Tattnall Square wins Class A private championship

Posted 5/16/16

By Tim Morse

Georgia Dugout Preview

MACON, Ga. -- Logan Simmons clutched his fist, then tossed his glove high into the air.

Then he geared up for the mobbing at the pitcher's mound.

Simmons hurled a two-hit, complete-game shutout and got three solo homers from his offense to help Tattnall Square win its first Georgia High School Association Class A private school state baseball championship Monday wit a 5-0 victory over Hebron Christian.

The Trojans (27-8), who had won eight state titles since 2000 as a member of the Georgia Independent Schools Association, got a solo homer from leadoff batter Nick DiPonzio on the second pitch of the game and never trailed.

Then Cory Batholomew blasted a pair of solo homers and the Trojans sent Hebron Christian to a second straight state runner-up finish.

Simmons walked three and struck out four. Hebron Christian's Spence Johns and Steven Casey had the Lions' only two hits.

Hebron Christian didn't get a runner into scoring position until the bottom of the sixth when they loaded the bases with one out. But Simmons got a fly ball and a groundout to cut down the Lions' rally.

"(Third baseman) Luke Laskey was over there talking to me," Simmons said. "He said we got it. I was so calm. I felt good."

DiPonzio went 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs, while Bartholomew went 2 for 3 with a pair of RBIs. Luke Laskey added an RBI double in a two-run fifth.

Bartholomew's second blast, a fast ball that he drove over the center field fence, provided the clincher.

"The first one I thought was a routine fly ball," Bartholomew said. "The second one I knew it was gone."

It was the first time in the postseason that Tattnall Square went to a Game 3 after splitting the first two games of the series on Saturday. But Tattnall coach Joey Hiller decided to go with Simmons in Game 3. He proved to be a weapon not many had seen this season.

"That's the first time he's been on the mound this year," Tattnall coach Joey Hiller said. "Smart-coaching, huh?"

After Simmons recorded the game's final out, Tattnall players felt like they made their statement.

"We just felt like we had something to prove going after getting beat in the semifinals that bad by Kings Ridge last year," Bartholomew said. "I'm glad we had a chance to show what we could do."