TUESDAY'S LOCAL PREP ROUNDUP: Early beats Thomasville, wins back turkey fan (UPDATES: corrects Early County player's name to "Van" Harrell)

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

BLAKELY -- Early County baseball coach Tommy Holloman and Thomasville coach Eric McDougald still can't seem agree more than a year later on who shot that prized turkey in Blakely during one of their many hunting trips together.

So they came up with the next best solution: They'd let their baseball teams decide for them, with the winner of their game each year getting to hold on to the rivalry's newly founded trophy, the turkey's fan of feathers.

"We were hunting in Early County one day and we came up in this big ol' turkey and he got away, so we went to look for it," Holloman said. "All of the sudden, the bird popped up and we both emptied our shotguns into him, but there was no way to tell who actually shot it. So we agreed that each year we played, the winner got to keep the turkey fan."

And after Tuesday's night's 11-5 Bobcats win, it's headed back to Blakely.

Early got a solid day on the mound from Trevor Willis, a two-run homer from Van Harrell and a great day at the plate from Tyler's twin brother, Trevor, who went 2-for-3 with 4 RBI.

The win pushed Early County's record to 3-7 overall and 2-3 in Region 1-AA with crucial games against Mitchell County (on Thursday) and Berrien (Friday) looming.

"There's no doubt this was a big win," said Holloman, whose team will face Thomasville again later this year, but added that both coaches agreed that only one game in the series -- the first one -- would count toward the turkey fan honor. "We agreed after we shot the turkey (last year) that whoever won the first game got to bring the turkey fan back to their place. And, buddy, that's what we're gonna do."



Andrew Bacon (2-0) pitched a complete game, striking out a staggering 15 batters, while giving up seven hits and walking four.

"That's definitely a season high (number of strikeouts) -- for everyone on this team," said Randolph Southern coach Seth Howell, whose team improved to 5-5 overall and 2-2 in region play.

The game-changer, so to speak, came in the top of the seventh inning with the game tied, 4-4. That's when Blake Lamb had the highlight of the night when he blasted a shot deep into the outfield with the bases loaded. Fullington had trouble getting the ball into the infield and before the Trojans knew it, the bases had been cleared -- including Lamb -- for a four-run, inside-the-park home run.

"It was a nice comeback after we started with a few errors and down, 3-0. But 15 strikeouts and a four-run, inside-the-parker?" began Howell, "I don't think I've ever seen that in the same day."

The win also avenged an earlier loss to Fullington, 7-4, in Shellman as the Patriots now get set to take on Westwood on Thursday at home at 4:30 p.m.



It was a rematch showdown of the No. 1-ranked team in Class A -- CCA -- against No. 2 in the Eagles as Terrell fell behind early, 6-1, and fought back, but fell just short. Citizen's won the earlier meeting, 11-6.

"It was a dog fight (Tuesday). We just got ourselves in a hole and just couldn't get out of it," TAE coach Ashley Walker said. "We were down, 6-5, in the bottom of the seventh and had bases loaded with one out, but we just came up short."

Westover transfer Lance Shernisky pitched five innings, walking five and striking out eight batters.

Highlights from the plate for Terrell included Colby Blackburn (1-for-4, home run, 2 RBI); Adam O'Hearn (2-for-4, 2B) and Matt Brown (2-for-5, RBI). Blackburn's home run was his third of the year and leads the team.

Terrell won't play again until April 9 when they travel to Dothan, Ala., for a tournament.



Baconton Charter hammered Randolph-Clay Tuesday in a game that was called after just three innings. Baconton used two pitchers -- Douglas Nobles and Bo Tipler -- who gave up an infield single and combined to strike out six of the nine Randolph-Clay outs in the game.

Nobles went 2-for-2, scored twice and drove in a run, and James Davis went 3-for-3 and scored three runs. Tyler Neeld and Josh Davis each had a single and scored twice. Baconton (11-3 and now 6-1 in Region 1-A) travels to Pelham for a game on Friday.


GIRLS SOCCER: DWS, Lee County roll

ALBANY -- The Deerfield-Windsor girls soccer team crushed Calvary Christian, 10-0, on Tuesday behind two goals each from Candace Cosby, Anna Matthew, Lauren Fulford and Lacey Kincheloe, while Kayla Hatcher and Katie Williams each added one.

"We started off slow, but now we've won three of our last four and tied the other one," said DWS coach Aly Joslin, whose Lady Knights improved to 4-2-1 overall and remain a perfect 3-0 in region play.

Cosby posted three assists, while Matthew and Kincheloe each added two. Lacey's sister, Casey, also recorded two assists, while Fulford had one.

DWS' next game is Thursday against region rival Southland.



The Lee County girls soccer team came close to shutting out the month of March as Ashley Law slammed the door on Americus-Sumter on Tuesday to record her sixth shutout in a row. No one has scored on Lee County since March 11.

Law has 10 shutouts and can stretch the streak to seven in a row with a shutout in Lee County's final regular season game Friday at Bainbridge. The Lady Trojans are 12-1-1 and 5-0 in Region 1-AAAA.

Rachel Hatch led the rout once again, scoring four goals. Kelly Polk, Carsen Taylor, Nicole Polk, Sarah Sheffield, and Casey Schoenberger each scored a goal.


GOLF: DWS downs Southland, Brookwood; Lee boys, girls beat Bainbridge

AMERICUS -- The Deerfield golf team (329) upended Southland (349) and Brookwood (357) on Tuesday behind a 79 from Hunter Brooks.

The low medallist of the match, however, was Southland's Mason Law (77), who DWS coach Gordy Gruhl called "a really good golfer who spent a lot of time working in the offseason, and now he's reaping the rewards."

However, Law's low of 77 was all for naught thanks to a 114 by Brandon Ehrler, whose high score secured the win for DWS, which struggled with John Cole (82), Zach Jarzen (83), John Leach (83) and Carson Gladd (83) all shooting in the 80s.

Southland's other scorers all scored in the 70s, including Peter Lee (79) and Jay Buchanan (79).

"We're showing improvement," Gruhl said. "But we've still got a long way to go."



The Lee County boys and girls golf teams barely edged Bainbridge on Tuesday. The boys won with a final score of 160 to the Bearcats' 166, while the Lady Trojans won in a rout with a final tally of 88 to Bainbridge's 101.

Tyler Dorminey was the low man for Lee, firing a 41, while Colby Duke was close behind with a 42. On the girls side, recent Coastal Georgia signee Christian Liggin posted a low of 41, followed by Bree Picklesimer's 47.

"Tyler and Christian have done a good job of leading our teams all year," Lee County boys coach Brad Cowart said. "They both played well. Neither had as good of a day as (myself and girls coach Cristi Griffin) had hoped, but we'll take the win."

Lee County, which beat Bainbridge earlier this year at the Trojans' home course, Grand Island, played solid at Bainbridge Country Club on Tuesday, which is the site of this year's Region 1-AAAA Tournament on April 20.

No final stats were available from Bainbridge.