Weekly news and notes (March 10, 2019)
South Effingham coach Todd Eubanks talks to his players before a recent game.
Editors Note: Coaches are encouraged to submit their week's best performances to be included in this column each week. Submissions (by school officials only), must be submitted by 10 a.m. each Sunday to be included in the notebook. Submissions must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Georgia teams make mark in Perfect Game Showdown
A trio of Georgia prep baseball teams left the prestigious Perfect Game Showdown over the weekend with trophies and national recognition. Blessed Trinity lost to IMG Academy in the Blue Division final, while Buford and Loganville were declared co-champs in the Red Division. The tournament was played in Hoover, Ala.
Since Loganville and Buford, a pair of Class 5A powers who are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in this week's poll, compete in the same region, the two coaches decided not to play against each other in the championship game. The two will meet in a pair of key Region 8-5A games on March 13 and March 15.
“It was kind of a mutual thing where neither one of us really wanted to play,” Loganville coach Jeff Segars told perfectgame.org. “We play Wednesday and Friday for our region series, so it was a mutual decision between us and Buford to just kind of put that off and let it play out on Wednesday and Friday.”
Loganville defeated Montverde (Fla.) Academy, Savannah Christian and Denham Springs (La.) to make it to the championship round. Buford defeated DeSoto Central (Miss.) and Cullman (Ala.) before topping Gwinnett County rival Parkview in the semifinals.
Parkview pitcher Miles Garrett was named the Most Valuable Pitcher in the Red Division.
Blessed Trinity defeated North Broward Prep, Winder-Barrow and topped Cartersville to make it to the finals. But against national power IMG Academy, the Titans managed just four hits and lost 5-0.
BLESSED TRINITY GETS EVEN: Just two weeks after Cartersville defeated Blessed Trinity 8-2 on Feb. 23 to dethrone the preseason Class 4A No. 1 team from its spot, the Titans got even in the Perfect Game Showdown Friday night (March 8). Pitchers Trey Baker and Dominick Marcoccio combined on a two-hit shutout as Blessed Trinity won 2-0.
Michael Mitchler paced the Titans' seven-hit attack by going 2-for-3 at the plate. Baker and CJ Abrams had RBI singles in the game.
ALPHARETTA CUTS DOWN POPE: In a key Region 7-6A game on March 7, Alpharetta topped previous No. 1 Pope 3-2 in eight innings when Cameron Dorsey scored the game-winning run on an error. It was only the second loss of the season for the defending state champion Greyhounds. Alpharetta pitchers Sam Stratton and Charlie Goldstein combined to strike out 13. Goldstein earned the win in relief.
Four Pope pitchers, meanwhile, combined to allow just two earned runs on five hits.
CHESTER GOING FOR NO. 600: Buford coach Stuart Chester and the Wolves are off to an 8-4 start, giving the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame coach 599 victories. His chance for No. 600 will come against region-rival Loganville on March 13.
Chester, before taking over at Buford in May, 2017, had led Cartersville to six state titles in a 13-year span. He won more than 500 games with the Hurricanes. In his first season guiding the Wolves, he took Buford to the Class 5A state championship series in 2018 where they lost to Loganville.
The legendary coach would be the ninth coach in state history to win 600 or more games. He ranks fifth among active coaches.
TOP-RANKED BREMEN ROLLING: Bremen has won seven of its last eight and tightened its grip on the top spot in Class 2A after sweeping a trio of games from region rival Heard County last week. The Blue Devils, the preseason No. 1, are 11-3 on the season.
They made the most of just four hits in a 6-4 eight-inning victory on March 5. Cooper Cartwright went 2-for-4 to lead the offense.
Pitchers Carson Cook and Jimbo Brown combined to allow three runs (one earned) on five hits in a 7-3 victory on March 7. Then the Blue Devils finished off the sweep in the second game of the doubleheader on March 7 with a 4-2 victory behind pitcher Griffin Crook, who allowed two unearned runs on three hits in a complete-game performance.
Bremen will play a three-game set this week with No. 2 Callaway beginning March 12.
ETC., ETC., ETC.: Harris County defeated Thomas County Central 7-0 on March 8 in a key Region 1-5A contest. It was the first loss of the season for TCC, who started the season 11-0 and was the last remaining unbeaten team in Class 5A. ...
Hillgrove's Deion Walker had a big week for the Hawks in a trio of wins against Lassiter, Lambert and Mill Creek. Walker combined to go 6-for-12 at the plate with a double, a homer and seven RBIs. He also scored three runs and had a stolen base. In a victory over Lassiter on March 4, he recorded six strikeouts and earned the victory after pitching six innings. Hillgrove is 9-2 on the season.
Mountain View senior pitcher Gavin Collyer has started the season 2-2 with three starts in 14 innings. He has walked two (one intentionally) and struck out 28. His earned run average is currently 1.50, with a .571 WHIP. Collyer pitched two innings on March 4 against Discovery, and he combined with senior Dylan Sadler on a three-inning perfect game. Junior left-hander Spencer Hancock, in his first start, struck out 10 batters in three innings (had a catcher error on one strike out, which allowed him to face an extra hitter). He combined on no-hitter with junior Garret Spikes (two strike-outs in one inning) on March 7 against Discovery. Mountain View is 8-3 this season.
Parkview went 4-1 last week, including a 3-1 mark at the Perfect Game Showdown. The Panthers recorded wins over Grayson, Avant Garde, Woodward Academy and Denham Springs while falling to Buford. In the five games, shortstop Koby Ayala combined to go 7-for-12 at the plate with a double and an RBI, Jonathan French went 7-for-12 with a double, eight RBIs, two runs and five walks, while sophomore Sam Smith went a combined 5-for-15 with two doubles, a homer and five RBIs. On the mound, Miles Garrett allowed just two hits and struck out 14 in a 2-0 shutout against Woodward Academy on March 8. In a 9-4 loss to Buford on March 8, Xander Stephens allowed one earned run on four hits in six innings. He struck out 11.
Woodstock senior pitcher Josiah Siegel allowed just three hits and one walk in six innings in a 2-0 victory against North Forsyth on March 6.
Valdosta recorded three victories last week over Madison County (Fla.), Rickards (Fla.) and Northside-Warner Robins. In a 10-8 victory over Madison, Cooper Samples earned the victory in relief with two solid innings. Meanwhile, Cory McCann (three hits, two runs, three RBIs, triple), Justin Rome (three hits, two RBIs, double), Jude Ard (two hits, two RBIs) and Lamonte Lindon (two hits, double, RBI) led the way. In a 10-0 shutout of Rickards, Avery Stephens earned the win on the mound and finished with two hits and two RBIs. McCann (two hits, two walks, four runs), Colby Thomas (two hits, two runs, homer, two RBIs) and Ard (two hits, two runs, two RBIs, double) had strong performances. Then in a 10-2 region win over Northside, Ard was the winning pitcher. Jackson McMillan (three hits, two RBIs), McCann (two hits, RBI) and Thomas (two hits, homer, two RBIs) led the team on offense. Valdosta is 10-2.
South Effingham senior pitcher Josh Berg tossed a no-hitter against Westwood (S.C.) on March 9. He struck out seven and walked two.
Oconee County had five games the week of Feb. 25 to March 2 and has won eight straight. Part of the Warriors’ success came from offensive standout Keanau Legaspi. In the five-game span against Hart County, Jackson County, Benedictine, Islands and Calvary Day, Legaspi was 10 for 16 (.625 avg.) with four walks, six runs scored and eight RBIs. Oconee scored two wins this week over Clarke Central and Apalachee and the Warriors are now 9-2 on the season.
Westover lost three games last week, but the Patriots still had a trio of standouts in losses against Deerfield-Windsor, Lee County and Northside-Columbus. La'Borris Buchanan batted .667 in the three games with a stolen base, Cameron Hopkins (.500 avg., double, RBI, two runs, stolen base) and Antonio James (.500 on-base percentage, stolen base, two innings pitched, two strikeouts, no earned runs) also has solid performances.
Fannin County senior Chandler Kendall had a performance he won't forget in a 4-1 victory over Calhoun on March 6. Kendall earned the complete-game victory on the mound, allowing just one run on two hits and a walk. He struck out 17. He also went 1-for-2 with two stolen bases. Fannin County is 7-2 on the season.
In a three-game set against Lumpkin County to open Region 7-3A play last week, Greater Atlanta Christian took two of three from the Indians. Zac Mixon batted .333 in the three games with a double, a triple, a homer and three RBIs. On the mound, pitcher Bryceton Payne hurled a complete-game, two-hit shutout in a 3-0 victory on March 5. He struck out 13. In a 7-3 victory on March 7, Presley Field earned the victory on the mound, allowing one earned run on three hits in five innings. GAC is 6-3-1 on the season and 2-1 in region play.
In a pair of games against Redan and North Paulding, Ringgold went 1-1. Holden Tucker earned the victory in relief in a 5-1 victory over North Paulding on March 7. He struck out two and allowed no hits in two innings of work. Offensively, he went 5-for-6 at the plate in the two games. Andre Tarver went 3-for-6 with a homer and four RBIs in the two games. Wyatt Tennant was 4-for-7 with three runs scored. He also struck out nine and allowed no earned runs in four innings of work in a no-decision against North Paulding.
Class 1A Private
Saint Francis recorded wins over Mt. Pisgah Christian, Athens Academy and Whitefield Academy last week to improve to 7-3 on the season. Senior catcher Bret Madren hit .636 during the three games with four doubles, a triple, a homer, six RBIs and scored nine runs. He also walked four times. Second baseman Josh Silverman finished the week with six hits and four RBIs. Meanwhile, the Saint Francis pitching staff combined to a post a 1.60 earned run average during the week. Will Clark had a strong performance on the mound against Whitefield on March 8, hurling a complete game and allowing only one run on two hits while striking out nine. The victory was his third win of the season and he has 38 strikeouts on the year.