As the Georgia high school baseball season begins to come down the home stretch and head for the playoffs, several teams can be found in the national rankings.
Pope (7), Winder-Barrow (10), North Gwinnett (12), Parkview (17), Blessed Trinity (19), Allatoona (21) and Walton (30) all are in the latest Perfect Game Top 50 high school rankings.
North Gwinnett (7) and Winder-Barrow (21) are also ranked in the latest Baseball America HS Top 25 rankings.
Winder-Barrow (7), North Gwinnett (9) and Allatoona (12) also come in ranked in the latest Max Preps Xcellent 25.
Here is a brief look at each team and their upcoming schedules this week.
Pope (19-2) had its 14-game winning streak snapped last week falling to Cambridge 4-2. Pope will face county rivals Lassiter and Walton this week. Chase Smith and Ryan Webb have been solid for Pope in the pitching department this season. Offensively the Greyhounds have been solid averaging just over seven runs per game while yielding just under three runs per game.
Winder-Barrow (18-2) went 3-1 at the National High School Invitational last week in Cary, NC with victories over No.3 Huntington Beach (CA), No.16 American Heritage (FL) and Rocky Mountain (CO). The Bulldoggs lost in the semifinals to Dana Hills (CA). Winder-Barrow will wrap up the regular season with series against Habersham Central, Apalachee and Lanier before the state playoffs. Darrel Woodall (P), Daniel Buice (P), Will Hargraves (IF/P), Beau Hanna (C) and Pat DeMarco (CF) pace the senior-laden team.
Allatoona (19-2) has won six in a row and will face Stockbridge and North Atlanta this week in the Perfect Game Spring Fling at Lake Point. An all-important 2-game region series against Dalton still remains on the schedule. Kyle Jacobsen is the highlight player for the Buccaneers. Jacobsen enters the week batting .471 with 21 RBI 3 HR and is 5-1 with a 0.95 ERA and 23 strikeouts on the mound. David Smith (C; .417 24 RBI 2 HR), Payton Eeles (2B; .368 13 RBI), Blake Evans (SS; .417 6 RBI), Skylar McPhee (3B; .343 16 RBI) and Tyler Messick (1B/3B; .324 13 RBI) make Allatoona a championship contender in the heavy 6A classification. Head coach Keith Hanson recorded his 300th career victory earlier this season in a 10-1 victory over Creekview.
Class 7A is represented by North Gwinnett, Parkview and Walton.
North Gwinnett (20-1) opened the season winning its first 20 games before falling last week 6-2 to Mill Creek. The Bulldogs pitching is anchored by seniors Jake Brace and Cade Heil. Brace is 5-1 with a 1.43 ERA to go with 32 strikeouts. Heil is 4-0 with a 2.13 ERA and has fanned 53 batters this season. Sophomore Micah Borah leads the team in batting average at .463 and is second in RBIs with 20. Parker Coyne leads the team in RBIs with 22 and is batting .437 with a pair of dingers on the season.
Parkview (18-3) opened a four-game stretch over spring break in Florida with a 3-0 victory over Jesuit (No.12 in Baseball America HS Top 25) on Monday. The Panthers will face Sarasota (FL), Venice (FL) and IMG Academy (FL) this week while in Florida. Parkview will close the regular season with two-game series against Norcross, Meadowcreek and Brookwood after returning from Florida. Senior Joey DeMasi has powered the Panthers at the plate this season batting .361 with 32 RBI and 8 HR. Logan Cherney (.424) and Jonathan French (.325) are tied for second on the team in RBIs with 18 apiece. Caleb Mitchell and Braden Hays bring the heat from the mound. Mitchell is 5-1 with a 0.92 ERA and 35 strikeouts while Hays is 5-0 with a 2.15 ERA and 39 strikeouts.
Walton (18-4) was ranked as high as eighth this season in the Perfect Game Top 50 comes in at No. 30. The Raiders split two games with Etowah last week and will face Cambridge and county rival Pope in a rematch of last seasons state championship series this week. Walton will close out the regular season with a pair of three-game series against Lassiter and Woodstock. Senior pitcher Luke Bartnicki has tossed a no-hitter this season, has over 55 strikeouts and has hit 90-plus on the radar gun multiple times.