Baseball: Monday State Championship Roundup

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Defending Class AAAAAAA state champion Parkview swept Hillgrove (4-1, 9-0) at SunTrust Park on Monday to win the program’s eighth all-time state title. The Panthers are now a perfect 8-for-8 in state championship series appearances. Making the start for Parkview Game 1 was Miles Garrett, who pitched 5.1 scoreless innings before Brad Stanley took to the mound to close out the contest in his relief role.

Parkview and Hillgrove remained scoreless until the bottom of the third inning. Clemson-signee Jonathan French plated two runs on a 2-RBI double. Senior Stephen Hrustich later grew the lead to 3-0 with an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning. Hillgrove scored its only run of the series in the top of the sixth inning and Parkview’s Jonathan Ponder added one back in the bottom of the frame with a sacrifice fly.

The Panthers and Hawks were locked in a 0-0 ballgame in the backend of the double-header until the bottom of the sixth inning when French blasted an RBI triple to give Parkview a 1-0 lead. After keeping Hillgrove scoreless in the bottom of the sixth, Parkview exploded in the top of the seventh with eight more runs and eight of its 13 total hits in the game. Parkview went on to outhit Hillgrove 18-7 in the series and closed the playoffs without dropping a single game through the five rounds of play.

Class AAAAA: Loganville 6, 7 vs. Ola 2, 6

Loganville claimed its third-straight Class AAAAA state title with a thrilling sweep over Ola (6-2, 7-6) at Gwinnett’s Coolray Field. Ola was the first to get on the board in Game 1 after an RBI double by Cason Bennett in the bottom of the second gave the Mustangs a 1-0 lead. That margin held until Loganville poured on a devastating five runs in the top of the seventh.

After back-to-back walks by Sterling Richardson, Ola brought in pitcher Cameron Land with two batters on base and just one out. Loganville’s Dylan Strickland stepped up to the plate hit what would be the first of three triples in the inning. Strickland’s RBI triple was immediately followed by a Jacob Boyd triple sent him home and increased the lead to 4-1. Ian King drove home Boyd on a sacrifice fly and the hitting barrage continued. Loganville’s Blaine Marchman got on with a two-out single and then Daniel Braswell blasted an RBI triple off the right centerfield wall to get Braswell across the plate and put the Red Devils up 6-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh.

Ola’s Garrett Carter cut the deficit to 6-2 with an RBI double before Loganville’s Caleb Garner closed out his complete game and Game 1 victory. Garner tossed 80 total pitches and allowed seven hits with three strikeouts and just one walked batter.

In Game 2, Ola rallied back from Loganville’s 4-2 lead and took a 5-4 advantage into the bottom of the fifth inning. Loganville answered and Braswell eventually drew a bases loaded walk to tie it up 5-5 heading into the sixth. Ola went up 6-5 in the top of the sixth, but the Red Devils added two in the top of the seventh before celebrating a series clinching 7-6 victory .

Class AA: Rockmart 4, 2 vs. Jeff Davis 1, 4

In the battle of the Yellowjackets, Rockmart and Jeff Davis split the Class AA Championship series to force a deciding game three this Wednesday at Macon’s Luther Williams Field. In game one, Rockmart had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, but Jeff Davis managed to put a run on the board to tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Rockmart’s lead was regained following a two-run inning in the fourth, and the Yellowjackets continued to tack on the runs with another in the fifth inning to secure the game one victory.

In game two Rockmart picked up where it left off, building a 2-0 lead by the bottom of the third. However, Jeff Davis refused to hinder and surpassed Rockmart with 4 runs in the bottom of the third coming from six hits off the Yellowjackets’ bats. With bases loaded in the top of the sixth, Rockmart was positioned to retake the lead and move closer towards the programs first baseball state title in school history. Jeff Davis managed to escape the inning while letting up zero runs and held on strong to claim game two.

Class A-Public: Gordon Lee 2, 2 vs. Schley County 0, 3

The Class A-Public title was unable to be awarded as the Gordon Lee Trojans and the Schley County Wildcats split their championship series to force a deciding game three this Wednesday at Savannah’s Grayson Stadium. Gordon Lee took game one, scoring a run in the fourth and sixth innings to win 2-0. The game-one shutout over Schley County came in large part to the pitching performance of junior Jake Wright. During his time on the mound, Wright gave up only two hits while racking up a stellar 13 strikeouts.

In game two, Schley County scored its first run of the series in the top of the second to take an early 1-0 lead, but the Trojans were quick to tie the game in the bottom of the inning. The runs didn’t stop there as the Wildcats added two runs the following inning, but Gordon Lee remained close behind with a run of their own to keep the run deficit at one. With the score remaining the same for the remainder of the game, Schley County took the 3-2 win to force a game three and extend their chances of dethroning the Class A-Public defending champs.

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