John Milledge closing in on GISA title
Trevor Evans admitted that he smiled just a bit when Jalen Beck singled in pinch-runner Jacob Prestwood in the second inning to give his team a 1-0 lead Friday.
The John Milledge pitcher wouldn’t admit that he thought the early run would be enough run support, but it ended up being plenty. The Trojans’ bats added four more runs in the sixth as John Milledge took Game 1 of the best-of-three series for the GISA Class 3A title with a 5-0 decision over Trinity Christian-Sharpsburg.
Three who mattered
Evans: The Georgia College signee was superb on the mound as he allowed only one hit and two baserunners. Evans was in control from the start and was never in serious trouble as he ended the game with seven strikeouts and no walks. The only hit came on a second-inning single. Evans led the John Milledge football team to a Class 3A title last fall.
Beck: The senior right fielder, hitting in the seventh spot delivered a clutch two-out double that scored Prestwood in the second and added another hit and RBI in the sixth to put the game away.
Jake Estes: The Trinity Christian pitcher was almost as good as Evans, allowing only two hits and one run through the first five innings. But an error in the sixth opened the floodgates for John Milledge. Estes ended the game with seven strikeouts and only one walk.
The two teams were locked in a well-played one-run game heading into the bottom of the sixth, until John Milledge came alive. Tyler Bass led off the inning with a single, and Andrew Prestwood sacrificed him to second. Evans was intentionally walked, bringing cleanup hitter Dawson Huff to the plate. Bass attempted to take third on a wild pitch, and the throw got by the third baseman, allowing Bass to score. Huff singled, scoring another run, and after Cole Wilson was hit by a pitch, Beck and Brandon Bellflower followed with singles, scoring two more runs. That was more than enough for Evans, who needed only 88 pitches to pitch a complete game.
They said it
Evans, who improved to 13-0, on the feeling after John Milledge scored the first run: “We know that Trinity has a very good baseball team, and it was important for us to get the lead. We have played so many close games this year that we felt extremely confident with a lead.”
Evans on his performance: “It took a minute to get used to the mound because it was a little flatter than I am used to, but after a few warm-up pitches I felt great. I really can’t say enough the way these guys played behind me.”
Evans on being one win away from adding a baseball state championship: “We are so close right now and I know that Andrew Prestwood will do exactly what I was able to do today. We know as a team we have to come out and play the same way we did in this game.”
John Milledge head coach Justin Mills on his team’s performance: “We had a great pitcher going (Friday), and he did what he has done the entire year. I was so proud of the way we battled against a very good pitcher, and we played a great defensive game behind him.”
Mills on Saturday: “Trinity is a quality baseball team, and we know they won’t go away easily, but we like where we are right now. Obviously we want to come out and win the second game, but we are prepared to do whatever it takes to win the series.
John Milledge (25-3) and Trinity Christian (16-6) will play again at 10:30 am on Saturday. A third game, if needed, will also be Saturday.