Updated semifinal recaps: Etowah, Woodstock advance to all-Cherokee final
Nine baseball semifinal series were completed Wednesday, and seven will resume Thursday in the state baseball playoffs.
Here are recaps of the nine semifinal sweeps. More to come on the other seven.
Congrats to Pope, Lee County (AAAAAA), Blessed Trinity, Marist (AAAA), Pierce County, North Hall (AAA), Tattnall Square and Savannah Chistian (A private) and Schley County (A public) for reaching the state finals.
The Blessed Trinity-Marist final might be the most interesting so far. No. 1 Blessed Trinity swept its Catholic school and Region 7 rival of three games last month, but Marist is 12-2 since then and has shut out six of its last eight opponents.
Mill Creek vs. Etowah: Mill Creek won the opener 1-0 on Wednesday. Etowah won 5-1 in Game 2.
Woodstock vs. North Gwinnett: Woodstock won the opener 3-2 on Wednesday. North Gwinnett won 10-2 in Game 2.
Pope d. River Ridge 7-6, 10-0: Pope rallied from a 6-1 deficit and scored five in the sixth inning and the game-winner on a bases-loaded walk. Buddy Floyd was 3-for-4. Parker Orr and Michael Wynne had two hits apiece. In Game 2, Orr and Antonio Jareno homered (Jareno’s a grand slam), and Chase Smith (5 IP, 7 SO), Scotty Lesieur (1 IP) and Max Pralgo (1 IP) combined on a four-hitter.
Lee County d. Johns Creek 7-4, 5-3: Lee County scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning on Tyler Simon’s two-run double to win Game 2. Simon pitched the final four innings, allowing one run on two hits, and was the winner. Malik Spratling was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. In Game 1, Josh Hatcher was 2-for-3 with a home run and 3 RBI. He also was the winning pitcher as he survived 12 hits. Brenton Phillips and Garret Suiter also had two hits apiece. Matt Gravely was 5-for-7 in the series for Johns Creek.
Wayne County vs. Locust Grove: Wayne County won the opener 16-1 on Wednesday. Locust Grove won 7-4 in Game 2.
Starr’s Mill vs. Loganville: Starr’s Mill won the opener 1-0 on Wednesday. Loganville won 3-1 in Game 2.
Blessed Trinity d. Heritage-Ringgold 12-0, 6-4: Blessed Trinity won the opener on Peyton Glavine’s five-inning, three-hit shutout. He walked none and struck out three. David Dunn was 3-for-3 with a triple. Ryan Davis, Colin Davis and Michael Markwordt were 2-for-3. Mitchell Weidner hit a three-run homer. Blessed Trinity trailed 4-1 early in Game 2 but scored three in the fourth to tie and two on Jake Smith’s single in the seventh to win it. Smith got the win with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief of Patrick McNamara. Dunn was 2-for-4 and hit another triple. Smith and Weidner each were 2-fo-2.
Marist d. LaGrange 5-0, 9-0: In Game 1, Connor Stephens pitched 6.2 innings, allowing three hits, striking out three. Marist scored one run in the sixth and four in the seventh, the big hit Joseph Mannelly’s two-run double. In Game 2, sophomore Seb Thomas pitched five shutout innings. He allowed four hits and struck out none. Marist scored three in the first, four in the third. In the series, Charlie Benson was 4-for-6, and Mannelly was 3-for-5. LaGrange had only three baserunners reach third base in the series.
Pierce County d. Coahulla Creek 5-1, 5-0: Cody Williams threw a two-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts in the opener. Ben Tuten was 3-for-4 with two RBI. Stetson Bennett was 2-for-4. In Game 2, Coy Sinclair and Cody Grant each were 2-for-3. Sinclair had a double, and Grant pitched a three-hitter with six strikeouts and no earned runs allowed.
North Hall d. Calhoun 10-1, 3-0: Corban Meeler pitched a two-hit shutout with six strikeouts in clinching Game 2. North Hall scored single runs in the first three innings. In Game 2, Meeler was 2-for-3 with a double. Jackson Latty was 2-for-3 with three RBI, and Taber Mongero was 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored. Reese Olson pitched a complete game, allowing four hits and no earned runs. He struck out five.
Toombs County vs. Jeff Davis: This series begins Thursday at 5 p.m. with a Game 3 set for Friday at 6 p.m. if necessary.
Bacon County vs. Elbert County: Bacon County won the opener 3-2 on Wednesday. Elbert County won 2-1 in Game 2.
Schley County d. Telfair County 6-2, 18-1: Schley County put up 10 runs in the first inning, seven in the second, in the 18-1, three-inning run-rule Game 1. The Wildcats were 14-of-20 at the plate. Chase Patrick was 3-for-3 with two RBI and allowed only one hit in his three-inning complete game. He had two hits, one a double, in the first inning alone. Will Barry, Wade Law, Cameron Belcher had two hits apiece. In the opener, Patrick, Barry and Law had two hits. Barry (5 IP, 1 ER, 4 SO) was the winning pitcher. Clint Sellers pitched two scoreless innings of relief.
Gordon Lee vs. Charlton County: Gordon Lee won the opener 4-3, and Charlton County won 3-1 in Game 2.
Savannah Christian d. Athens Christian 2-1, 2-0: Down 1-0, Savannah Christian scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to snatch Game 1. Kyle Hilton started it with a single, and Drew Malphrus and Nick Arrowood each had RBI singles with two outs, Arrowood’s in walk-off fashion. Zack Brockman pitched a one-hitter and struck out eight. In Game 2, Hilton pitched a three-hitter with seven strikeouts and no walks. Justin Anderson was 3-for-3 with a double and scored both Raider runs.
Tattnall Square d. Holy Innocents’ 5-0, 9-3: Matt Blair pitched a two-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts in the opener. Trey Ham hit a two-run homer, and Austin Marchman was 2-for-3. In Game 2, Garrett Houston was 4-for-4 with three RBI and was the winning pitcher. He allowed four hits and two earned runs and had eight strikeouts. Mikey Wilson was 3-for-3 with three runs scored. Tattnall Square is 31-3, including 6-0 in the playoffs, and has won 10 straight games.