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2017 Georgia Baseball Champions

The 2017 baseball season came to a close in Georgia this week with the crowning of eight state champions across the seven classifications for the first time in state history.

All but one classification featured a sweep in the championship series. In Class 4A the Marist War Eagles (25-17) won the final two games to defeat Blessed Trinity (36-6) 2-1 in their best-of-three series to win its 13th state championship.

Etowah (28-16) swept Woodstock (26-17) in 7A to win its first state championships. Etowah won the second game in eleven innings to complete the series sweep. This series featured two teams from the same county (Cherokee)

Pope (34-6) swept Lee County (28-14) in 6A to win its third state championship.

Loganville (30-13) swept Wayne County (28-14) in 5A to win its third state championship.

North Hall (33-11) won its first state championship with a sweep of Pierce County (28-10) in 3A.

Jeff Davis (33-8) won its first state championship by sweeping Elbert County (33-9) in 2A.

Schely County (34-2) swept Gordon Lee (27-8) in 1A Public while Savannah Christian (34-3) swept Tatnall Square (30-5) in 1A Private.

Despite the added classification there were no repeat champions this season in Georgia.

The latest Perfect Game Top 50 HS rankings have not been released yet. As of the week of May 22nd Blessed Trinity (No. 9), Pope (No.11), Woodstock (No.42), Etowah (No.44) and North Gwinnett (No. 48) were the only teams ranked from Georgia.

Pope (No.11) and Etowah (No.44) are poised to move up when the latest rankings are released while the remainder of the Georgia field will just have to wait and see.

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Etowah and Woodstock were one of two championship series that featured teams from the same region with Marist and Blessed Trinity being the other. Blessed Trinity won all four previous regular season games against Marist before losing the final two in the finals.  Woodstock finished third while Etowah finished fourth in region 4-7A with both posting sub-500 region records as Walton and Lassiter finished one-two in the region. Woodstock won both regular season season meetings with Etowah. Walton and Lassiter were eliminated in the second round to Mill Creek and North Gwinnett respectively

Georgia was well represented throughout the baseball season in the Perfect Game Top 50 HS rankings. In addition to the five teams currently in the rankings, Winder-Barrow, Walton, Parkview, Mill Creek  and Allatoona also were ranked nationally during the season.

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National Movement For Georgia Teams

The updated Perfect Game HS Top 50 national rankings showed expected movement with Winder-Barrow being eliminated and Mill Creek advancing in the state playoffs.

North Gwinnett is now the highest ranked of seven Georgia teams coming in at No. 8 followed by Allatoona (No.14), Parkview (No. 17), Blessed Trinity (No.22), Pope (No. 33), Winder-Barrow (No. 40) while Mill Creek enters the rankings for the first time at No. 44.

Outside of Winder-Barrow’s 37-spot slide, Blessed Trinity slid nine spots after suffering a game 2 loss to Columbus however rebounded to win the series in three games to advance.

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With Winder-Barrow out, Allatoona (31-3) and Pope (31-5) are the only remaining nationally ranked teams in class 6A. Allatoona swept Effingham County in the second round and will host a hot Johns Creek (20-12) team in the Elite 8. Pope swept last season’s 5A state champion Houston County to advance to face Dalton (24-8). Region 6-6A widely considered the toughest region in class 6A, has three of four teams remaining in the Elite 8 in Allatoona, Dalton and River Ridge.

North Gwinnett (32-2) and Parkview (30-4) would meet in the class 7A semifinals if each survive their Elite 8 matchups. North Gwinnett will travel to Hillgrove (25-10) while Parkview will host Woodstock (24-13). Mill Creek (31-5) is on the opposite of the bracket and will travel to North Paulding (23-10). Hillgrove is the lone remaining Cobb County team in class 7A after last season’s 6A state champion Walton fell to Mill Creek.

Blessed Trinity (31-4) will host West Laurens (23-10). The Titans have passed very tough tasks in the first two rounds of class 4A defeating Cartersville and Columbus.

Other Series of Note:

Class 3A’s top-ranked team Redan (25-9) continues to roll. The Raiders have won 16 straight game an advanced to the Elite 8 after sweeping Crisp County and will host Coahulla Creek. Redan has scored 12 or more runs in three of their four playoffs games so far. Coahulla Creek (24-9) was ranked tenth by the Georgia Dugout Preview rankings entering the playoffs and defeated No. 6 Pike County in the second round. Six of the top 10 in class 3A are in the quarterfinals with Calhoun and Lovett being the two unranked teams.

Winder-Barrow Knocked Out Of Playoffs

Baseball season for the Winder-Barrow Bulldogs came to an abrupt end with a 7-2 game 3 loss to Richmond Hill in the second round of the 6A playoffs this past Saturday. Winder Barrow (30-4) and Richmond Hill (23-11) split the first two games of the series on Wednesday however weather pushed game 3 all the way to Saturday afternoon.

The early elimination of the third-ranked team nationally in the latest Perfect Game HS Top 50 is shocking. Winder-Barrow was the highest ranked Georgia team in the PG HS Top 50 and Max Preps Xcellent 25, ranked No.1 in class 6A by the Georgia Dugout Preview entering the playoffs, and had not lost to an opponent from Georgia all season. (No.11 Baseball America Top 25 behind Class 7A No.7 Parkview)

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Beau Hanna put the Bulldogs up 2-1 with a two-run homer in the third inning off of Richmond Hill’s Tyler Harrison. Richmond Hill responded in the fifth inning by putting up two runs for a 3-2 lead. The Wildcats added four insurance runs in the top of the seventh then shut the Bulldogs down in the bottom of the inning for the series-clinching victory.

Richmond Hill, the two-seed from Region 2-6A, is the lone remaining team from the region and will face Lee County (24-11; No.7 in Georgia Dugout Preview) in the Elite 8. Richmond Hill entered the playoffs unranked in by the Georgia Dugout Preview but was receiving consideration. The Wildcats confirmed they deserved the consideration with the series victory over Winder-Barrow.

Georgia National Teams Sweep Way Into Round Of 16

The six teams ranked in the latest Perfect Game HS Top 50 entering the Georgia state playoffs all swept their opponents to advance to the second round in their respective classes.

No. 3 Winder-Barrow (29-2), the highest nationally ranked Georgia team in multiple polls, defeated Harrsion 3-2 in eight innings in game one. In game two Bulldogg pitcher Darrell Woodall pitched a one-hit, nine strikeout complete game as Winder-Barrow completed the sweep with an 8-0 victory. Winder-Barrow will face Richmond Hill in the second round of the 6A playoffs. Richmond Hill swept Stephenson to advance.

No. 9 Parkview (28-4) racked up 20 runs on 19 hits in a sweep of Forsyth Central to advance. Parkview will host Colquitt County in the second round of the 7A playoffs. Colquitt County swept McEachern to advance.

No. 11 North Gwinnett swept Rockdale County by a combined 21-1 score in two games. North Gwinnett (30-2) hit four home runs in the second game and will face Lassiter in the second round of the 7A playoffs. Lassiter swept Newnan to advance.

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In one of the more highly anticipated first round matchups, No. 12 Blessed Trinity swept previously nationally ranked Cartersville 4-1 and 10-1 to advance in the class 4A playoffs. Blessed Trinity will host Columbus in the second round. Columbus swept Thomson by a combined 21-4 score to advance.

No. 20 Allatoona (29-3) swept Lanier 7-2 and 6-2 to advance to the second round of the 6A playoffs. Tyler Messick was a perfect 3-for-3 in game one with 3 RBI. Kyle Jacobsen was held without a hit in both games, struck out twice and scored three runs in eight plate appearances. Allatoona will host Effingham County in the second round. Effingham County swept Mundy’s Mill to advance.

No. 48 Pope swept Creekside by a combined 20-2 score to advance to the second round of the 6A playoffs. Pope (25-5) will face Houston County who defeated Heritage-Conyers 4-3 and 4-3 to advance.

Other notable Georgia first round series: Redan (23-9), the top ranked team in Georgia class 3A, swept Fannin County by a combined 17-2 score to advance. Redan will host Crisp County in the second round. Redan was the only Region 5-3A team that did not need three games in the first round. Lovett was the only other team from Region 5-3A to advance after defeating Dawson County in three games. Pace Academy and Westminster each lost to North Hall and Greater Atlanta Christian respectively in three games. Redan and Lovett tied in their first meeting this season 7-7 which ended in controversy, however recently the game has been awarded to Lovett 8-7. Redan won the second meeting 6-4. Both teams are on opposite sides of the bracket and could only meet again in the championship series. Lovett is not ranked in the Georgia Dugout Preview poll.

Walton, who has been previously ranked nationally this season, swept Westlake by a combined 23-1 score in 7A to advance. Walton will face a dangerous Mill Creek team in the second round. Mill Creek (29-4) has victories this season over state contenders North Gwinnett, Parkview, Loganville (5A), Lassiter and Brookwood.

Tucker (26-6) swept Brunswick by scores of 14-2 and 9-7 to advance. The Tigers will host River Ridge out of Region 6-6A in the second round. River Ridge (25-7) swept Dacula to advance an dis ranked No.4 in class 6A.

Georgia National Baseball Rankings Headed Into Playoff

The Georgia baseball playoffs begin this Friday across all eight classes. Several teams have been nationally ranked throughout the season. Here is a look at where Georgia schools stand nationally entering the playoffs.

The Perfect Game HS Top 50 features six Georgia squads topped by third ranked Winder-Barrow (27-2). The Bulldogs are undefeated against Georgia opponents and posted a 5-2 OOS record against very strong national competition with the high point being a 3-1 showing at the USA National High School Invitational in March. Winder-Barrow will open the playoffs against Harrison. Harrison played in arguably the toughest region in class 6A and picked up a victory over Allatoona this season.

Parkview (26-4) comes in at No.9 in the PG Top 50. The Panthers deep pitching and sound defense propelled them to 14 shutout victories this season. Parkview posted a 6-1 OOS record this season to go with instate losses state contenders to Allatoona (6A), Mill Creek (7A) and Brookwood (7A).

North Gwinnett opened the season winning its first 20 games, are 28-2 entering the playoffs and ranked No. 11 in the PG HS Top 50.  The Bulldogs went 4-0 in OOS games this season with instate losses to Mill Creek (7A) and Loganville (5A). As a team North Gwinnett is batting .331 and has a team ERA of 1.93.

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Blessed Trinity (27-3) comes in at No. 12 and may have the toughest first round opponent in previously ranked Cartersville. The Titans posted a 5-1 OOS record and suffered instate losses to Etowah (7A) and Kell (6A), both in higher classifications than Blessed Trinity. Blessed Trinity is batting .336 as a team with a 1.36 team ERA.

Allatoona (27-3) comes in at No.20 in the latest PG HS Top 50 . The Buccaneers won their lone OOS contest while suffering defeats to Harrison, Dalton and Blessed Trinity. The Buccaneers signature victory of the season came against Parkview (7A). Allatoona as a team is batting .342 with 201 RBIs and a team ERA of 1.68.

Rounding out the Georgia teams in the PG HS Top 50 is Pope (24-5) at No. 48. The Greyhounds were undefeated in OOS play with a 5-0 mark. Losses this season came to Cambridge, Dunwoody, Alpharetta and Walton. Pope remains ranked despite losing four of its last nine games to close the regular season.

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2015-16 GA 5A Baseball Finals

In the latest Max Preps Xcellent 25 rankings Winder-Barrow (No.3), North Gwinnett (No.5), Allatoona (No.12) and Pope (No.23) are ranked.

In the latest Baseball America Top 25 Parkview tops the Georgia pack at No.8. Winder-Barrow (No.14) and Walton (No.22) are the only other Georgia teams ranked.

The Georgia Dugout Preview final regular season rankings have North Gwinnett (7A), Winder-Barrow (6A) and Blessed Trinity (4A) ranked No.1 in their respective classes. Starrs Mill (5A), Redan (3A), Jeff Davis (2A), Gordon Lee (1A Public) and Savannah Christian (1A Private) round out the other top ranked teams entering Georgia playoff action.

Allatoona Wraps Up Region Title

The Allatoona Buccaneers won its fourth consecutive region title after wrapping up the region 6-6A championship Thursday night after a 10-0 victory over South Cobb (4-14; 2-12) in five innings.

Trey Horton allowed one hit while striking out seven in four innings on 60 pitches to pick up the win. Kyle Reichert relieved Horton in the fifth inning and struck out two of the three batters he faced.

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Shortstop Blake Evans went a perfect 4-of-4 on the night with three singles, a double and two RBI. Peyton Eeles had a pair of RBIs while Kyle Jacobsen and David Smith each went 1-3 with an RBI.

Allatoona (26-3; 13-2), ranked No.22 in the latest Perfect Game HS Top 50 rankings, will close the regular season against South Cobb Friday before turning their attention towards the 6A playoffs where they will host a region 8-6A opponent.

UPDATE: Allatoona defeated South Cobb 9-0 on Friday to close the regular season with a 27-3 overall record and 14-2 region record. The playoff seeding for region 6-6A will be Allatoona, River Ridge, Dalton and Harrison. Allatoona will host Lanier (8-20) in the first round of the 5A state playoffs Friday April 28th with the first game of the double header slated for a 5pm start.

Walk Off Error Pushes Allatoona by Dalton

The two-game series between region 6-6A rivals Dalton and Allatoona lived up to tthe hype. Days after winning in walk off fashion on a Jantzen Calvo RBI single in nine innings, Dalton found itself in another extra inning affair with Allatoona.

Tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the eight Kyle Jacobsen drew a lead off walk. Jacobsen stole second on the first pitch of David Smith’s at bat. Later in the at bat Smith grounded into what looked to be a routine out however Dalton shortstop Matthew Houghton’s errant throw allowed Jacobsen to score giving Allatoona (25-3; 12-2) the 2-1 victory in eight innings.

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The Buccaneers are in the drivers seat to finish first in the region with only two games remaining against South Cobb. Dalton completes their regular season 20-7 overall and 12-4 in the region and are currently the three-seed going into the final weekend of regular season action behind River Ridge.

The contest was a pitching duel most of the contest as Allatoona’s Brian DeCarlo worked 7 1/3 inning with 96 pitches, 8K’s, 2BB, 2HBP allowing only 1 earned run. That earned run was a Harrison Norman homer in the sixth that knotted the score at 1-1.

Allatoona took a 1-0 lead in the fourth due to fielding and throwing issues from the Catamounts. Cole Shelton struck out Tyler Messick however Messick needed to be thrown out, in the process. Dalton catcher JP Thighe hit Messick in the back while throwing to first to allow courtesy runner Alex Tansley to score. Tansely was running for catcher David Smith who reached on an infield single earlier in the inning.

Shelton worked the entire game for Dalton throwing 96 pitches, 9K’s, 3BB and allowed both runs.

Allatoona feel three sports to No.22 in the Perfect Game HS Top 50 after the 7-6 defeat to Dalton and are still considered a championship contender in class 6A.

Dalton Defeats No.19 Allatoona

Georgia Class 6A baseball is very strong and region 6-6A could be the strongest region in the state. The Region was on display Friday night in Dalton, Ga as the host Catamounts hosted nationally ranked Allatoona (No. 19 in the Perfect Game HS Top 50) in a key region tilt.

Allatoona entered the contest with a two-game lead for first place in the region over Dalton.

It took both teams a little while to settle in as Allatoona scored two runs in the top of the first only to have Dalton answer with five runs on only two hits in the bottom of the inning for a 5-2 lead off of starting pitcher Kyle Jacobsen.

Allatoona would fight back in the third. After back-to-back singles from Blake Evans and Payton Eeles, Jacobsen used his bat to even the score 5-5 moments later with a three-run home run.

Dalton’s JP Tighe tripled and scored moments later on an RBI single by designated hitter Harrison Norman to take a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the third inning.

Jacobsen would again pull the Buccaneers even with his second homer of the game, this one a booming solo shot to left center in the fifth inning. From there the squads would tussle the remainder of the night.

The region implications were enhanced when it was announced in the middle of the seventh inning that River Ridge had defeated Harrison in the normal seven innings bringing on loud cheers from the Dalton fans that filled the bleachers for senior night.

Seven innings would not be enough on this night as neither team allowed a run after the fifth inning. Dalton finally knocked Jacobsen out of the game after 91 pitches in the seventh inning. Jacobsen did not strike out a batter, allowed three walks and six runs.

In the bottom of the ninth Dalton loaded the bases with Jantzen Calvo coming to bat. Calvo singled to right field scoring Cole Shelton for the walk off RBI single off of reliever Trey Horton for the 7-6 Dalton victory.

Maddux Houghton picked up the win working two innings of relief for starter Harrison Hughes. Hughes allowed six runs, 10 hits with two strikeouts and two walks over seven innings.

Dalton (20-6) improves to 11-3  in the region while Allatoona (24-3) falls to 11-3 in the region. The second game of the two-game series is Tuesday at Allatoona.  Both teams split with Harrison earlier this season which means region tiebreakers will could come into play depending on the result of Tuesday’s game.

 

 

 

Perfect Game HS Top 50: Georgia updates

Georgia continues to occupy a number of spaces in the latest Perfect Game High School Top 50 national poll.

Parkview is the highest ranked Georgia teams coming in at No.5. The Panthers swept a four-game spring break swing in Florida with victories over Jesuit, Sarasota, Venice and IMG Academy. The Panthers outscored those teams by a combined 14-1. Parkview extended it’s winning streak to 16 consecutive games with a pair of victories over Norcross this week. The Panthers have tallied seven shutouts during the winning streak.

Winder-Barrow (23-2) continues to climb the rankings moving up to No.7. The Bulldoggs have followed up their 3-1 showing in the National High School Invitational with a three-game sweep of region foe Habersham Central to go with two victories this week against Apalachee.

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North Gwinnett (24-2) is the third Georgia team in the top ten coming in at No.9. The Bulldogs have won four of their last six games. They have defeated Discovery and Peachtree Ridge this week.

No.19 Allatoona (23-2) ran its winning streak to nine after defeating Stockbridge, Grayson County (KY) and North Atlanta at the Perfect Game Spring Fling at Lake Point. The Buccanners outscored those three foes by a combined 26-1 score.  The Buccaneers rule-ruled Osborne 15-0 this week and face Dalton in a home-and-home series with region 6-6A first place on the line beginning Friday in Dalton.

Blessed Trinity (No. 12), Pope (No.15), Walton (No. 37) are the other teams in the Perfect Game HS Top 50.

 

 

Georgia Fills Perfect Game Top 50 Rankings

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.

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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.