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Seminoles in Final Four
Crumbley dominant for Salem in Game 3 win over Lee County

LEESBURG - And then there were four.

Salem joined three other Class AAAA baseball teams Wednesday by advancing to the Final Four of the state playoffs with a 4-1 win over Lee County in Game 3 of the Seminoles' quarterfinal series with the Trojans.

After the two teams split Tuesday's twin bill by lopsided scores, Wednesday's game could have been another barn-burner.

Someone just forgot to tell Brandon Crumbley.

Crumbley took the mound for the Seminoles and was on point from the start. He pitched six scoreless innings before allowing one run in Lee County's last at-bat.

Offensively, Salem did exactly what it did in Game 1 of the series on Tuesday - capitalize on Lee County errors.

The Trojans committed two errors in the first inning, and Crumbley and Taylor Lamb made them pay. Crumbley delivered an RBI single to score Dustin Dunlop and Lamb followed it up with an RBI knock to plate Jake Dyer, giving Salem a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Meanwhile, Crumbley kept the Trojan bats on ice, allowing just four hits in seven innings of work. He fanned four batters and walked three.

Salem added to its lead in the bottom of the sixth off a towering two-run shot by Dunlop, making it 4-0.

Lee County added its only run in the top of the seventh, but it was too little, too late.

The win earns Salem its first trip to the Final Four of the state baseball playoffs.

"This is unbelievable. They came out and just played a complete game," Davis said of his team. "Brandon (Crumbley) pitched a great game, and the team as whole played a solid game.

"I think he (Crumbley) just wanted the ball. He believed in everyone he was playing with today. He believed in the team. He didn't try to overthrow. He just trusted the people behind him."

The win was also amazing considering the Seminoles were playing short-handed. Drew Dentler was out after being ejected in Tuesday's nightcap.

On a more somber note, Jonathan Brewer will miss the rest of the season after breaking a bone in his neck while sliding into home plate last night.

"They're transporting him (Brewer) back to Atlanta to see a new specialist, and barring any change of opinion, I believe they're going to set up an operation for (today)," Davis said.

Davis also was gracious in thanking Lee County's administrators and trainers for all of their help in what ended up being a very grueling series for both teams.

"I really appreciate everything Lee County did for us over the series. I'm a Lee County baseball fan," Davis said.

The Seminoles, which have now won three straight series on the road, will play the winner of the Greenbrier-Loganville series.

Brandon Evans can be reached at brandon.evans@rockdalecitizen.com.