Another GISA championship within Piedmont’s grasp

Article and photos courtesy of the Macon Telegraph –> Original Article Here

For most high school athletes, winning one championship is the stuff of dreams. But for Piedmont, an overflow of the emotion of being a champion is just two wins away.

The Cougars (21-6) will go for their fourth GISA Class 2A championship in a row this weekend at Mercer OrthoGeorgia Park against Terrell Academy. The series opener is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and the second game is at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The third game, if needed, will be at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. If the Class 3A series fails to go to a third game, a third game of the Class 2A series will be moved to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Of the Cougars’ five regular-season losses, one was to Class 2A semifinalist Windsor and two came to Class 3A finalist John Milledge.

“These guys have had goals all year of starting what they finished and making it four for four. It’s still definitely in the forefront of their mind, and they are very driven to get it done,” Piedmont head coach Wes Tanner said. “They’re battle-tested, that’s for sure. They’ve been in the wars going on four years now. It’s still very exciting, don’t get me wrong. This is what you work all year for. It’s still very exciting for everyone.”

Six seniors lead this team. That experience has brought wins and championships and a sense of calm in high-stakes situations. One came last weekend in the semifinals. After a 4-3 loss to Flint River in the first game of the series, elimination and the end of four straight titles were staring the Cougars in the face. But Piedmont stood firm, winning the final two games of the series by 14-2 and 15-5 scores.

“In the Final Four series, we get down 1-0, but nobody panics. There is no doubt that we’re not going to get it done; that never crosses their mind,” Tanner said. “They are very confident and sure that they are going get it done. You can tell they have been in these battles before.”

Sam Wright will start Friday’s first game with Mack Brady and Tate Marks as the other potential starters and Michael Edwards and Chase Porter also available to pitch.

Piedmont has been on a roll offensively since a two-game losing streak, dropping games to John Milledge (8-2) and Brentwood (2-0) in April. In their nine games since, the Cougars have been held to fewer than five runs just once and scored 10 or more runs four times.

“We always preach about being competitive at the plate no matter the situation, that’s really clicked and since the playoffs began and a Brentwood loss that maybe we feel we should not have lost. It made us lock in offensively,” Tanner said. “We definitely have clicked more off since the playoffs started.”

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