Etowah and Creekview split their first-round playoff series Friday night, and rain left them to complete their series Monday — Creekview at 5 p.m., Etowah at 6 p.m.
The county’s only other playoff team, River Ridge, was swept by Marist in its postseason debut, 9-0 and 7-0.
Etowah (18-10) split at Parkview. After pounding out an 11-6 victory in the opener, they blew 7-3 lead by giving up seven runs in the seventh inning and eventually lost 12-7.
Coach Greg Robinson said he was encouraged by the way his players hit the ball in the opening game, but five errors in the second game proved costly.
In the opening game, the Eagles scored two runs in the first inning, five in the fourth and four in the seventh.
“We had three big innings,” Robinson said. “Throughout the lineup, everybody just seemed to have some really timely hitting. Hitting is a contagious thing. We had three big innings against the defending back-to-back state champion, and last year’s national champion, so I was really proud of our guys to go over there, get off the bus and have some really good innings.”
H.D. Dillard and Will Campbell each had four hits, with one of Campbell’s coming in the form of a home run. Bryan White pitched a complete game, working out of more than one jam.
The Eagles were set up well going into Game 2, and their bats remained hot.
Parkview led 3-1 after the second inning, but Etowah came back in a big way. With six runs in the third inning, the Eagles went up 7-3, but they wouldn’t score again. Instead, the Panthers profited from a serious of errors.
Etowah outhit Parkview, with Dillard and Campbell each contributing two hits. Joey Hume had three hits, and Tanner Shelton pitched into the seventh, but it was all for naught after five errors.
“You can’t play like that against a quality opponent like Parkview,” Robinson said. “We set them up for a couple of big innings. Now, we have to go back there for Game 3 on Monday.”
Going into the series, Robinson said he would have been pleased with a split, but after seeing how close the Eagles came to winning in two games, he is a bit disappointed.
“I think everybody is confident now,” he said. “We swung that bat with confidence, and that was something we had been lacking all season. We are excited about the opportunity to go out there again. A lot of teams are sitting at home and we are still in it for a chance to move on to the next round.”
The story was similar for Creekview in the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs. The Grizzlies split a pair of one-run games with visiting Lakeside-DeKalb.
Coach Mike Nayman is just happy to be around to play another day. He could have to wait again, though, with the National Weather Service having set a 60-percent chance of rain for Monday night.
“We are going to go out there Monday and give it a shot,” he said. “If we can’t play Monday, we will get it in Tuesday.”
The Grizzlies are familiar with rainouts, having had a few this season, but Nayman said his players will be fired up and ready to go again as soon as the weather allows.