GHSA semifinal round recaps

Posted 5/15/19

Savannah Christian advanced to the GHSA Class 1A Private championship for the second time in three years.


GHSA semifinal recaps

Class 7A


G1: Hillgrove 9, Grayson 4

G2: Hillgrove 4, Grayson 1

Hillgrove swept the semifinal series from Grayson Tuesday night to advance to the state championship series for the first time since 2011. In Game 1, Zach Stewart went 3-for-4, while Wade Richardson, Deion Walker and Cameron Fiveash had two hits each to help the Hawks win 9-4. Stewart also was the winning pitcher. Richardson had two doubles and three RBIs.

In Game 2, reliever Fred Wilson worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh to preserve a 4-1 victory and help Hillgrove sweep. The Hawks (32-8) made the most of four hits in the game. Austin Heard earned the victory, while Wilson earned the save.


G1: Parkview 9, North Gwinnett 6

G2: Parkview 9, North Gwinnett 3

Parkview is returning to the state championship series for the second straight season and eighth time in school history after sweeping North Gwinnett Wednesday evening. 

Pitchers Miles Garrett and Brad Stanley combined to shut down North Gwinnett's potent offense in a 9-6 victory in Game 1. Allen Del Castillo went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI, while Jonathan French and Stephen Hrustich each homered.

Then in Game 2, pitchers Xander Stephens and Brad Stanley combined to allow three runs (two earned), while Hrustich went 2-for-3 at the plate with four RBIs to help the Panthers advance. Makenzie Pate, Noah Brown and Jon Ponder also had two hits apiece.


Class 6A


G1: Heritage-Conyers 4, Effingham County 1

G2: Effingham County 11, Heritage-Conyers 6

G3: Heritage-Conyers 12, Effingham County 1

After the two teams split a pair of games on Tuesday, Heritage scored 12 runs on 12 hits and run-ruled Effingham County 12-1 in the decisive third game on Wednesday. Pitcher Nolan Woodward allowed just one unearned run on four hits in the five-inning victory.

Cole Smith went 3-for-4, while Nick Watson-Garcia, Darryl Buggs, Calabria Atkins and Woodward each had two hits in the game. Atkins finished with a double and a solo homer. Heritage (29-8) will be seeking its first state baseball championship. The Patriots have played in the championship round three times in school history.


G1: Pope 12, Harrison 0

G2: Harrison 5, Pope 3

G2: Pope 4, Harrison 0

Pope will be returning to the state championship series after eliminating fellow Cobb County rival Harrison in three games Wednesday night. The two-time defending Class 6A state champion Greyhounds (31-9) have needed three games to win each round of the postseason this year. Pope finished as the state runner-up in 2016 in the state's largest classification.

After pitcher Max Pralgo hurled a two-hit, five-inning shutout in Game 1 and Caden Smith went 3-for-3 with four RBIs, Harrison rallied to post a 5-3 victory in Game 2 as Micah Davis led the Hoyas by going 3-for-3 with a triple and an RBI.

But a three-hit shutout by pitcher Reid Robertson in Game 3 led Pope to a 5-0 victory to take the series. Pralgo went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI to lead the offense.


Class 5A


G1: Loganville 11, Locust Grove 5

G2: Loganville 6, Locust Grove 1

Two-time defending Class 5A state champion Loganville will return to the championship round after sweeping a pair of games from Locust Grove on Wednesday. No team has won three consecutive state baseball titles in the state since Columbus High won three in a row from 2010-12.

Dylan Strickland had a three-run homer and a double and finished 2-for-2 with four RBIs, while Michael Knight went 3-for-4 to power the Red Devils (32-6) to an 11-5 victory in Game 1. Pitcher Caleb Garner earned the victory on the mound.

In Game 2, pitcher Connor Bruce allowed an unearned run on three hits in a complete-game victory to help the Red Devils sweep. Blane Marchman sparked the offense, going 3-for-3 at the plate with two doubles and a pair of RBIs.


G1: Ola 11, Decatur 10

G2: Ola 6, Decatur 4

Ola will make its first trip to the state baseball championship series following a sweep of Decatur Tuesday night. The Mustangs combined for 17 runs on 26 hits in the two-game set and cut down Decatur's potent offense.

In Game 1, Chaz Salter's RBI single in the top of the eighth inning gave Ola a one-run lead, then reliever Dalton Thomas worked the final two outs to earn the victory in relief. He left the tying run stranded on second base. Patrick Holloman cracked a grand slam in the sixth inning.

Then in Game 2, pitcher Evan Boyle earned the victory and Holloman the save. Hollman also went 3-for-3 with a solo homer to lead the offense. Ola is 28-10 on the season.


Class 4A


G1: Blessed Trinity 6, Denmark 3

G2: Denmark 4, Blessed Trinity 3

G3: Denmark 8, Blessed Trinity 4

Denmark, the last remaining No. 4 seed in Classes 7A-2A, pulled the biggest shocker of the postseason by knocking off region rival and nationally-ranked Blessed Trinity in three games. The Danes, in their first season of existence, joins the 1997 Greenbrier state championship squad as the only two baseball programs in Georgia High School Association history to play for a title in their first year.

After dropping Game 1, 6-3, on Tuesday, Logan DeLong used a bases-loaded walk to force home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as the Danes won 4-3 to force a Game 3. DeLong went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, while Jack Kream had a two-run homer. Drew Clare earned the victory in relief of starter Jack Whitlock.

On Wednesday, a four-run second inning gave Denmark the lead for good, then they held on to stun the Titans. Pitcher Matthew Cassandra allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits in six innings of work to record the victory. Smaran Ramanathan worked a 1-2-3 seventh to record the save. Carson Russell had two doubles and three RBIs, while Cassandra added a two-run homer. Denmark is 21-17 on the season.


G1: North Oconee 6, Northside-Columbus 5

G2: Northside-Columbus 6, North Oconee 5

G3:Northside-Columbus 3, North Oconee 1

Northside-Columbus (30-8) will play for its first state baseball championship in school history after knocking North Oconee out of the playoffs Wednesday afternoon. The Patriots's got a pitching gem from Will Graydon and Hunter Poe in Game 3 to send Northside to a 3-1 victory. The duo combined to allow just a run on five hits, while Connor O'Neal went 2-for-3 at the plate. Clayton Weaver drove in two runs and Mack Williams homered.

North Oconee's Bubba Chandler had a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 1 on Tuesday to help the Titans to a 6-5 walk-off victory. But Northside got even in Game 2 as O'Neal's RBI single plated the winning run in the bottom of the seventh in walk-off fashion.


Class 3A


G1: Pace Academy 9, North Hall 1

G2: Pace Academy 8, North Hall 4

Pace Academy (26-6) will play for its first state baseball championship since the Knights won three Class 1A titles from 1993-95. Pace swept a pair of games from North Hall Tuesday night to advance.

In Game 1, pitcher TJ Rafeedie allowed one run on five hits and struck out 10 in a complete-game victory. He got plenty of offensive support as Pace finished with nine runs on 13 hits, including Brian Zeldin's 4-for-4 performance. He finished with a double, a triple and four RBIs. Andrew Jenkins also added a two-run homer.

In Game 2, Zeldin was the winning pitcher, while Darian Howard went 2-for-3 on offense with a triple and three RBIs to pace the offense. 


G1: Pike County 9, Hart County 2

G2: Pike County 4, Hart County 3

Pike County is in its first state baseball championship series since 2011 after sweeping past Hart County Tuesday night. The Pirates (32-4) ended Hart's "Cinderella" run.

In Game 1, pitcher Coleman Crow allowed two runs on three hits and struck out 12 to earn the complete-game victory. Davis York belted a two-run homer and Coleman Boynton went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the offense.

In Game 2, pitcher Noah Windhorst allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits to earn the complete-game victory. Crow went 4-for-4 with a double and a triple and Windhorst added two hits.


Class 2A


G1: Bleckley County 1, Jeff Davis 0

G2:Jeff Davis 8, Bleckley County 2

G3: Jeff Davis 13, Bleckley County 12

Jeff Davis will play for the Class 2A state championship for the second time in three years. The Yellow Jackets, who won the 2017 state championship, took two of three from Bleckley County to advance. 

After Bleckley pitcher Tripp Purser hurled a three-hit shutout to blank the Jackets 1-0 Tuesday night, Jeff Davis rallied back to win Game 2, 8-2, and force a decisive Game 3. Behind Hamp Hayes' 3-for-4 offensive performance and Garrison Miles' complete-game pitching victory, the Jackets forced a third game.

Bleckley held a 12-9 advantage in the top of the sixth of Game 3, but Jeff Davis scored four runs in its half to take a one-run lead. Reliever Britt Metts worked a scoreless seventh to preserve the victory. Metts had three hits, including a pair of homers, and two RBIs. Miles also finished with three hits.


G1: Callaway 5, Rockmart 4

G2: Rockmart 4, Callaway 0

G3: Rockmart 7, Callaway 5

After splitting a pair of games Tuesday night, Rockmart was down to its last out and trailing against Callaway by two runs until Andruw Morris' two-run single tied the game at 5. Then CJ Culver's two-run triple gave the Yellow Jackets a two-run lead heading to the bottom of the seventh inning against Callaway in Game 3.

Rockmart (28-9) brought in Game 2 winner Ty Floyd, who worked a 1-2-3 seventh to preserve the victory and helped the Jackets to the Class 2A state championship series. Logan Shelton earned the victory in relief. Morris, Brayden Cole and Reed Couch finished with two hits apiece to lead the offense.

Floyd, who has verbally committed to LSU, struck out 18 in a no-hitter Tuesday night in Game 2. He finished the series with 20 strikouts and no hits in eight innings of work.


Class 1A Public


G1: Gordon Lee 3, Bowdon 0

G2: Gordon Lee 13, Bowdon 4

Defending Class 1A Public school state champion Gordon Lee will play in its third straight state championship series after sweeping region rival Bowdon Tuesday. It was the second straight year the Trojans defeated Bowdon in the semifinal round.

Their championship opponent will be a familiar one in Schley County, who swept the Trojans in the 2017 Class 1A Public state championship series at Rome's State Mutual Stadium.

In Game 1, Gordon Lee pitcher Jake Wright tossed a one-hit shutout and struck out 12 to lead the Trojans. He also aided his own cause by going 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and two RBIs.

In Game 2, Justin Wooden went 4-for-4 with a double, a two-run homer and four RBIs, while Chris Potter smashed a three-run homer to help Gordon Lee advance.


G1: Schley County 6, Irwin County 3

G2: Irwin County 6, Schley County 3

G3: Schley County 10, Irwin County 1

Schley County will play for its third Class 1A Public state championship in five seasons after eliminating Irwin County in the semifinal round. The Wildcats won state titles in 2015 and 2017.

After splitting a pair of games on Tuesday, Schley got a complete-game pitching performance from senior Lorne Barineau to advance. He got plenty of offensive support as Garrett Peavy, Dakota Albritton, Dylan Taylor and Michael Wainwright each finished with two hits apiece. Ashton Goodin added a two-run homer.

Schley County is 28-5 on the season.


Class 1A Private


G1: Hebron Christian 9, Tattnall Square 8

G2: Tattnall Square 7, Hebron Christian 3

G3: Tattnall Square 8, Hebron Christian 7

After dropping the opener, Tattnall Square rallied back to takes Games 2 and 3 to advance to the Class 1A Private state championship series for the fourth straight year. But it was anything but easy against hebron Christian.

After splitting a pair of games on Tuesday, Tattnall scored seven runs in the second inning, added another in the fifth and then held on for an 8-7 victory. Relief pitcher Trey Ham, normally the team's catcher, got a strikeout in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the victory. The tying run was 90 feet away. Hunter Alexander went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs to lead the defending state champion Trojans back to the championship series.


G1: Wesleyan 14, Savannah Christian 2

G2: Savannah Christian 6, Wesleyan 3

G3: Savannah Christian 3, Wesleyan 2

Garrett Bradley broke Wesleyan's heart in the bottom of the seventh inning in Game 3 on Wednesday. With the Wolves leading 2-1 and two outs, Bradley doubled to score Mark Langston to tie the game. He took third base on the throw to home plate, then he scored on a wild pitch as Savannah Christian took a wild 3-2 victory to advance.

Savannah Christian will play for its second state baseball championship in three years. Its opponent will be familiar. The Raiders will play Tattnall Square, whom they defeated in 2017 to win the Class 1A Private state championship.

Kyle Hilton earned the victory in relief of starter Joey White, who also went 3-for-3 on offense.