Lovett (20-11) defeated Calhoun 2-games-to-1 in their best-of-three series. The Lions won the opening game 12-1 and lost the nightcap 6-4 last Wednesday before clinching the series with a 9-2 victory in the third and deciding contest last Thursday.
Mitch Stallings was the winning pitcher for Lovett in game one, while Willie Candler took the win on the mound for the Lions in the decisive third and final game.
“I’m proud of the way we competed in game three after losing a tough game two in extra innings,” Lovett coach Lance Oubs said. “We got an exceptional pitching performance from Willie Candler and took advantage of the opportunities we had to score runs.”
Aaron Schunk was 5-for-7 with a double, while Nick Cancelliere was 4-for-9 with a double, Grant Haley was 5-for-14 with a home run and Robert Winborne was 5-for-14 to lead Lovett at the plate.
The Lions opened their bid for a second straight state title with a two-game sweep of Rabun County May 2, winning the first game 4-0 and the second contest 9-0.
Westminster (23-7) also stayed alive with a two-game sweep of Coosa last Wednesday, winning both games by a 10-2 margin.
Rankin Woley went 6-for-8 with a home run and three RBIs, while Jake Forte was 3-for-7 with two homers and six RBIs and Will Benson was 4-for-5 with an inside-the-park homer to lead the Wildcats at the plate.
Hunter Davis went the distance —recording nine strikeouts and walking only one hitter — to take the win on the mound for Westminster in the first game.
Conrad Cornell was the winning pitcher in the second contest, giving up only two runs in five innings.
Westminster remains undefeated in the postseason, having swept Oglethorpe County in two games (11-1, 14-5) May 2.
The Wildcats were hitting .436 as a team, scoring 45 runs and giving up only seven earned runs in their first four postseason games.
Leading the way at the plate were Woley (11-for-16, five RBIs), Cornell (10-for-15, four RBIs), Nelson Douglas (9-for-13, six RBIs), Benson (8-for-13, three RBIs) and Forte (6-for-16, 11 RBIs).
Westminster hosted Westside, Augusta and Lovett went on the road to take on Benedictine in their best-of-three AA quarterfinal series, which began with two games Tuesday and a possible third game, if needed, Wednesday. Results were not available at press time.
As they entered the quarterfinals, Lovett and Westminster were still on track for a possible rematch of their AA state championship series of a year ago – which the Lions won in three games.
Meanwhile, Pace saw its season come to an end after after losing in two games to Hebron Christian in a Class A private school second-round series last Wednesday.
The Knights lost to Hebron 10-7 in the first game and then was defeated 5-0 in the second contest.
Pace defeated Athens Christian in two games in its first-round series May 2 – winning the first game 7-5 and game two 4-3.