Weekly news and notes for week ending March 26, 2016

Posted 3/27/16



Lee County leads second-place Colquitt County by two games in the Region 1-AAAAAA standings. The two teams meet Tuesday (3/29) in Leesburg. Valdosta is a team to keep an eye on. The Wildcats have won six straight and are in the thick of the region chase. Luke Ard no-hit Tift County in a 6-1 victory last week, outdueling Georgia Tech signee Connor Thomas. It was the second no-hitter in region play for the Wildcats this season. Earlier this month, Seth Shuman no-hit arch-rival Lowndes in a 1-0 victory.

Lakeside-Dekalb is unbeaten in Region 2-AAAAAA and 11-1 overall, but Rockdale County is a game behind in the region standings.

Surprising Westlake leads the Region 3-AAAAAA standings. The Lions are 8-0 in region play and leads East Coweta by a game.

North Cobb leads Region 4-AAAAAA, but North Paulding and Harrison are just a game behind. Harrison scored a pair of big wins last week over McEachern. North Paulding also scored a big 7-1 victory over Hillgrove on Friday behind Jordan Krueger, who allowed one run on two hits in six innings. Ryan Roon and Luke Gray each went 2 for 3 to lead the offense.

Walton went 3-1 in the prestigious National High School Invitational in Cary, N.C., but it was Pope who stunned the Raiders in a five-inning, 16-1 rout last Monday. Pope's Cameron Allison allowed just one run on five hits, then Matt Rowland pitched a scoreless fifth. Ethan Lawson and Jake Pralgo had two hits each in the victory.

But the most intriguing part of the region is the chase behind after Pope and Walton, who are 1-2 in the Region 5-AAAAAA standings. Lassiter beat Milton twice last week to create a four-way tie for third between Lassiter, Milton, Etowah and Woodstock, who all have three region losses each.

Lambert and Johns Creek have identical 11-4 records and are both 8-1 in Region 6-AAAAAA play. Lambert scored a pair of wins over West Forsyth last week. The Longhorns play North Forsyth twice this week.

Collins Hill has won nine straight and took over the top ranking. The Eagles beat Mill Creek and Collins Hill 8-4 on Friday behind Al DelVillar, who went 3 for 3 with a pair of triples and an RBI. Mountain View is also unbeaten in Region 7-AAAAAA. The two teams meet Wednesday (3/30) at Mountain View.

Parkview won its fifth straight Friday in a 3-0 victory over Archer. Will Ethridge hurled a six-hit shutout, while Garrett Fowler and Allan Del Castillo had two hits each to lead Parkview's offense.


Cason Greathouse hurled a complete-game to beat Northside-Columbus 6-4 last Tuesday as the Blue Devils took over first-place in Region 1-AAAAA. Blake Hicks, Jack Copley and Greathouse each went 2 for 3 at the plate. Northside starter Drew Haywood took a hard-luck loss. He went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, while Chandler Valero went 2 for 4 in a losing cause. The Blue Devils play host to Hardaway on Tuesday.

Greenbrier took down Columbia County rivals Evans and Lakeside last week in Region 2-AAAAA play. The Wolfpack visit Grovetown on Tuesday, the only region team to beat Greenbrier this year.

Also in Region 2, Houston County will play host to Jones County on Tuesday (3/29) in a key game. Houston handed Jones its only loss, a 5-2 setback on March 18.

Glynn Academy leads the Region 3-AAAAA standings with a 5-1 record, but South Effingham took two of three from Richmond Hill last week to remain in second.

Starrs Mill has won 12 straight and leads the Region 4-AAAAA standings. But keep an eye on Ola and Northgate, who have each won seven straight.

The Region 5-AAAAA race could be one of the state's most-intense heading into the final weeks of the regular season. Allatoona's loss to National High School Invitational Tournament champion Huntington Beach (Calif.) snapped a 12-game winning streak. The Buccaneers went 4-1 in the prestigious tournament.

Allatoona currently leads the Region 5 standings. They will play at East Paulding on Wednesday, then play host to the Raiders on Thursday. The two games will go a long way toward deciding the region title.

Mays, winners of 10 straight games, and Southwest Dekalb will meet on Wednesday (3/30) in a battle of first-place leaders in Region 6-AAAAA.

Dalton has won six straight and leads the Region 7-AAAAA 'A' standings. The Catamounts took three from Cass last week. Meanwhile, Cambridge cooled off Kell last week with three victories to snap Kell's 10-game winning streak. Cambridge pitchers Austin Weiermiller, Jonathan Mullis, Jonathan Hirschland and Conner Young combined to allow the Longhorns just four runs in three games.The Bears have won nine straight and trail first-place Forsyth Central in the Region 7-AAAAA 'B' by two games.

The winner between Loganville and Gainesville last week was supposed to decide who the team to beat was in Region 8-AAAAA. Instead, the two teams split a pair of games. On Monday, Gainesville's Jonathan Gettys struck out 14 to lead the Red Elephants to a 5-3 victory. But on Wednesday, Loganville's Mitchell Miller struck out 12 and allowed just two hits in five scoreless innings to help the Red Devils to a 4-1 victory. Morgan Copeland and Rhett Mixon each had two hits in the victory.

Class AAAA

Thomas County Central can put itself in the driver's seat in the Region 1-AAAA standings with a victory over Cook on Monday (3/28) in a key region game. The Jackets have put together one of their best seasons in recent memory. They have beaten Cook once this season, a 3-2 victory earlier this month. In a 15-5 region victory over Worth County last Monday, the Jackets dug themselves in a 5-0 deficit before storming back. Keyton Smith earned the victory but got plenty of support from Hayes Roach (4 for 4, 2B, 3RBIs), Parker Roach (2 for 3, 2 RBIs), Stone Stephenson (2 for 3, 3 RBIs) and Kaleb Carter (2 for 2). Then in a 12-0 victory over Americus-Sumter, Stephenson allowed just one hit in the five-inning victory.

While TCC has controlled the standings, as many as six others - Cook, Cairo, Bainbridge, Crisp County, Worth County and Westover - are still in postseason contention.

Early-season favorite Perry and Veterans have surged back into contention in Region 2-AAAA. Perry, Veterans and West Laurens each have one region loss. Perry has won five straight, while Veterans has won four in a row.

Perry scored an impressive 6-3 victory over Upson-Lee last Friday behind Cal Gentry who allowed three unearned runs on one hit in 6 1/3 innings before Drew Martens worked the final two outs for the save. Gentry also went 2 for 4 with an RBI to lead the offense.

Thomson improved to 11-4 overall and won its fifth straight following a doubleheader sweep of Liberty County in Region 3-AAAA. Morgan Hyde hurled a complete-game, allowing just a run on three hits in a 3-1 victory, then Cody Brown struck out 12 in Thomson's 6-2 victory in the second game. Brown earned the complete-game win, while Hunter Norman went 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs to lead the offense.

Burke County is also unbeaten in Region 3-AAAA after scoring two shutouts of Windsor Forest last week.

Locust Grove could be putting together something special in Region 4-AAAA. After the Wildcats defeated top-ranked Buford earlier this season, they took down a pair of region contenders last week, beating Eastside twice before topping Griffin 8-5 last Friday. Odlanier Rodriguez, Gavin Lee and Nolan Crisp each went 2 for 3 in the victory. But Spalding lurks closely behind with just one region loss.

Troup and Whitewater each have one loss in Region 5-AAAA. Troup took two of three from Carrollton last week, while Whitewater has won four straight. The Wildcats begin a three-game series with Carrollton this week.

Marist took over Region 6-AAAA with two victories over St. Pius X last week. The Eagles have won seven straight games.

Region 7-AAAA may be the most surprising. With just four weeks left in the regular-season, Heritage-Catoosa is unbeaten in region play. The biggest shocker was Friday when Pickens beat perennial power and preseason region favorite Cartersville 3-2. Pickens junior Travis Huffman allowed just two runs on three hits as he outdueled all-state pitcher Elliott Anderson. Tyler Garner, Walker Lawrence and Joseph Gossett went 1 for 3 to lead the Dragon offense.

Heritage plays host to Cartersville on Friday.

In Region 8-AAAA, Buford has won eight straight and leads the region standings. North Hall lost its first region game - an 11-9 setback to Stephens County on Friday.

Class AAA

One thing has been consistent in Region 1-AAA the past couple of seasons. When Appling County and Pierce County meet on the field, there's usually something at stake. The two teams meet Monday in Blackshear (3/28). Since Appling beat Pierce for the 2013 state championship, the matchup has turned into one of the state's best rivalries. Pierce has just one region loss this season, while Appling has a loss and a tie. Pierce has just six regular-season games left with two of them against Appling County.

The Bears have won 11 straight and been led by Stetson Bennett, Logan Paul, Ben Tuten, Klay Allen and Cody Williams. Tuten went 2 for 4 with an RBI in the Bears' last victory over Toombs County last Tuesday.

Appling County has been led by Jake Britt and Mason Parker.

Jackson has opened up a two-game lead in the Region 2-AAA standings. The Red Devils have won 11-straight since starting the season 0-4.

Westside-Augusta has won nine straight and took over first-place in Region 3-AAA after defeating Washington County 8-1 on Tuesday. Pitcher Jonathan Jahn allowed just a run on four hits and struck out 10. Tim Gray and Reggie Jackson each went 2 for 3 in the game. Gray had a triple and three RBIs.

Not much has changed in Region 4-AAA as Blessed Trinity stayed unbeaten at 14-0 and has won 45 straight dating back to last season. Westminster is a game behind in the region standings with its only loss to Blessed Trinity. A team to keep an eye on is Decatur, who is 12-2. The Bulldogs play at Westminster on Monday (3/28).

Cedartown scored a trio of victories over Rockmart last week and has won 14 straight. In the three victories, Walker Barrow went a combined 6 for 8 with five RBIs, a triple and a double. Jack Haney went 5 for 10 with two homers and five RBIs and earned the victory on the mound in last Tuesday's 6-4 victory.

Ringgold has a two-game lead over Adairsville and Calhoun in Region 6-AAA. Ringgold beat Adairsville 3-1 last Tuesday behind Devin Lancaster's 12-strikeout, complete-game performance. He allowed just one unearned run on two hits. Tyler Nichols provided Ringgold with an early 2-0 advantage with a two-run homer. Andre Tarver went 3 for 3 to lead the offense.

Region 7-AAA has two teams atop the standings - unbeaten Franklin County and Dawson County. The two teams meet in Royston on Tuesday (3/29), followed by a doubleheader on Friday in Dawsonville (4/1).

Region 8-AAA may be the state's toughest from top to bottom. Not many considered Elbert County to contend for the region crown this season. But coach Lance Ingram, in his second season in his second stint as Elbert's coach, has the Blue Devils unbeaten in region play after beating Hart County in three games last week. Elbert will play host to Jackson County on Tuesday (3/29), then travel to play at Jackson in a doubleheader on Friday.

Class AA

After graduation hit Fitzgerald hard after a run to the state semifinals last year, the Region 1-AA race was expected to be between Berrien and Thomasville. After the Rebels scored a 6-4 victory over Thomasville on Tuesday to hand the Bulldogs their first region loss, Fitzgerald shut down Berrien 5-0 on Thursday as Matthew Howell hurled a complete-game, three-hit shutout. Demond Lampkin went 3 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Bailey Alexander and Cole Hart collected two hits each.

Thomasville coach Erik McDougald earned his 200th coaching victory last week in a victory over Brooks County.

Benedictine and Jeff Davis continue to lead the Region 2-AA standings. The Cadets hold a one-game lead over Jeff Davis by virtue of their head-to-head 4-0 victory on March 12.

Metter has opened a three-game lead in the Region 3-AA standings. The Tigers capped a big week with a 9-6 victory over preseason region favorite Screven County, then Ashton Brosh no-hit Swainsboro 16-0 in a four-inning victory on Friday.

In Region 4-AA, Lamar County is the region's lone undefeated team after victories over Monticello and Macon County last week. Monticello and Bleckley County are closely behind with just one region loss apiece.

Bowdon is the last unbeaten team in Class AA. The Red Devils are 13-0 and took three games from Bremen last week. Bowdon was led by Aarron Bradley, Matt Gresham and Cade Geter in the three victories.

In Region 6-AA, Wesleyan and Greater Atlanta Christian staged three baseball games that seemed more fitting for the postseason. Wesleyan pitcher Andy Archer and Michael Payne outdueled GAC's Andrew Schultz in a 5-3 victory on Tuesday. Schultz was stung with a tough loss after allowing just two earned runs. Wesleyan's Cole Mannion and Colin Hall each collected two hits in the victory.

But the Spartans got even in a 17-0 rout on Thursday as GAC's Kennedy North allowed the Wolves just two hits in a five-inning game. Zack Savage went 3 for 3 with a double and three RBIs.

But the best game may have been Saturday when Wesleyan took a 2-0 victory behind Alex Thompson's complete-game one-hitter. The Wolves scored  two runs on three hits. John Morris went 2 for 3 to lead the offense.

Holy Innocents leads the region at 14-1, 5-0 in region play. The Golden Bears have won six straight since their only loss to Beaufort (S.C.) on March 9. They play at GAC on Tuesday (3/29).

In Region 7-AA, Gordon Lee has surged to the top of the region standings after defeating Coosa last Tuesday 7-3 behind Ethan Clark's complete-game victory. He got plenty of offensive support as Tucker Bradley went 3 for 3 with a triple.

But a team to keep an eye on is Model, who is 5-9 overall but 4-1 in region play. The Blue Devils' only region loss came against Gordon Lee on March 18. Model earned victories over Armuchee and Chattooga last week. Trey Leonard pitched Model to a complete-game victory while Connor Land went 2 for 2 to pace the offense.

In Region 8-AA, Union County and Social Circle have just one loss in the region, but Union may have established itself as the team to beat in a 5-1 victory over preseason region favorite Rabun County on Tuesday. Joe Mancuso and Josh Nachtrieb combined to allow Rabun just a run on five hits. Mancuso homered and Candler Colwell went 1 for 3 with a pair of RBIs to pace the offense.

Class A public

In Region 1-A, Baconton Charter took a giant step toward earning the top seed in next month's region tournament by defeating Miller County 6-0 last Tuesday in a neutral site game at Terrell County. Baconton's Taber Raley tossed a complete-game one-hitter and outdueled Miller starter Cody Chapman. Raley no-hit the Pirates through 5 2/3 innings until Hudson Givens singled up the middle. Leadoff hitter Hunter Cain went 2 for 5 to lead the Blazers' offense.

Baconton has beaten Miller and Terrell County, who are tied for second-place. The Greenwave plays host to Miller County on Tuesday (3/29). The Greenwave have been led by three-sport standout Detravion Bishop and Javarious McDaniel.

In Region 2-A, Charlton County has opened up a two-game lead in the region standings. The Indians have a key game in Folkston on Tuesday when they play host to Clinch County. The Indians needed nine innings to beat Clinch 2-1 in the "Swamp rivalry" on Feb. 26.

Irwin County and Clinch County are tied for second even though Irwin defeated the Panthers 8-5 on March 11 and hold the head-to-head tie-breaker. Clinch managed to stay in second-place with a thrilling 7-6 victory over Lanier County in 10 innings last Tuesday when Brennen Register scored the winning run on an error after leading off with a double. Lanier outhit Clinch 13-7. Cian Hill earned the victory in relief, working four scoreless innings in relief of Register. The loss spoiled a 4 for 4 performance from Lanier's Bryan Connell.

In Region 3-A, Treutlen went 2-1 and suffered a big loss against Savannah Christian, falling 12-2. However, the Vikings rebounded to beat Jekins County 2-0 Friday night.

Johnson County continues to be a team to keep an eye on. The Trojans defeated Portal 4-1 behind a complete-game pitching performance from Colby Price, who allowed just a run on two hits. He allowed just two hits to Portal’s Hector Diaz. Brooks Norton and Duren Wood each had two hits. Then Tyler Price hurled a complete-game, three-hit shutout to beat Claxton 3-0 on Thursday.

In Region 4-A, Schley County has run through the first half of the region schedule unbeaten after whipping St. Anne-Pacelli 15-0 and Hawkinsville 10-0 last week. Chase Patrick and Clint Sellars combined to allow St. Anne-Pacelli just one hit in a three-inning game shortened by the mercy rule. Then Brett Usry hurled a four-hit shutout in five innings against Hawkinsville in another game shortened by the mercy rule. The Wildcats were led by Michael Leeder, Sellars and Blake Howell who each had three hits.

Taylor County is 15-2 and has just two region losses after the Vikings defeated Marion County and got two forfeit wins over Dooly County. Against Marion, Gunnar Watson went 4 for 5 with four RBIs, while Drew Smith finished 3 for 4 with two doubles and three RBIs in a 11-3 victory.

Trion continues to rank as one of the top public school teams competing in a mostly private school Region 6-A. After stumbling Monday in an 11-7 loss to Mt. Pisgah Christian, Trion rebounded to beat St. Francis 8-7 on Tuesday before Evan Walker hurled a complete-game, two-hit shutout to beat previous No. 2 ranked Mount Paran Christian 3-0 on Wednesday. Gabe Howell went 1 for 2 with a solo homer, while Walker helped himself with a pair of RBIs.

Class A private

In Region 3-A, Savannah Christian has vaulted to the top of the region standings after a solid week in which the Raiders recorded victories over ECI (7-6), Treutlen (12-2) and Wheeler County (14-0). Savannah Christian scored the game-winner on an error to beat ECI in a game that featured seven lead changes. The loss spoiled an excellent game from ECI starter Rhett Gay, who took the loss. He also went went 2 for 4 at the plate with a pair of doubles.

The Raiders then took down No. 2 Treutlen, who managed just two runs on three hits off Zach Brockman who earned the victory. Jarrett Brown went 4 for 4 with a double and an RBI, while Ben Jackson finished 2 for 4 to pace the offense.

Calvary Day trails Savannah Christian in the loss column by a game. The Cavaliers defeated ECI 13-6 on Thursday, scoring 13 runs on 13 hits. Three Cavaliers – Bryson Smeltzer, Rudy Amaya and Connor Heritage – shut down ECI, while Chris Bashlor went 2 for 3 with a homer and a pair of RBIs to lead the offense. Tristan Triplett went 3 for 4 with an RBI, while Amaya, Thomas Wells and Harrison Bocook each had two hits. Chance Litchfield finished with three RBIs.

Calvary visits Savannah Christian on Thursday (3/31) in a first-place battle.

In Region 4-A, Brookstone was idle last week, but the second-place Cougars will visit Taylor County in a key region game on Tuesday (3/29).

In Region 5-A, preseason favorite Eagles Landing Christian has surged to the top of the standings and is off to a 9-4 start, 4-0 in region play. The Chargers drilled Our Lady of Mercy 15-1 on Tuesday behind Johnny Cook, who allowed just a run on three hits in the five-inning victory. Tre’ Douglas went 3 for 3 with a double and five RBIs to lead the offense. Surprising Paideia is in second-place with just one region loss.

It was a tough week for previous No. 2 Mount Paran Christian, who lost 13-10 in eight innings to Kings Ridge Christian on Tuesday, then the Eagles lost to Trion 3-0 on Wednesday before falling to St. Francis 2-1.

Kings Ridge Christian pitcher Kyle Brnovich earned the victory in relief against Mount Paran, working three scoreless innings and striking out eight. The Tigers used a three-run eighth to break a 10-all tie.

St. Francis continues to be a surprise. The Knights’ only loss last week was an 8-7 setback to Trion on Tuesday. But St. Francis topped Mt. Paran Christian 2-1 on Thursday, getting a complete-game performance from pitcher Clark Adams, who allowed just a run on three hits. The Knights had just one hit – a solo homer from Daryian Basco. St. Francis plays host to Kings Ridge Christian on Tuesday (3/29).

Christian Heritage announced last week it has hired Jamey Middleton to take over its baseball program.

Top-ranked Tattnall Square continues to cruise in Region 7-A. Cory Bartholomew allowed just one hit in six innings in a 10-0 victory over First Presbyterian Day on Tuesday to help the Trojans win seven straight.

Aquinas is 14-3 and unbeaten in Region 7-A after beating Lincoln County last week.

In Region 8-A, Christian Shiver and Denzel Coley combined on a three-hit shutout last Tuesday to help Georgia Walton defeat Lakeview Academy 7-0. It was one of three victories for the Bulldogs last week, who have won seven straight and are unbeaten in region play.

Hebron Christian has won nine straight, including a pair of victories over Prince Avenue Christian as well as a hard-fought 2-1 win over Providence Christian on Friday.