Process working quite well for Tattnall Square

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

As much success as Tattnall Square’s baseball program has enjoyed through the years, the way the Trojans work to reach championship weekend has become well-established.

For the second year in a row, Tattnall will be playing for the GHSA Class 1A private school baseball championship. Between that and the eight GISA championships the Trojans won under head coach Joey Hiller, the things that need to be done to win a title are set in the minds of players and coaches.

“Our hard work out here seals the deal,” shortstop Logan Simmons said. “I think we work harder than anybody else out there. Hopefully it pays off.”

It’s a process Tattnall’s players buy into every year. And if the Trojans can claim this weekend’s best-of-three championship series against Savannah Christian, the process will once again prove fruitful.

Four of the past five seasons have ended in championships for Tattnall. The one miss came in 2015, Tattnall’s first year in the GHSA, when the Trojans fell to King’s Ridge Christian in the semifinals.

At 31-3 heading into Friday’s 4 p.m. doubleheader at Grayson Stadium in Savannah, the process seems to be playing out quite well for the Trojans, who swept all three of their postseason series.

“It’s always an exciting time playing for a state championship,” third baseman Luke Laskey said. “There’s a pretty good tradition at Tattnall where as a brotherhood we get together and go win a state championship.”

Pitching and defense are the cornerstones of Tattnall’s game.

With two quality starters in Matt Blair and Garrett Houston, the Trojans’ pitching staff has a 1.33 ERA in its six state playoff games. Blair, with a 1.05 state playoff ERA, has 31 strikeouts in three appearances, and Houston, with a 1.66 state playoff ERA, has 22 strikeouts in three starts.

Since March 1, Tattnall has allowed opponents to score three or more runs in a game just twice.

Offensively, Tattnall hasn’t been necessarily hot throughout the lineup, hitting a pedestrian .270 as a team in the state playoffs. But four of the top five spots in the batting order are hitting above .300, and four of the top six spots have connected on home runs.

Trey Ham, who has three home runs during the state playoffs, is sitting on a program record 13 homers this season. Logan Fink, who bats immediately behind Ham in the No. 5 hole, has two homers in the past six games.

“I just have to make sure that after he hits that home run that I get on and get that rally going again and keep putting up runs,” said Fink, the Trojans’ first baseman. “Focus on getting on base, not trying to do too much with the pitch, just try to help the team score some more runs.”

Savannah Christian, also 31-3, entered the postseason as the No. 1 team in the Class 1A private school power ratings, more than two points ahead of second-ranked Tattnall.

The Raiders have played small ball during the postseason, scoring two runs in three of its six wins. They beat Athens Christian 2-1 and 2-0 in the semifinals, and they beat Mount de Sales 2-0 and 9-4 in the quarterfinals.

Two of Savannah Christian’s losses came in the Perfect Game tournament at LakePoint in Emerson, both to out-of-state opponents. The Raiders’ only in-state loss came in their season opener at Pierce County.

“They’re a really, really good team,” Hiller said. “They’ve got good players. We played them two years ago in the state tournament, and one of their guys we faced back then is their No. 1 pitcher right now. Their No. 2 is obviously pretty good, as well. It should be another really good series.”

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