QF baseball recap: Hooray for Cherokee County; a look at all 32 series

Article and photos courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution –> Original Article Here

The baseball quarterfinals are done. On to the semifinals, which start Wednesday.

Below are recaps of the 32 quarterfinal series. Missing a couple, but will add those when information becomes available.

Most amazing might’ve been the 23 strikeouts by two Locust Grove pitchers in a 12-inning victory over McIntosh. Locust Grove has allowed three runs in six playoff games.

Also pretty cool is the pair of Cherokee County semifinalists – Etowah and Woodstock – in Class AAAAAAA. Neither is ranked. Neither has ever won a state title in baseball. Both have won three straight series on the road. Each must go on the road again next week.

The last Cherokee school to win a state title in baseball was Canton in 1948. Also note that River Ridge of Woodstock is alive in AAAAAA but must win Friday to advance.

In any event, the highest class is guaranteed of a first-time state champion. Mill Creek and North Gwinnett have never won state titles in baseball.

Here’s the rundown …

Information comes from coaches, GameChanger and other media. Please point out errors if you see any.



Mill Creek d. North Paulding 5-3, 0-2, 5-1: Davis Sharpe (Clemson-committed junior) pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, with seven strikeouts for third-ranked Mill Creek in deciding Game 3 on Thursday. North Paulding had won 2-0 in Game 2 in a contest that was scoreless until the ninth inning. Christian Rutherford struck out 11 for Mill Creek in a losing cause.

Etowah d. Brookwood 10-4, 3-5, 5-1: Etowah, a No. 4 seed out of Region 4, beat Region 7 champion and fifth-ranked Brookwood 3-1 on Thursday to clinch the series. Andrew Keen was 3-for-3 and was the winning pitcher, going six innings and striking out seven. Drew Waters, a Georgia signee, was 2-for-3 and hit his 16th home run of the season. He was 6-for-10 with three homers and six RBI in the series.

Woodstock d. Parkview 3-13, 3-2, 1-0: Josiah Siegel pitched a complete-game three-hit shutout in Game 3, and Woodstock got its only run on a homer by Caleb Bartolero in the second inning off Parkview’s Robert Bennett, who pitched a four-hitter of his own. Woodstock forced Game 3 on Tuesday with a two-out walk-off single by Grant Jacobs in the bottom of the eighth inning Woodstock’s Jared Staples pitched all eight innings, striking out eight, in that win. Parkview was ranked No. 4.

North Gwinnett d. Hillgrove 10-0, 4-3: Parker Coyne (South Carolina signee) went 4-for-6 and hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th inning of the 4-3 win in Game 2 for second-ranked North Gwinnett. Corey Collins homered. Cade Heil (North Georgia) pitched a five-inning four-hit shutout in Game 1. Will Bennett and L.J. Fisher homered, and Coyne was 3-for-4 with two doubles, making him 7-for-10 in the series



River Ridge vs. Alexander: The teams split on Friday, ninth-ranked Alexander winning 3-2, unranked River Ridge winning 11-1. Game 3 is Friday at 5 p.m.

Dalton d. Pope 9-3, 2-3, 9-2: Pope’s Jared Miller was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a homer and five RBI in the Game 3 win that clinched it. Antonio Jareno also had three hits. Max Priego (6 IP, 1 ER) was the winning pitcher. Tanner Huyck was 3-for-3 in the Game 1 win, and Ryan Webb pitched six strong innings (0 ER, 8 SO). Pope is ranked No. 1.

Lee County d. Richmond Hill 11-0, 10-1: Malik Spratling was 5-for-8 with two homers and a doubles in the sweep. Jason Hatcher pitched a six-hitter in Game 1. In Game 2, Layne Wiard allowed two hits and struck out eight over six innings. Garret Suiter was 3-for-4 with a double. Lee County is ranked No. 8. Richmond Hill was unranked.

Johns Creek d. Allatoona 1-0, 6-5: Hayden McIlwaine threw a six-hit shutout (2 SO, 0 BB) in the opener to eliminated second-ranked Allatoona, the Region 6 champion. Travis Sands drove in Johns Creek’s only run with a single in the fourth. In Game 2, Brandon Crews was 2-for-2 with a double, triple, two RBI and two runs scored. Johns Creek led 5-3 after three and never trailed. Johns Creek has won three straight road series and goes on the road again next week to Lee County.



Locust Grove d. McIntosh 10-0, 2-0: Third-ranked Locust Grove, the 2016 champion in AAAA, held McIntosh scoreless for 18 innings – including 12 innings in the 2-0 win in Game 2. Nolan Crisp, a sophomore committed to Mississippi State, struck out 17 in his eight innings and allowed just one hit. Joah Curry pitched the final four innings, striking out six – giving Locust Grove pitchers 23 strikeouts in the game. Locust Grove got two runs in the 12th to win, the key hit a one-out double by Gaven Lee. Daniel Blair pitched seven scoreless innings for McIntosh. In Game 1, Curry was hot at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a triple. Austin Moody homered. Lee went 2-for-4. Ethan Lindow allowed just two hits in 5.2 innings. He struck out six and walked none. Justin Nicholson got the final out for the save.

Wayne County d. Carrollton 8-2, 2-1: Right fielder Cade Lambert threw out the potential tying run at the plate to end the series, a 2-1 victory in Game 2. Carrollton, ranked No. 3, tried to score the run from first base. Josh Gordon was the winning pitcher in Game 2, and he drove in the game-winning run in the top of the seventh inning with a sacrifice bunt that scored pinch-runner Kalijah Hartzog. In Game 1, J.T. Crosby pitched a complete game. He allowed seven hits and struck out seven. Crosby also had two hits at the plate. So did sophomore catcher David Mosely, who would make the final tag at home in the clincher. Wayne Count is unranked.

Loganville d. Veterans 3-4, 9-1, 11-4: Waiting for details. Loganville is ranked No. 7, Veterans No. 2.

Starr’s Mill d. Decatur 9-1, 22-10: Jake Arnold, a North Georgia signee, was 4-for-8 with a double and two triples in the series, and he was the Game 1 winner. He allowed two hits and only one earned run in six innings. Hayes Heinecke was 4-for-6, and Will Evans was 4-for-7. Starr’s Mill is 31-4 and ranked No. 1.



Heritage-Ringgold d. Hardaway 5-2, 6-3: Cole Wilcox had a big series for ninth-ranked Heritage. In Game 1, he pitched a three-hitter and struck out 10. No runs were earned. He also went 2-for-3. Johnathan Hickman homered in that game. In Game 2, Wilcox was 2-for-3 with a home run and a double. Alex Barbree was the winning pitcher. Heritage did not allow an earned run in the series.

Blessed Trinity d. West Laurens 6-1, 6-1: Peyton Glavine was the Game 1 winner. He allowed two hits over six innings. C.J. Abrams was 2-for-3 with a double and a triple. Patrick McNamara pitched a complete-game three-hitter in Game 2. He struck out seven. Colin Davis was 2-for-4 with two doubles. Blessed Trinity, ranked No. 1, is 33-4. B.T. has allowed only eight runs in seven playoff games.

Marist d. Madison County 5-6, 5-0, 19-2: Waiting for details. Loganville is ranked No. 7, Veterans No. 2. Marist is unranked. Madison County was No. 10

LaGrange d. Stephens County 6-2, 5-0: John Morgan (5.2 IP) and Jacob Vinson (1.1 IP) combined on the Game 2 shutout. Ben Anderson was 2-for-4 with a double and a triple. In Game 1, Anderson was the winning pitcher. Willis Kemp was 3-for-4. Champ Willis was 3-for-5 with two doubles in the series. LaGrange is 24-12 overall, 6-0 in the state playoffs, and ranked No. 7. Stephens County was unranked.



Coahulla Creek d. Redan 2-1, 9-8: Unranked Coahulla Creek advanced with a couple of one-run wins. Trent Collins pitched a two-hitter in Game 1, and Redan’s run was unearned. Tanner Cronan hit a two-run double. In Game 2, Coahulla Creek scored all nine of its runs in the second inning for a 9-2 lead and held on. Malcolm Burns was 3-for-4, and Taj Bradley was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI.

Pierce County d. Greater Atlanta Christian 8-4, 10-1: Cody Grant hit two home runs in the series and was the Game 1 winning pitcher. Blake Bishop, Walker Reddish and Stetson Bennett each had four hit in the series. Cody Williams struck out 12 in the clinching win. Pierce County is ranked No. 2. GAC is No. 6.

Calhoun d. Lovett 3-2, 4-5, 2-0: Calhoun’s Davis Allen pitched a three-hit shutout with eight strikeouts in the series-clincher against Lovett, the 2016 AA champion. Austin Trammell and Bryson Davis had two hits apiece. Calhoun won the opener 3-2 behind strong pitching from Brett Potts (5 IP, 2 ER) and two hits apiece from Potts and Carson Kemp. Tremmell was 6-for -11 in the series.

North Hall d. Ringgold 4-2, 6-5: North Hall won a Game 2 that saw six lead changes or ties. North took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. The go-ahead run came on John Mark Montgomery’s triple. Ringgold lost despite out-hitting North Hall 11-6. North Hall won the opener 4-2 on Reese Olson’s four-hitter (0 ER, 5 SO). No. 9 hitter Dylan Lavender was 2-for-3 with a run, RBI and double. North Hall is ranked No. 1.



Toombs County d. Dodge County 6-3, 3-2: Toombs County scored a run in the seventh inning to tie and one in the eighth to win Game 2. Cole Graham and Brock Harrison, both sophomores, had two hits apiece. Senior Brandon Helton also had two. Lane Adams pitched 6.1 innings, allowing just one earned run and scattering 10 hits. In the opener, Martin Stephens, D.R. Meadows and Lane Adams had two hits apiece. Meadows pitched a complete game and allowed no earned runs. Toombs, unranked, has won 12 straight games after a 6-13 start.

Jeff Davis vs. Rockmart: Series is incomplete.

Elbert County d. Thomasville 5-1, 5-0: Bryce Bowen pitched a three-hit shutout in Game 2. He also went 3-for-4 with a double at the plate.Colton Moon pitched a five-hitter in the opener. Moon was 4-for-7 at the plate in the series. Peyton Adams, the No. 9 hitter, was 6-for-7 in the series. Elbert County is ranked No. 1.

Bacon County d. Bleckley County 7-3, 14-4: Tyler Altman’s 3-run double in the top of a five-run ninth inning of Game 1 turned the series. Altman was 5-for-9 with six RBI in the series, not to mention the Game 1 winning pitcher (8 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 6 SO). Dawson Dyal had five hits in the series. Bacon County is ranked No. 7. Bleckley is ranked No. 9.


A private

Savannah Christian d. Mount de Sales 2-0, 9-4: Savannah Christian (30-3) is the No. 1 seed. Zack Brockman, who has signed with Liberty, threw a four-hitter and struck out eight in the opening shutout. Freshman Kyle Hilton improved to 1-0 with the Game 2 win. He was 2-for-4 with a double at the plate.

Athens Christian d. Mount Paran Christian 5-0, 5-7, 12-2: Athens Christian put up seven runs in the sxith inning of Thursday’s series-clinching 12-2 wein. Austin Knowles was 3-for-3. Freshman Blayze Haddock and sophomore Ladd Fortson hit home runs. (Fortson was 5-for-9 with 4 RBI in the series.) Athens Christian had 14 hits. Chandler Pethel got the win. Emory Vaughan pitched a seven-hit shutout with no walks in the opener.

Tattnall Square d. Hebron Christian 5-1, 10-2: Matt Blair pitched a four-hitter and struck out 11 in the opener. Trey Ham and Logan Fink hit home runs. In Game 2, Ham hit another homer. Logan Simmons was 4-for-5, and Luke Laskey was 3-for-5 with a double. Garrett Houston had a double and a home run and was the complete-game winning pitcher.Tattnall Square is 29-3.

Holy Innocents’ d. King’s Ridge Christian 3-2, 4-1: Holy Innocents’ won the clinch Game 2 in extra innings, scoring three runs in the top of the eighth, the big blow Alfredo Granier’s two-run homer. Granier also was the complete-game winning pitcher. Ryan McCrorie and John McNair also had sharp singles in the eighth. In the opener, Granier got a one-out save in relief of Hugh Chapman. Benjamin Maitski homered in the second inning.


A public:

Schley County d. Taylor County 5-0, 8-4: Clint Sellars (4.2 IP) and Chance Hollomon (2.1 IP) teamed for the Game 1 shutout. Sellars also hit a two-run homer, and Hollomon was 2-for-3. In Game 2, Cameron Vanlerberghe and Ashton Goodin hit homers, Reid Ragsdale was 3-for-5, and Will Barry had two hits. Schley again didn’t allow an earned run, and Ashton Goodin (5 IP) and Chase Patrick (2 IP) were the pitchers. Schley County (30-2) is the No. 1 seed.

Telfair County d. Treutlen 14-8, 1-11, 11-10: Telfair County took a 6-0 lead in the third inning and never trailed as complete-game pitcher Louie Harvey gave up 10 runs but hung in there to throw 148 pitches. He allowed a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, as Treutlen closed it to 11-10, but got the final out with the winning run at the plate. Rustin Hancock and Harrison Wood had three hits apiece for Telfair.

Gordon Lee d. Irwin County 11-0, 7-4: Dylan Minghini was 2-for-3 with a double and a homer in Game 1. Mason Pettigrew and Jake Wright combined on the two-hitter in the five-inning run-rule game. Noah Peterson also homered. Caleb Hopkins was 2-for-3Hopkins then homered in Game 2, and Ethan Clark allowed only one hit in five innings.Gordon Lee is the No. 2 seed.

Charlton County d. Johnson County 3-1, 3-4, 9-2: Charlton County, the defending champion, took a 6-1 lead in the third after a three-run double by Tyler Chesser and cruised. Tyler Beckham and K.J. Williams had two hits apiece. Beckham was the winning pitcher. Jack Gowen pitched a three-hitter with nine strikeouts in the opening win.

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