Plains.
However, two big hits, one from starting pitcher Caed Turner and another from Justin Turner, accounted for six of the Wildcats’ 10 runs.
Caed Turner got all over a 1-1 pitch from Wellborn starter Dillon Poore in the top of the first inning and sent it sailing over the 345-foot marker in left-center for a three-run home run that put White Plains ahead 5-0.
“I was looking for a dead-read fastball, and that’s what I got,” Caed said. “I just took advantage of the situation and did the best I could.”
Justin Turner drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double to deep centerfield that pushed the score to 10-1 in the fourth, following an RBI-single from Cunningham.
“I think we played very well the first game,” White Plains coach Chad Hudson said. “We did a good job of putting the ball in play. In the second game, we got the big lead early and then we didn’t really bat well the rest of the game. We’re going to need to get better at that, moving forward.”
White Plains will face Leeds in the second round. The Green Wave swept Glencoe, winning 12-4 and 3-2.
Caed, who is signed to Jefferson State Community College, overcame somewhat of a rough first inning in Game 2, during which he gave up a run and a double. He rebounded by striking out the side in the second. He repeatd the feat in the fifth. He finished with 11 strikeouts in six innings of work, giving up two runs, one earned, and just three hits.
“The first inning was a little tough starting out,” Caed said. “That happens to me. I’m up and down some games. It happened before the fifth inning too. Then I came back and struck out three. I can’t really explain it.”
Pitching Justin in Game 1 and Caed in Game 2 worked in each of the Area 10 series for the Wildcats, who went undefeated on their way to the title.
“This gives us a lot of momentum going into the next round, especially after we fell short last year,” Justin said. “Now, we’ve got one under our belt.”
Wellborn’s Brandon Woodard was 2-for-4 with a double to lead the way offensively.
Taylor Vera came on for the Panthers (17-12) following Justin’s double. He didn’t give up a run and struck out six. Vera also added an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the first.