Class A semifinal recaps

Posted 5/9/16

By Tim Morse

Georgia Dugout Preview

ELLAVILLE, Ga. -- The loud rumbling heard about 7:50 p.m. Monday night at Schley County High School wasn't an earthquake.
When Treutlen's Tristan Cone recorded the last out in Game 2 of the best-of-three Class A public state semifinal series, the giant known as Schley County fell.
And it fell hard.
Unlike in the great Bible story where David used a slingshot to slay the giant, underdog Treutlen (26-5) used strong pitching to send the defending Class A public champions packing.
Behind a pair of dominant pitching performance from Treutlen's Zach Hughes and Cone, the Vikings got even after Schley County ended their season in 2015 with a victory in the semifinals.
Treutlen, who has never lost to Schley County in Ellaville, stayed unbeaten on the visitor's soil.
Cone took the hill in the seventh inning and faced the meat of the Schley County order. After he recorded a strikeout for the first out, Schley County's Michael Leeder reached on an error.
With the tying run standing on first, Cone recorded another strikeout, then got Schley's Clint Sellars to send a hard-hit grounder to second-baseman Tyson Brooks, who scooped up the ball, bobbled it and crawled to second base to force out Leeder to end the game and Schley County's dream season.
It ignited a wild celebration on the pitcher's mound.
"All I can think of was we wanted it," said Cone, who struck out eight and allowed just one run on seven hits in the complete-game victory.
"This is the fourth time we've been in the final four, so I guess we were due. I give God all the glory. I hope it doesn't stop here. This is just a stop on the train ride."
With Trion's sweep of Charlton County, the Vikings will play host to the Bulldogs in the best-of-three state championship series that is slated to begin Saturday.
"This is crazy," Treutlen coach Brent Korn said. "I don't know if Soperton can hold all of those people."
Treutlen provided Cone with a pair of runs in the third inning of Game 2, scoring on an error and a passed ball. The Vikings managed just two hits off Schley standout Brett Usry.
But those two manufactured runs were enough.
Schley County threatened with a run in the fifth to cut the lead in half on Sellars' sacrifice fly, but that was as close as the Wildcats could get.
The Game 2 victory came after Hughes hurled a masterpiece in Game 1 to outduel Schley County's Blake Howell in a game that lasted just one hour and 36 minutes.
Howell struck out 11 and was dominant. But Treutlen's two-run advantage was too much for the Wildcats (26-4) to overcome.
Hughes, who mixed his pitches to perfection, got a two-run homer from Cone in the first inning to set the tone, then Jordan Morris' RBI double in fourth made it 3-0. That was all the run support he needed.
He allowed just a run on five hits and struck out seven, including one to end the game.
It will be the first time the Vikings have made the state finals since the Georgia High School Association split Class A into a public and private division in 2013. Treutlen lost to Providence Christian in the state semifinals in 2011.


Class A public semifinal

Trion 8, Charlton County 2

Trion 6, Charlton County 4

A five-run fifth inning highlighted by Malik Martin's grand slam in Game 1 helped Trion beat Charlton County, then the Bulldogs finished off the Indians in the nightcap to advance to the Class A public state finals.

In Game 1, Trion starter Drew Williams hurled a complete-game and allowed just two runs on seven hits.

Martin finished 1 for 4 with five RBIs. Evan Walker went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs, Tyler Gill went 2 for 4 and Jackson Bowers went 2 for 3 to pace Trion's 10-hit attack.

Then Trion broke a 4-all tie in the bottom of the sixth inning in Game 2. Williams went 2 for 3 with a double and four RBIs to lead the offense in the Game 2 victory.


Class A private semifinal

Tattnall Square 7, Calvary Day 2

Tattnall Square 6, Calvary Day 1

Tattnall Square is in the Georgia High School Association Class A private finals for the first time after sweeping Calvary Day. The Trojans (25-7), who joined the GHSA before the 2015 school year, cut down a Calvary Day rally in the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 2.

In the first game, Tattnall scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back. Starter Cory Bartholomew allowed just a pair of runs on eight hits. Bartholomew then helped his own cause by going 2 for 3 at the plate with a pair of RBIs. Garrett Houston also went 2 for 4 with two RBIs while Nick DiPonzio went 2 for 4.

Then Houston picked up the complete-game victory in Game 2, allowing just a run on four hits. He had a shutout until Calvary scored a run in the seventh. Blake Simmons went 3 for 4 with a triple, while Austin Marchman also went 3 for 4. DiPonzio went 2 for 4 with three RBIs.


Class A private semifinal

Kings Ridge Christian 8, Hebron Christian 1

Hebron Christian 6, Kings Ridge Christian 5

Hebron Christian 5, Kings Ridge Christian 3

In a rematch of last year's Class A private school state championship series, Hebron Christian and Kings Ridge Christian will need a deciding Game 3 to determine a winner. Kings Ridge led 5-1 in the seventh inning of Game 2, but Hebron rallied for a dramatic 6-5 victory in its final at bat.

Hebron scored three runs to pull to within a run, then Luke Crawford's walk-off single on a 1-2 pitch scored a pair of runs to force a decisive third game Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the American Legion Post 201 in Alpharetta. The winner advances to meet Tattnall Square, who swept Calvary Day on Monday, in the Class A private state championship series.

In the first game, Kings Ridge Christian scored four runs in the first inning and cruised to an easy victory. Kyle Brnovich earned the victory, going the first five innings and allowing just four hits. Carter Buchanan worked the final two innings to preserve the victory.

Brnovich also went 2 for 4, while Austin Campbell, who added a double, and Buchanan finished 1 for 2 with a pair of RBIs apiece. Cullen Monette, Trey Parker and Will Janofsky also added RBIs in the game.

In the third and deciding game, Hebron trailed 3-1 before Sloan Bennett's two-run triple tied the game. Shane Smith 's sacrifice fly gave the Lions (29-6) the lead, then Spence Johns RBI single gave Hebron some cushion in the seventh.

Then Johns set down Kings Ridge in the bottom of the seventh to advance to the title game where they will travel to meet Tattnall Square on Saturday.