‘Very athletic’ Blessed Trinity takes run at 3rd baseball title in 4 years

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

Blessed Trinity reached the state baseball finals each of the past three seasons, winning in 2014 and 2015. The current team sits No. 1 in Georgia’s Class AAAA and No. 16 nationally – the highest of any Georgia team – in MaxPreps’ computer rankings.

Blessed Trinity coach Andy Harlin can’t say which is the best of his recent powerhouse teams, but he says this one stands out for its speed and athleticism.

‘’This is like a lot of defensive backs and wide receivers,’’ Harlin said. “We’re not a bunch of gigantic humans. It’s a lot of very athletic kids, some multiple-sport guys. We’re just guys that if you put them on a football field or basketball court, they’re going to be good there too.’’

The outfielders – Jake Smith and brothers Ryan Davis and Colin Davis – are football players. Smith was the starting quarterback last fall, and Ryan was an all-state wide receiver and return man on a team that won its fourth straight region title.

Second baseman C.J. Abrams made the all-region team in basketball. Blessed Trinity won its region in that sport too.

Those four players have stolen 43 bases on the diamond this spring, each with at least nine.

And then there’s shortstop David Dunn, the leadoff hitter, with 11 steals, 30 runs scored and a .387 batting average. He’s signed with Northwestern and might be the fastest of them all.

‘’Heck, they could run track,’’ Harlin said. “We have a lot of speed one through nine. You don’t always get that.’’

Blessed Trinity has speed, but also good power, defense and pitching. The Titans are 24-3, having won 12 straight, and they locked up the Region 7-AAAA title last week by sweeping Marist 7-2, 9-4, 4-0.

The biggest season is being had by Colin Davis, the right fielder. Colin is the middle brother in the Davis clan. Ryan plays center field. Older brother Conor, star of last year’s team, is hitting .324 as a freshman at Auburn.

Now it’s Colin’s turn. The Titans’ cleanup batter is hitting .410 with eight home runs and 39 RBI as a senior. He has 20 extra-base hits in 83 at-bats. Davis has signed with Wofford.

‘’He’s been a freak show, no doubt about it,’’ Harlin said. “He’s feeling very comfortable now, very confident. Obviously his power numbers are up there. A lot of the credit for the RBIs goes to the guys in front of him, but he’s bringing them in. Defensively he’s a great player there also. He’s been a complete guy.’’

Abrams, the sophomore middle infielder, is the leading hitter at .451. He’s ranked by Perfect Game as the No. 9 sophomore in the country and is a member of the 17U USA Baseball National Developmental Program. He hits left-handed.

‘’He’s already seeing activity with the scouts,’’ Harlin said. “They can see that coming. He’s a special talent. He’s one of those guys who can hit for average and power and run the bases. He’s got all that stuff they like.’’

The pitching rotation is stocked with seniors Peyton Glavine (6-1, 1.19), Patrick McNamara (7-0, 0.38), Cole McNamee (7-0, 0.77). All are playing more prominent roles this season after the graduation of John Michael Bertrand (Furman) and Hayden Lehman (Walters State), aces from the 2016 team.

Glavine, who has signed with Auburn, was 6-0 with an 0.80 last year but is now leading the staff. McNamara (Presbyterian) and McNamee (Wake Forest) have been with the varsity since they were freshmen but only now have entered the rotation full-time. Harlin is not surprised at how well they’ve pitched.

‘’We’ve seen how they’ve come along every year, and their confidence level is up,’’ Harlin said. “They work hard and put in the preparation, so that’s where the confidence comes from. Those three have been lights out.’’

One would expect that last season’s disappointment – a pair of one-run losses to Westminster in the AAA championship series – would serve as motivation this season. The 2016 team also was nationally ranked and ran a winning streak left from the 2015 team to a school-record 49 games. Blessed Trinity had trounced Westminster 15-1 and 9-3 in the regular season.

But Harlin downplayed the theme of redemption and praised the 2016 team.

“That team last year in my book was one of the best we’ve had,’’ Harlin said. “We lost a lot of guys off the team before and had guys in different roles. For them to be a part of that winning streak and reach the finals for a third year in a row, I’m very proud of that team.’’

Blessed Trinity has a three-game series this week with West Hall, then enters the AAAA playoffs.

The Titans again are the team to beat.

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