After the first swing, a high, arcing blast that bounced off the roof of the building behind the right-field wall, Kyle Carter thought he had seen his last inside pitch of the day.
He was wrong.
In his next at-bat, Carter turned on another inside pitch to lead offGame 2 and help spark Columbus High's doubleheader sweep over Arabia Mountain, 10-0 and 14-0, at Randy Jordan Field in the first round of the Georgia High School Association Class AAA state baseball playoffs Friday afternoon.
His first homer was a walk-off grand slam to end Game 1 by the mercy rule in the fifth inning.
"I didn't know, after I hit the walk-off, I didn't think they were going to come back in," Carter said. "But they did, I saw it and just
Columbus High (25-3) had little trouble seeing the ball Friday.
In Game 1, all but one of the Blue Devils' 10 runs came from the long ball.
Josh Lester started the scoring with a three-run blast off Rams' starter Jordan Scott in the third. Two innings later, JT Phillips took a pitch the opposite way over the right-field fence for a two-run shot.
Then in the fifth, after an RBI sacrifice fly by Lester, Carter ended the game early with a two-out swing that sent the ball flying over the right-field fence.
Carter also held Arabia Mountain's offense to just one hit in five innings to get the win on the mound.
Then he started off Game 2 by hitting his second homer.
"I was more relaxed up there than I've been lately," Carter said. "I was just looking for something white, and I was hitting it."
Arabia Mountain (15-11) never recovered from Carter's second blast. Sparked by the big swings, the Blue Devils sent 14 players to the plate in the first inning of Game 2, rapped out nine hits and staked themselves to a 9-0 lead right away.
"All around, we've got some good players on our team that can really hit," Phillips said. "And the pitches were pretty straight and flat, so we hit it pretty well."
Phillips made sure the Rams' lineup never mounted a challenge. Asked to start the second game, Phillips mowed through Arabia Mountain's lineup with eight strikeouts in the first three innings, the only blemish coming on a triple by Eugene Mabota in the third.
But by that time, Columbus High's lineup had put the game out of reach.
Phillips finished 2-for-2, Pierce Ressmeyer belted two RBI doubles and every starter reached base in a 16-hit barrage to end Game 2 early.
"We got off to a slow start in the first game," Phillips said. "But then we got going, and it all came together."
Friday at Randy Jordan Field
Arabia Mountain 000 00--0 1 1
Columbus High 030 25--10 7 1
WP -- Kyle Carter. LP -- Jordan Scott. Leading hitters -- Arabia Mountain Nick Graham 1-1. Columbus Kyle Carter 1-2, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R; Josh Lester 1-2, HR, 4 RBI; J.T. Phillips 1-2, HR, 2 RBI; Anthony Padron 2-3, 2 R.
Columbus High 902 30--14 16 0
Arabia Mountain 000 00--0 2 1
WP -- J.T. Phillips. LP -- Alfred Francis. Leading hitters -- Columbus High Pierce Ressmeyer 2-3, 2B, RBI; Kyle Carter, 1-3, HR, RBI; J.T. Phillips 2-2, RBI, 2 R; Josh Lester 2-3, RBI. Arabia Mountain Nick Graham 1-1, 3B; Eugene Mabota 1-1, 3B.