Weekly news and notes (April 20)

Posted 4/21/19

Tattnall Square won its fifth straight Region 7-1A title on Saturday. The Trojans are 26-1

and are the top-ranked team in the Class 1A Private School poll.


New faces earn first trip to postseason

Making the state playoffs may not be a big deal to some baseball programs. But don't tell that to handful of Georgia High School Association schools who will make their first trip into postseason play.

Cherokee Bluff and Denmark, in their first seasons of existence, earned playoff berths. Cherokee Bluff secured the fourth seed from Region 7-3A, while Denmark held off a determined Chestatee squad to earn the No. 4 seed in the rugged Region 7-4A.

Then there's other programs like East Jackson and Apalachee that have patiently waited for their turn. East Jackson is in its third season under coach Tedd Sims. The Eagles were 4-26 two years ago, improved to 12-18 last year and have gone 12-14 this year. They are the only team to hand defending Class 4A state champion Jefferson a loss this season.

"These guys have been working hard since Day 1," Sims said. "I told the guys when I got here that Rome wasn't built in a day and to trust the process. We needed to hustle on the field and hustle off the field and play with a lot of heart no matter what the scoreboard said."

East Jackson will play perhaps the hottest team in Class 3A when they travel to meet Pace Academy in the first round.

Apalachee in Class 6A will also make their first postseason trip. The Wildcats, who have won a school-record 15 games, will travel to meet Alexander in the first round.

And Hampton will make its first postseason trip. The Hornets, who played their first season in 2015, finished as the No. 3 seed in Region 4-4A. They will play at Columbus High in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.


LOGANVILLE CHAMPIONS AGAIN: Despite losing a wealth of talent to graduation, Loganville captured its third straight region title with a pair of victories over Walnut Grove last week. In a 9-0 victory on April 17, pitcher Connor Bruce hurled a complete-game to lead the Red Devils.

Then in a 4-0 victory on April 18, Caleb Garner's complete-game victory helped Loganville to another region title.

The Red Devils have played in the Class 5A state championship series the past three seasons. They won back-to-back state titles in 2017 and 2018.


BLESSED TRINITY WINS REGION 7-4A: Blessed Trinity split a pair of games with Marist in Region 7-4A play, but the Titans won the finale to help them capture the region title. A day after Marist pitchers Seb Thomas and William Stephens combined to defeat the top-ranked Titans 10-5, Blessed Trinity held on for a 6-5 victory on April 18.

Eric Moore earned the victory on the mound, while DJ Radtke went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer    


PACE ACADEMY STAYS HOT: Pace Academy has won 12 straight and swept state powers Redan and Westminster before taking two from Lovett last week to win the Region 5-3A title.

The Knights needed 11 innings to top Lovett 2-1 on April 17. Bennett Treadway scored the go-ahead run on Darian Howard's sacrifice fly to break a 1-all tie, then Andrew Jenkins struck out the side in the bottom of the inning to preserve the victory.

Pace wasn't finished. They scored a 12-4 victory over Lovett on April 18 to claim the region crown. Duece Jordan went 4-for-5 with a double and four RBIs, while Treadway, Jayden Thomas and Brian Zeldin collected two hits each. Zeldin added a two-run homer.


JEFFERSON TOPS MORGAN COUNTY: Jefferson swept a trio of games from Morgan County to win the Region 8-3A title. The Dragons, the top-ranked team in Class 3A, rallied to take a 5-3 victory over Morgan on April 16 in Madison. Morgan County was previously ranked No. 2 in the Class 3A poll.

Jefferson then took a doubleheader sweep on April 18, winning 6-1 and 7-3. Pitcher Brycen Jewell started and earned the victory in the first game of the doubleheader before yielding to Zac Corbin in the fourth. Corbin worked four innings to earn the save. Ryan Godfrey went 2-for-3 with an RBI double to lead the offense.

Then the Dragons finished the nightcap with a 7-3 victory, using a five-run fifth inning to overcome a one-run deficit. Sammy Elegreet, Brett Bell, Garrett Catanach and Mason Cooper each had two hits to lead the offense.


MORE MILESTONE COACHING WINS: Jefferson coach Tommy Knight recorded his 400th coaching victory at Jefferson High on April 18 in a doubleheader sweep of Morgan County. According to the Main Street News, Knight is 400-150 with one state championship in 19 seasons at Jefferson. His overall career win total is 539.

And Colquitt County head coach Tony Kirkland won his 300th game when his Packers defeated Tift County on April 18. Kirkland was inducted into the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame earlier this year.


GORDON LEE WINS REGION 6-1A: They needed nine innings but Gordon Lee topped Fellowship Christian 7-6 on April 18 to win the Region 6-1A tournament title.

The Trojans scored three in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game and force extra innings. But in the bottom of the ninth, Hunter Hodson reached on an error to lead off the inning. A batter later, Chris Potter singled and JD Day walked to load the bases. Then Tanner Wilson drew a walk to force home the game-winning run.


ETC., ETC.: Tattnall Square's Brooks Gorman shut out Mount de Sales 4-0 on April 20 to lead Tattnall Square to the Region 7-1A Tournament title. It is the fifth straight region title for the Trojans who have allowed just one run in region championship games in the last five seasons.  


Editors Note: Here are this week's weekly submissions from schools. Please note these items are submitted by schools and team administrators.

Class 7A

Hillgrove went 2-1 in its final Region 3-7A series over North Cobb last week and the Hawks are 24-6 heading into the first round of the state playoffs. Deion Walker combined to go 4-for-9 with a double, a homer, four RBIs and two runs scored. Ethan Wright combined to go 7-for-12 with two doubles, two RBIs and four runs scored. Justin Tew went a combined 4-for-9 at the plate with three RBIs and three runs scored. Reid Brown was a combined 7-for-11 at the plate with a double, a triple, seven RBIs and three runs scored. And Wade Richardson combined to go 6-for-12 with a double, an RBI and scored four runs.

Parkview is 26-4 and scored two wins each over Central Gwinnett and Brookwood last week to win the region title for the 23rd time in school history. It wouldn't have happened without some solid offensive performances. Max Pate combined to go 7-for-9 with three doubles, a triple and nine RBIs. Daylon Carleton went a combined 4-for-7 with two doubles and five RBIs, while Jonathan French combined to go 6-for-10 with two doubles, a triple, two homers and eight RBIs. Stephen Hrustich went a combined 4-for-7 with a double, a homer and 10 RBIs. On the mound, pitcher Xander Stephens earned a victory against Brookwood. In five innings, he allowed no runs on two hits and struck out four. Brad Stanley earned a victory over Brookwood in relief, tossing four innings and allowing one run on three hits and fanning eight.
Walton is 19-9-1 and captured the Region 4-7A title by taking two of three from Cherokee. The Raiders needed just one win in the three-game set to take the region crown. In the first game of the series, pitcher William Marconi earned the victory on the mound, throwing five innings and striking out seven in a 6-0 victory. In the second game of the series, a 13-4 victory, Bobby Spencer allowed one run on five hits in five innings of work to earn the victory. He struck out five. Spencer, Seth McBrayer and Brandon Nikitaides each collected two hits. The Raiders lost to Cherokee 6-4 in the final game of the three-game set. 
Woodstock took three games from Roswell in Region 4-7A play to capture the region's No. 2 seed in the state playoffs. The Wolverines are 20-10. Pitchers Josiah Siegel and Cason Rich had strong outings. Siegel struck out 11 and allowed just one earned run on five hits to earn a complete-game victory. Rich, meanwhile, took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before allowing a hit in an extra-inning victory. In eight innings, he allowed one hit and struck out 10. Offensively, Brennan Milone went a combined 6-for-9 with a homer and five RBIs. Spencer Keefe combined to go 5-for-9 with a homer and four RBIs. He also stole three bases.

Class 5A

In two wins over Berrien and Colquitt County, Thomas County Central's Zach Fletcher went a combined 4-for-6 at the plate with four runs scored and two doubles. Meanwhile, pitcher Luke Benton tossed a two-hit shutout in a victory over Berrien. He struck out five. Thomas County Central is 24-4 and will play host to Jones County in the first round of the state playoffs. 


Class 4A  

Southeast Whitfield finished the season with a 13-17 record, but that hasn't stopped Bryson Lofton and Murphy Flood from putting up some solid numbers on offense. Lofton batted .406 with a homer, seven doubles 18 RBIs and scored 12 runs. Meanwhile, Flood batted .384 with a homer, four doubles, 11 RBIs and scored 16 runs this season.

Westover went 2-2 last week and finished its season at 10-16. The Patriots beat Americus-Sumter before losing two of three to Hardaway in the Region 1-4A Tournament. Pitcher Malcom Mathis picked up two victories. In 10 innings, he allowed just four runs. On offense, Kedarrius Cunningham (.400 avg.), La'Borris Buchanan (.500), Cameron Hopkins (.563), Antonio James (.556) and Daymon Polite (.455) each batted .500 or better last week. They combined for four doubles, three triples, a homer, 15 RBIs and stole 22 bases.


Class 3A

East Jackson got a pair of strong pitching performances from juniors Halton Hardy and Josh Compton to take two of three from Monroe Area in a critical Region 8-3A series. On April 16, Hardy tossed a complete game and allowed no earned runs on four hits in a 5-4 victory. On April 18, Compton allowed three earned runs on seven hits and struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings. The Eagles are 12-14.

Ringgold scored a pair of wins over Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe and Adairsville to finish unbeaten in Region 6-3A play this past week. Pitcher Johnny Camilluci earned the victory over Lakeview, while Mason Parker earned the victory over Adairsville. Wyatt Tennant and Holden Tucker each went a combined 3-for-5 with home runs, Daulton Schley had a three-run homer in the victory over Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, Sam Mills combined to go 3-for-4 with a homer and five RBIs, while Brayden Broome had a homer against Lakeview and three hits during the week. The Tigers are 23-6.  


Class 2A

In a 12-0 victory over Bryan County on April 16 that secured a postseason berth for Vidalia, Pitcher Landry Mead needed just 48 pitches to shut down Bryan in a five-inning game. He faced 15 batters and didn't allow a base-runner. He struck out six. Vidalia is 19-10 on the season.


Class 1A Private

Fellowship Christian is 19-7 and finished as the Region 6-1A runner-up, falling in a nine-inning setback to Gordon Lee in the championship game of the region tournament. The Paladins defeated Bowdon and Pinecrest Academy. Offensively, senior Isaac Bouton combined to go 8-for-10 with a double and six RBIs. Sophomore Andrew Davidson combined to go 5-for-9 with five RBIs. Preston Joye combined to go 5-for-12 with a double, two homers, five RBIs and scored four runs. Sophomore Garrett Hauenstein combined to go 4-for-8 with two doubles, scored three runs and stole two bases. On the mound, Joye hurled five innings against Pinecrest Academy and allowed one earned run. He struck out six and walked none. Bouton struck out five in 5 1/3 innings against Gordon Lee. 

Saint Francis is 19-7 and playing some of its best baseball of the season. The Knights scored a pair of big wins over North Cobb Christian and Pinecrest Academy in the Region 6-1A Tournament. Senior pitcher Will Clark was dominant on the mound in the Knights' 5-0 victory over North Cobb Christian on April 16. He tossed a complete-game shutout and allowed only four hits and fanned nine. Offensively, Clark also had two big RBIs. Seniors Kyle Bork and Josh Silverman each had multiple hits in the game. Bork was the winning pitcher in Saint Francis' 7-3 victory over Pinecrest Academy on April 18. In 5 1/3 innings, he gave up just two earned runs on three hits. Freshman Carter Davies earned his fifth save of the season. On offense, Silverman, Clark and Griffin Weaver had two RBIs each. Senior Bret Madren had two extra-base hits and an RBI.