Nations Ford made it interesting at the end but lost, 5-2, Thursday night to Byrnes in the opening game of the 4A state baseball playoffs.
The Falcons loaded the bases in the top of the seventh inning against the Rebels on a leadoff hit by Josh Jones, walk by Nick Hoffman and a two-out error. Byrnes pitcher David Agle got out of the jam, however, on a close play as third baseman Dillon Green stabbed a hard grounder and dove to beat Hoffman to the bag.
Clay Hunt had a solo home run in the first inning and later doubled, but those were half of the hits against Agle. He allowed just an infield hit from the first through the sixth, although the Falcons scored an unearned run in the fourth.
Hunt took the loss on the mound, the big blow coming on a three-run homer by Alex Vazquez in the second inning. Byrnes tacked on single runs in the third and fourth. Hunt allowed seven hits and struck out seven in six innings.
Nation Ford, although not getting many hits, left runners in scoring position in four scoreless innings. The Falcons had a runner caught off third on a grounder for the final out of the second, left one at second after a walk and a sacrifice in the third, and had Hunt on third after his double in the sixth.