GARY — Atlanta rallied back from a 1-0 deficit in the series to double-dip White Oak Friday to claim the series victory in dominant fashion.
Max Ebarb avenged a brief and rocky appearance in the opener, when he allowed five runs in less than an inning, by throwing five innings of 1-hit ball to power the Rabbits to a 14-2 run-rule win in Game 3 at Gary's Bobcat FIeld.
Earlier Friday, Atlanta (19-8-1) bested the Roughnecks (22-10-1) in Game 2 with a late rally for an 8-2 victory. The Rabbs advance to play Van Alstyne in the Region II-3A semifinals next week.
Ebarb threw 68 pitches and gave up two runs on one hit. He struck out four, walked two and hit one, settling down after a shaky first inning.
Kade Wood notched a pair of strikeouts in the sixth to close out the game.
After closing out Game 2 with seven unanswered runs, Atlanta kept the offense going in the rubber game.
The Rabbs sent 10 batters to the dish in the first, chased the White Oak starter and led 5-0 before the Roughnecks ever picked up a bat. White Oak plated a pair in the bottom of the first, but Ebarb settled down and retired 12 in a row after closing the first with back-to-back strikeouts.
That streak was snapped with a walk in the bottom of the fifth, when the Rabbs led 7-2. A double play erased the base runner.
Atlanta started the game with seven straight hits.
Jacob Young had the lone hit off Ebarb in the first, which saw a walk and hit batsman also. Both runs scored on wild pitches.
In the first game on Friday, the Rabbs got a gutsy performance from senior right-hander Jake Thompson, and they backed him by rattling off seven unanswered runs during an 8-2 win over White Oak in Game 2 of their Class 3A regional quarterfinal series Friday at Gary's Bobcat Field.
Thompson scattered five hits and allowed just two runs for Atlanta. He needed 96 pitches to work all seven innings, struck out three, walked five and hit a pair for the win.
The Rabbs got to the Roughneck bullpen in the sixth and batted around in the inning, scoring five. Atlanta (18-8-1) added two more in the seventh on a two-out hit by Kelby Smith, who had 3 RBI in the game.
Kade Wood lined a leadoff single through the White Oak second baseman in the sixth inning, and a throwing error on a bunt attempt put two on with no outs, prompting a pitching change.
Thompson hammered the first pitch he saw into the right-field corner, driving in a pair on his stand-up triple. Kelby Smith put a sac fly into deep left-center, and Hunter Allen's two-out single to center plated the fifth Atlanta run.
Kolby Mason added an RBI single, grounding a ball into left, and the Roughnecks (22-9-1) made another change on the mound. A strikeout ended the Rabbs' big rally.
Smith drove in a pair in the seventh for Atlanta with his line drive to center, plating Wood and Cooper McClure, who had singled to left between a pair of free passes.
A pair of walks sandwiched around Graham Young's single to shallow right loaded the bases for the Roughnecks in the fifth, and Dylan Carrell's sacrifice fly to center regained a brief lead for White Oak.
The Roughnecks got on the scoreboard in the third inning, snapping a streak of four consecutive half-innings with a double play.
Bzdil worked a one-out walk in the third, and Jacob Young lined a single to right with two away. Carrell's sharply-struck single to second bounced into right field, driving in courtesy runner Jacob Laughlin.
Thompson threw out the next batter on a slow roller to strand a pair of runners, one of whom who had crossed home before the force out at first.
Max Ebarb singled to center with two outs in the top of the fourth for Atlanta, and Andy Samples delivered an RBI double to shallow center field, sending Ebarb all the way home from first to tie the game.
To start the game, Thompson roped a stand-up, two-out double to the alley in left-center in the first but was stranded there on a groundout to the catcher.
Atlanta turned a 4-6-3 double play in the bottom of the first and a 6-4-3 twin killing in the second. White Oak had a 4-6-3 double play in the top of the second and turned a flyout to left field into an inning-ending double play, as Dalton Sumrow made the catch and threw out a Rabb baserunner, attempting to tag, at the plate.
Thompson and Mason were both 2 for 3 for the Rabbs, Thompson belting a triple and double and driving in two. Mason added a double, as did Samples.