Cleveland High swept Gaston in the second round of the Class 2A state baseball playoffs on Friday (Apr. 24) at GHS.
The Panthers took the first game by a score of 7-6, followed by a 6-4 victory in Game 2.
In the opener, Gaston took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning courtesy of Jesse Samples scoring on a wild pitch and a RBI single from Javonte Pope.
Gaston’s advantage was short-lived, as the visitors pushed across six runs in the top of the third for a 6-2 lead.
Javonte Pope, JD Pope, Sawyer Bryson and Bryant Allen scored in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game, but Cleveland took the lead for good with a run in the top of the sixth.
Only one of the final seven Gaston batters reached base.
As the home team in game 2, the Panthers took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning before Gabe Crain and Jesse Samples came home in the top of the fourth to draw the hosts within a run on a single by Javonte Pope.
Cleveland, however, plated three more runs in the fourth to make a 6-3 lead.
The Bulldogs had a chance in the top of the seventh by way of Allen Black’s leadoff double and Bryson’s RBI base hit.
The next two batters struck out and flied out, however, ending the Bulldogs’ season at 14-13.