LOCAL COLLEGE ROUNDUP: Darton baseball beats Macon State, snaps 2-game skid

Cavs starting pitcher Ryan Lemonds, a freshman from Monroe, Ga., threw five innings Tuesday, while giving up three hits and no walks.

Cavs starting pitcher Ryan Lemonds, a freshman from Monroe, Ga., threw five innings Tuesday, while giving up three hits and no walks.

ALBANY — After starting out the season 2-0 under new coach Scot Hemmings, the Darton College baseball team had dropped its next two heading into Tuesday’s home contest with Macon State.

Starting pitcher Ryan Lemonds made sure the Cavs got right back on track.

Lemonds, a freshman right-handed hurler from Monroe, Ga., was masterful Tuesday, going five innings, while giving up just three hits and no walks in a 7-0 win. Lemonds also had four strikeouts to give the Cavs (3-2) their first shutout of the season after getting outscored, 9-1, in their last two games.

Of course, it helped that the Cavs’ bats gave Darton plenty of run support from the very first inning.

Davis Knapp picked up a double, leading off for the Cavs, then Parker Nix singled in Knapp, followed by Evan Carr reaching on an error to put runners at first and second with no outs and Darton ahead, 1-0. Tripp Calhoun then loaded the bases on a bloop single, which set the stage for Kevin Manos to hit a towering shot to deep left. The ball was caught in the corner, but the sac fly allowed both Nix and Carr to score to put the Cavs ahead, 3-0, and they never looked back.

Knapp finished 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and stolen base, while Stephen Farris was also 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Calhoun went 2-for-4 with three RBI, and Manos recorded two RBI on a sac bunt and sac fly.

Darton returns to action Friday at Chattahoochee Valley Tech.

South Georgia Tech women remain perfect in Region XVII, close in on first unbeaten conference season

PHENIX CITY, Ala. — There’s something special happening in Americus right now.

The South Georgia Tech women’s basketball team, led by eighth-year coach Brandan Harrell, is now four wins from the first unbeaten Region XVII season in school history after Tuesday’s 59-44 victory against Chattahoochee Tech on the road.

“We’re close now, and we’ve been close before, but we’ve never gone unbeaten in region,” Harrell said. “(We’re not focusing) on it too much right now. We’re just trying to get healthy (for the stretch run).”

That run continues when SGT — winners of 11 in a row — gets set to close on the regular season with three of its final four games at home, starting by hosting Albany Tech on Thursday, then hosting Darton on Monday. The Lady Jets (18-8 overall) then travel to Atlanta Metro on Feb. 16 for its final road test before ending the regular season at home against Middle Georgia, one of the top teams in the conference.

But right now, no one’s better than South Georgia Tech, which has already secured the No. 1 seed for the upcoming region tournament that begins Feb. 21.

The Lady Jets remained perfect Tuesday despite missing the services of second-leading scorer Shay Holston, who was held out in order to recover from a nagging injury. Leading scorer Shontae McCall lead SGT with 15 points in what Harrell called an “ugly win.”

“We were just having to play a lot of people more minutes than we wanted to and we just got by,” said Harrell, whose Lady Jets demolished Chattahoochee in the first meeting earlier this season, 84-26, for its most lopsided win of the entire season. “We had 15 turnovers in the first half and were only up four if that gives you an idea of the kind of game it was this time around.”

ASU WOMEN 63, CLARK ATLANTA 61: The Albany State women’s basketball team picked up a much-needed conference win Tuesday night at home against Clark Atlanta, 63-60, thanks to 24 points from Bainbridge native April Thomas — including a huge 3-pointer with under a minute left to tie the game at 61-61 — and 12 points, four steals and eight rebounds from Symone Wilkerson. But it was Wilkerson who played hero for ASU in this one as she got to the free throw line with 2.3 seconds left and nailed both shots to secure the win.

“We played better than we did when we lost to them last week in Atlanta,” ASU coach Robert Skinner said. “That shot by April and free throws by Symone were big. Somehow she got to the line rather than them forcing her to take a shot. And she hit ‘em both.”

With the conference tournament in Atlanta approaching rapidly, ASU is now 8-13 overall and 8-9 in conference play.

ASU next plays Saturday at bitter rival Fort Valley State.

ASU MEN LOSE IN OT: The Rams were close to knocking off another top team in the conference but fell just short Tuesday, losing to the conference’s No. 2 team Clark Atlanta in overtime, 79-77.

Jaren Harris led the Rams (9-11, 8-10) with 23 points, while Justin Wilcox added 17 and Michael Tippins scored 10. The Rams led, 42-40, at halftime before Clark Atlanta (12-6, 12-4) edged ASU by two points in the second half.

The Rams are on the road for their next two games: Thursday at Morehouse and Saturday at FVSU.