By Kent Jeffers

For The North Jefferson News




JACKSONVILLE — It's the playoffs, so throw Issac Gunn's strict pitch count out of the window.

The senior lefty threw a complete game for Pleasant Valley in the second game—a 6-1 Raider win —of its doubleheader sweep of Fultondale on Friday. The Raiders won the first game 8-6. The two wins were good enough for the Raiders to advance to the second round of the AHSAA baseball playoffs.

The Raiders won't have to worry about "tomorrow." They avoided having to play the Wildcats in a deciding game 3 that would have been played at 1 p.m. today.

Ben Haynes hit a grand slam in the fifth inning of the second game to give the Raiders a 4-0 lead.

Gunn would only give one of the runs back on the way to his first seven-inning outing of the year.

Ben Haynes also homered in the first game of the day, a game which didn't come as easily for the Raiders.

Fultondale took a 3-0 in the second inning. By the end of the third, it was tied.

The fourth is when the Raider bats came alive, when Haynes hit a two-run shot. Three hitters and one run later, Chris Brittain hit a two-run homer, making the score 8-3.

Fultondale would score three in the top of the sixth off of pitchers Cody Ponder and Cameron Fortenberry, but any threat ended there.

“I thought we let one slip away today in the first game,” Fultondale head coach Scott Sisk said. “We had our chances, but didn’t take advantage of all of them.”

Nathan Graham, who ended the season without a strikeout in 57 at bats, went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Jordan Fowler went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Steven Dodgen went 2-for-4 with one RBI. Chris Conn (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season, as he allowed five hits, but only four earned runs.

In the nightcap, Landon Robinson (2-1), also lost for the first time, as he allowed four hits, five runs and three earned runs. He struck out seven.

“I’m proud of this club,” Sisk said. “From day one until today, we improved. We had a lot of question marks, coming into the season, but our guys stayed positive and keep working and keep getting better.”

Fultondale ended the season with a 12-7 record.

Ben Haynes' older brother finished the day as the leading hitter for either side, going a combined 7-for-8.

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