Weekly news and notes for week ending April 2, 2016
Colquitt County kept Lee County from running away in the Region 1-AAAAAA standings last Tuesday, beating the Trojans 5-0 behind Beau Dalton's complete-game three-hitter. Dalton got all the offense he needed when Logan Wheeler blasted a three-run homer. Lee County leads Colquitt by one game.
Lakeside-Dekalb has lost just once this season and is in firm command in the Region 2-AAAAAA standings. Last week in four victories -- two each over Alcovy and Lovejoy -- the Vikings outscored their opponents 63-6.
Westlake has won eight straight and leads Region 3 by a game. The Lions, however, have a tough stretch to end their season. They play at Johns Creek (4/9), then finish the season with two games each against Coweta County powers Newnan and East Coweta before a nonregion game against Stephenson in the regular-season finale.
With just three weeks left in the regular season, as many as five teams have a shot at the region title in Region 4. North Paulding, North Cobb and Harrison each have two losses in region play, while Hillgrove and Kennesaw Mountain each have three.
In Region 5-AAAAAA, Pope has won 10 straight since a 7-5 setback to Milton on March 7. The Greyhounds play host to Walton on Friday in a rematch that Pope won 16-1 on March 21.
Lassiter has won five straight and is in third-place in the Region 5 standings.
Lambert moves into the state rankings. The Longhorns have won six straight and lead the Region 6 standings. Lambert beat Chattahoochee 12-2 last week, then took a pair of victories over North Forsyth.
After the dust settled last week, Mountain View and Collins Hill remain the leaders in Region 7. Mountain View lost to Norcross 4-3, then rebounded to beat Collins Hill 6-3 in a top five matchup on Wednesday. The Bears got homers from Robert Kwiatkowski, Kyran Russ and Chandler Powell in the victory over Collins Hill.
Collins Hill finished the week strong on Saturday with a 4-3 victory over North Gwinnett. Spencer Douches earned the victory, while Riley King earned the save. Cole Zabowski doubled to score a pair of runs while Nasim Nunez went 2 for 3.
In Region 8, Grayson stunned Parkview 7-6 on Oscar Serratos' ninth-inning, walk-off homer on Monday to take over first-place in the Region 8 standings at the time. But Archer grounded the Rams with an 8-2 victory Friday night behind 15 hits. Pitchers Cole Waites and Casey Jividen allowed Grayson just three runs on two hits, while Donald Perteet went 3 for 4 with an RBI.
Grayson and Parkview have just one loss in Region 8 play.
Columbus High and Harris County exchanged blows last week in Region 1-AAAAA. The Tigers took a 4-3 decision on Thursday, but Columbus won 3-2 in nine innings on Saturday when Dawson Weaver scored on Bremer Eysel's fielder's choice. The victory kept Columbus in a first-place tie with Northside-Columbus, but the Blue Devils hold the tie-breaker by virtue of their head-to-head victory earlier this season.
Houston County opened up a two-game lead in its half of the subregion in Region 2-AAAAA after beating Jones County 4-1 last Tuesday. It was the second time the Bears have beaten Jones County this season. All-American Tony Locey allowed just a run on four hits to earn the victory, while DL Hall earned the save after pitching a scoreless seventh. Hall also led the offense, going 1 for 3 with a double and a pair of RBIs.
It was also a strong week for Greenbrier, who avenged its only subregion loss by beating Grovetown 5-3 on Tuesday. Ty Snipes earned the victory while Connor Hogan earned the save, working a scoreless seventh. The Wolfpack got two hits each from Jon Dennany, Davis Murray and Hogan. Greenbrier also defeated arch-rival Evans 8-4 on Thursday.
A few teams to keep an eye on that have impressive winning streaks are Mays (13), Cambridge (12), Ola (11) and Dalton (9).
Mays' Xzavion Curry hurled a complete-game, four-hit shutout in a 9-0 victory over Southwest Dekalb last Tuesday which helped the Raiders take over the Region 6-AAAAA standings. Curry and Tervont Johnson each went 1 for 4 with a pair of RBIs. The loss spoiled Southwest Dekalb's Javeon Cody's 2 for 2 performance for Southwest DeKalb.
Cambridge's only three losses came against Forsyth Central. The Bears haven't been stopped since.
Ola's only losses have come against Starr's Mill, McIntosh and Northgate.
Dalton continues to be prove their hot start hasn't been a fluke under first-year coach Rhett Parrott. The Catamounts' only two losses have come against Gordon Lee and an 8-7 loss to Creekview.
Buford took control of the Region 8-AAAA standings with a pair of victories over North Hall last week. The Wolves won 7-5 on Wednesday, then Justin Glover hurled his second no-hitter of the season Friday in a 5-0 victory. The Georgia signee struck 13 and also went 2 for 3 at the plate with four RBIs, while Brandon Marsh added a pair of doubles. The Wolves have a two-game lead on Madison County and North Oconee who have two losses in region play.
Marist's Coleman Williams tossed a two-hit shutout to help the War Eagles beat Redan 3-0 on Monday to outduel Redan's Darius Pope. Marist is unbeaten in Region 6-AAAA and has won 11 straight games.
Thomas County Central opened a three-game lead in the Region 1-AAAA standings with a week that included victories over Cook and Westover.
Cartersville moved back into the state rankings after going 3-0 last week in victories over Ridgeland, Southeast Whitfield and Heritage-Catoosa. The 3-1 victory over Heritage on Friday helped the Hurricanes push themselves into first place in the Region 7-AAAA standings. Elliott Anderson allowed just a run on four hits and struck out eight to earn the complate-game victory. Carrington Evans went 2 for 4 with a double, a homer and two RBIs.
West Laurens entered the state rankings at No. 10. The Raiders are tied with Veterans atop the Region 2-AAAA standings.
The first round between the top two teams in Region 1-AAA -- Pierce County and Appling County -- went to Appling County 4-1 on Monday. Pitcher Mason Parker allowed just a run on four hits and struck out eight to help the Pirates back into the state rankings this week. Skyler Branch went 2 for 2 with a pair of RBIs to lead the offense, while Jake Britt finished 2 for 4. Pierce County pitcher Seth Horton allowed four unearned runs to take the loss.
With three weeks left in the regular season, surprising Elbert County has taken control of the Region 8-AAA standings after taking two of three from preseason region favorite Jackson County last week. The Blue Devils have lost just once in region play - a 4-3 loss to Jackson County in a doubleheader last Friday.
Westminster handed Decatur its second region loss in Region 4-AA last Monday. The Wildcats took a 7-2 victory. Blake Huber earned the victory, allowing two runs on six hits in four innings before Rankin Woley hurled three innings of one-hit ball. Will Benson went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs and a double to lead the offense, while Armaan Painter finished 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI.
Franklin County took three in a row from Dawson County in a battle of Region 7-AAA leaders. The Lions joined Blessed Trinity and Bowdon in Class AA as the only three teams left undefeated in the state.
In Region 6-AA, Greater Atlanta Christian cooled off Holy Innocents by taking two of three games last week. The Spartans took a 2-1 victory on Tuesday behind Andrew Schultz's 2-1 complete-game victory. Schultz allowed just a run on two hits and struck out 12. Schultz also went 2 for 3 at the plate.
Holy Innocents came back to win 8-4 on Thursday behind Alfredo Granier's complete-game victory and John McNair's 3 for 4 performance and Alexander Bryant's grand slam.
But GAC rebounded for a 6-2 win on Saturday behind 12 hits and a complete-game pitching performance from Gabe Davenport.
Bowdon improved to 15-0 on Saturday with an 11-5 victory over Cleburne County, Ala. It was also coach Todd Eubanks' 350th career coaching victory.
Top-ranked Gordon Lee took over Region 7-AA with a 5-2 victory over Darlington last Tuesday. Tucker Bradley earned the victory in relief of Ethan Clark, who allowed just two unearned runs on one hit. Bradley went 2 for 4 to lead the Trojans' offensive attack. Darlington's Jay Shadday struck out 10 in a complete-game performance.
Rabun County second baseman Eli Gipson has picked up from where he left off last season. The senior is hitting .509, but .667 in Region 8-AA play. He has struck out just once this season . He has four doubles, two triples a homer and 11 RBIs.
Class A public
Even though it was a tough week for Baconton Charter, the Blazers can clinch the top seed in the Region 1-A Tournament that begins on April 18 with a victory over Webster County on Thursday (4/7). The Blazers lost to top-ranked Schley County 12-1 last Tuesday, then they were shut out at Irwin County 11-0 last Wednesday.
Miller County can finish no worse than the No. 2 seed in the region tournament with a 14-0 rout of Terrell County last Tuesday, then a 16-0 victory over Pataula Charter last Wednesday. Against Terrell, Miller County's Cody Chapman struck out 12 and allowed just one hit in six innings to earn the victory. Dylan Johnson went 2 for 4 at the plate with a trio of RBIs to lead the offense.
The top four seeds make the Region 1-A Tournament, Terrell County is currently third, while Pataula Charter is fourth.
In Region 2-A, Charlton County opened a two-game lead in the standings after beating Clinch County 3-0 last Tuesday to take the season series in the "Swamp Rivalry." Charlton pitcher Austin Knowles hurled a complete-game one-hitter and struck out 10 to beat Clinch, outdueling freshman Duncan Lutz who allowed just three runs on two hits.
Last year's defending state runner-up ECI has won three straight, including last week's 3-2 victory over Johnson County. Rhett Gay scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh on an error. Gay earned the complete-game victory on the mound, allowing just two unearned runs on three hits to outduel Johnson County ace Colby Price.
In Region 4-A, top-ranked Schley County can take a giant step toward the region title if they can capture a pair of victories this week against Marion County on Tuesday (4/5) and at Brookstone on Friday (4/8). The Wildcats have won nine straight since their last loss -- a 5-4 setback in nine innings to Class 6A Lee County on March 9.
Class A private
A handful of teams have put together some impressive winning streaks. Hebron Christian, who returned to the top this week, has won 12 straight. The Lions' last loss came on March 5 in a 7-3 loss to two-time defending Class A private champions Kings Ridge Christian.
Second-ranked Kings Ridge has won sixth straight, including a trio of impressive victories over St. Francis, Whitefield Academy and Mt. Zion-Carrollton last week.
George Walton has won 10 straight, while Savannah Christian has won 11 in a row.
Savannah Christian took control in Region 3-A after defeating Calvary Day 7-4 last Thursday. Zack Brockman hurled a complete-game victory while Justin Anderson went 3 for 4 and Ben Jackson went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs. The loss spoiled a 3 for 3 performance from Calvary's Thomas Wells.
Tattnall Square went 2 for 2 in a spring break tournament in Panama City, Fla. The Trojans beat Rutherford and Oak Grove but lost to Mosley and Bay in their final two games.
A pair of Region 6-A privates appear to be peaking at the right time. Mount Pisgah Christian, coached by former Darlington coach Kent Harrison, has won five straight including victories last week over Christian Heritage and Whitefield Academy.
Walker is winners of six straight, including a impressive 3-2 victory over Trion last Friday. Jack Jones earned the victory in relief of Brayton Boden. Jake Depiero went 2 for 3 to lead Walker's offense. The loss spoiled a 4 for 4 performance from Trion's Gabe Howell.