Weekly news and notes for week endng February 28, 2016
By Georgia Dugout Preview
Collins Hill doesn’t want baseball fans across the state to forget about them. After the Eagles went to the quarterfinals last season, they believe they have a team that can compete for a state title.
The Eagles upended Parkview 2-1 Saturday in the Coolray Showcase behind a strong pitching performance from Monty Horn, who allowed four hits and a run in five innings.
“For us it’s a big win because we made a statement and have a lot of high hopes coming this year and we really want to do some big things this year,” Horn told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “As the game went on, I felt like I got stronger and I feel really happy to get this win.”
Cole Zabowski finished the game to notch the save. He told the Gwinnett Daily Post he had been waiting for a chance to play Parkview for a long time.
“When I came in there I just wanted to win for my team and I knew they had my back and went out there and did it,” Zabowski said. “It feels great. We’ve been waiting for this game for a whole year and we finally got it.”
North Gwinnett went 2-1 in a tournament in Louisiana. The Bulldogs defeated Fontainbleau 14-1, lost to Brother Martin 2-1 and defeated West Ouachita 3-0. The games were played at Wesley Barrow Stadium in New Orleans. … Etowah may have established itself as the best team in Cherokee County. The Eagles have beaten rivals Sequoyah (1-0), River Ridge (7-2) and Creekview (4-2) so far this season … Lee County is off to a 6-0 start after beating a pair of Florida schools in the Georgia/Florida Challenge. The Trojans defeated Pace 12-8, then took out Clay 5-2.
Jones County got hot last season and made a solid run in the postseason. If last week’s performance is any indication, the Greyhounds could have a say in the postseason chase in Region 3-AAAAA. Jones scored wins over Class AAAA schools Upson-Lee and Perry, then took a pair of 3-2 victories over Starrs’ Mill and South Effingham on Saturday. Against South Effingham, the ‘Hounds scored three runs in the first and held on. Keever Walker went six and two-thirds innings before Chandler Ramage recorded the final out for the save. Austin Harrison’s RBI double provided Jones with all the run support it needed.
Defending state champion Greenbrier coach Jason Osborn wasn't happy with his team after beating Thomson 9-8 Thursday night. The Wolfpack made seven errors and struggled. "It's just lack of focus right now," Osborn told The Augusta Chronicle. "Some of these guys that are not focused played in some of our biggest games in the state title run. Sometimes that's why it's hard for people to repeat. You don't have the same attitude or you think things are going to come easy. This team has got to find a little bit of an identity on their own."
Kell has played a brutal schedule to start the season. The 2-2 Longhorns have played Class 6A powers Walton and Pope and gotten hammered, but they have beaten Kennesaw Mountain and Tucker and are 4-2. ... Effingham County is off to a 6-0 start after beating Ringgold and North Oconee over the weekend.
What a weekend it was for Veterans senior Tyler Daughtry. In a big county rivalry game with Houston County Friday night, the Florida State signee went 2 for 2 with a homer to help the Warhawks to a 5-4 victory. He also pitched a scoreless seventh inning to earn the save. Then on Saturday in a 3-0 victory over Oconee County, he finished 1 for 3 with another homer. In a 21-1 victory over Islands, he went 2 for 2 with four RBIs.
Madison County is off to a 5-0 start. The Red Raiders’ resume includes victories over Pickens, Oconee County, Jackson, Winder-Barrow and Jackson County. ... Troup took an impressive 8-2 victory over Auburn (Ala.) on Thursday behind a 4 for 5 offensive performance from Bo Halcomb. He also added a triple.
Jefferson High, the defending Class AAA state runner ups, finished off the week with a big win over Class 5A power Gainesville. Right-handed pitcher Asher Standridge earned the win in the Dragons’ 4-3 victory.
Top-ranked Blessed Trinity knocked out a pair of Class 6A schools to improve to 3-0 on the season. They beat West Forsyth 2-0 and Harrison (3-0). Titan pitchers have allowed just two runs in three games this season.
Central-Carrollton pitcher Nic Dye continues to pitch well early this season. The left-hander followed up his 19-strikeout performance on Opening Day with a 17-strikeout performance in a complete-game 2-0 victory over Bremen on Friday. Dye allowed just three hits.
After returning just three starters, Pierce County is off to a 5-1 start after beating Coffee and Southeast Bulloch. ... Jackson County went 2-1 last week, beating higher classification schools Shiloh and Flowery Branch before getting shutout against Madison County.
Wesleyan is getting a test of adversity early in the season. Of the Wolves' five victories, three have been by one run, including an impressive 3-2 victory over Westminster on Saturday. Jordan Ward and Andy Archer combined to allow just two runs on four hits. Meanwhile, Wesleyan made the most of its three hits, including an RBI double from Colin Hall.
Jeff Davis returned just five starters, all of them juniors, and the Yellow Jackets could be dangerous come postseason. But the Jackets are off to a quick start at 5-1, including an 8-4 victory over rival Appling County and a sweep of Groves in Region 2-AA play.
Bowdon went 3-0 in the Handley (Ala.) Invitational last week. The Red Devils defeated Cleburne County (5-0), Clay Central (12-1) and Handley (9-4) to stay unbeaten at 4-0. Reed Robinson earned the victory over Cleburn County, allowing just one unearned run in six innings. Then Aarron Bradley's 3 for 3 performance against Clay Central helped lead to an easy victory. Against Handley, Cade Geter earned the victory while Jake Gilley went 3 for 5 at the plate.
Berrien is 1-4 but the Rebels have lost to Class 6A Colquitt County and Lowndes, Class 4A Cook and Buchholz (Fla.). ... Holy Innocents could be trouble in Region 6-AA. The Golden Bears are 5-0 after beating Walker and Riverwood last week.
Class A public
Defending state champion Schley County returned eight starters and were the preseason favorite. So far, the team has picked up from where they left off. The Wildcats defeated Webster County 10-0 last Monday, then scored a pair of victories over Mount de Sales to close the week. In a 6-3 victory on Wednesday, Chase Patrick struck out 13 in five innings and got a no-decision, then finished with five RBIs at the plate with a double and a homer. In a 9-1 victory on Friday, Brett Usry and Michael Leeder combined on a no-hitter. They finished with 13 strikeouts.
In Region 2-A, Okefenokee Swamp rivals Charlton County and Clinch County needed nine innings Friday night, but Tyler Chesser's sacrifice fly scored the go-ahead run as the Indians took a 2-1 victory. Chesser earned the victory in relief after Clinch starter Duncan Lutz and Charlton's Jack Gowen got no-decisions. Both went seven innings. The victory put Charlton at the top in the early region standings.
Treutlen scored a trio of victories over Class AA schools Vidalia (5-3), Swainsboro (6-1) and East Laurens (4-1). ... Commerce remains unbeaten after beating Rabun County twice and Lincoln County on Saturday. ... Taylor County continues to be a team to keep an eye on. After two weeks, the Vikings are 6-0 and have flexed their muscles on Central-Macon, Southwest-Macon and Macon County.
Class A private
The Dalton Daily Citizen reported earlier this week that Christian Heritage baseball coach Preston Poag is leaving to take the head football coaching position at North Murray. Poag has coached the Lions, a private school in Dalton, for the past five seasons.
When Tattnall Square, a longtime power in the Georgia Independent Schools Association joined the Georgia High School Association before the 2014-15 school year, many wondered how the Trojans would fare. The answer for the school's baseball team is just fine. The Trojans loaded up the early part of their schedule with higher classification schools and are 4-3, including victories over 2015 Class AAA runner-up Jefferson and Class 6A power Roswell. The Trojans lost to nationally ranked Pope 2-1 on Saturday when ace Cory Bartholomew allowed just two runs on seven hits but took the loss.
Calvary Day made the biggest jump in the rankings this week after defeating two-time defending state champion Kings Ridge Christian on Saturday 3-1. Pitchers Bryson Smeltzer and Rudy Amaya combined to allow Kings Ridge just a run on three hits. Harrison Bocook finished with two RBIs in the game.
Prince Avenue Christian scored a victory over Social Circle and split with Class AA power Darlington in a doubleheader on Saturday. ... After starting the season with a pair of losses against Class 6A schools, Providence Christian rebounded to beat Lanier and Brookstone to even its record at 2-2.