The Crisp County baseball team is headed to the next round of state after sweeping Friday.
CORDELE — Sometimes, even the best teams need a little good fortune.
And Friday, the Crisp County Cougars had Lady Luck on their side.
Crisp swept Mary Persons in the first round of the GHSA Class AAA State Tournament on Friday, 3-2, in Game 1, and 5-1 in Game 2, but the victories didn’t come without several crucial mistakes by the Cougars’ opponent.
Nonetheless, the Crisp Express — at 27-0 and having recently moved up to No. 10 in the nation in the ESPN Top 50 — is still rolling along.
Crisp, the No. 1 seed out of Region 1-AAA, went to the bottom of the seventh tied, 2-2, with No. 4 seed Mary Persons. Robert Tyler led off the inning with a single and moved to second after an errant pickoff throw. Luke Whitman then walked to put runners on first and second, and Drake Dozier drove in the game-winning run with a shot to the fence to give Crisp a narrow victory in the opener.
In Game 2, it was more errors by Mary Persons which allowed Crisp to gain the advantage. Crisp trailed, 1-0, going into the fifth inning, but a pair of walks, an error and a single brought in two runs to make it 2-1, then the Cougars added some cushion in the sixth when they scored three more runs — and did so without notching a hit.
Mary Persons tallied three walks, two wild pitches and an error in the sixth to make it 5-1, and Crisp held on from there thanks to its pitching.
Davis Adkins picked up the win in Game 1, striking out eight and allowing just three hits, while Robert Tyler was even better in Game 2 as he struck out 12, allowed just hits and just one run.
Dozer finished Game 1 with two hits and two RBI, while Tyler notched a double and a single. In Game 2, Whitman had the only extra-base hit with a double.
Crisp now advances to face the winner of the North Hall-Allatoona series. That series will begin in Cordele on Wednesday.
TERRELL ACADEMY RALLIES, WINS GAMES 2 AND 3 ON ROAD: The Eagles (15-9) were routed in Game 1 on Thursday, 7-0, by Frederica Academy but rebounded in a big way Friday with back-to-back wins on the road to stay alive in the GISA Class AA State Tournament.
Garrett Hutchinson picked up the win in Game 1, going the distance in the 6-1 romp. He allowed just four hits and walked none, while Josh Wardrip was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI, Charlie Maxwell was 2-for-2 with two RBI and Josh Brunswick added two RBI of his own. TAE trailed, 1-0, then exploded for five runs in the fifth and never looked back.
In Game 2, Brunswick was the winning pitcher in the 8-6 nailbiter, going 5 2/3, allowing three hits and striking out two. Kyle Stratton, Game 1’s losing pitcher, then came on in the sixth with the bases loaded and nearly blew the save by giving up a grand slam. But he rebounded in the seventh by striking out two to end the threat.
TAE went ahead early, 5-0, in the first thanks to a Clint Smith three-run homer — his third of the year. Wardrip finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI, and Logan Duckworth finished 2-for-4 with a double.
The Eagles now advance to next week’s Elite 8 round against the winner of the Brentwood-LaGrange series.
RANDOLPH SOUTHERN SPLITS WITH MEMORIAL: The Patriots fell just short of pulling off an upset sweep of No. 2 seed Memorial Day on Friday in the first round of the GISA Class A State Tournament as Randolph lost Game 1, 9-8, then won Game 2, 12-2, in five innings to force a do-or-die Game 3 today at 11 a.m.
Blake Lamb was both the hero and the goat in the opener as he jacked a home run, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBI, but he also hit a batter in the bottom of the seventh inning with the bases loaded to bring in the winning run for Memorial. Grant Kimbrell was also 3-for-4 as he just missed hitting for the cycle with a triple, double and single to go along with two RBI.
In Game 2, the Pats came out on fire and rolled thanks to Kimbrell’s arm (5 IP, 6H, 4Ks) and the bats of Jared Sauls (3-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI) and Grant Ward (3-for-3, 2B) as Memorial committed five errors to keep Randolph’s hopes of advancing alive.
MILLER COUNTY, LANIER COUNTY SPLIT: In the Pirates’ opener of the GHSA Class A State Tournament on Friday, Miller won a wild Game 1, 4-3, in 11 innings, then got routed in Game 2, 9-4.
T.T. Barber’s head’s-up play in the marathon Game 1 lifted the Pirates to the win. Barber led off with a single in the 11th, then Ty Sheffield moved Barber over to third. But as Barber stood on third, he noticed the Lanier catcher going to the mound to talk to the pitcher — and he hadn’t called time out. So Barber took off and scored the game-winning run on the Lanier mistake.
Michael Cowart pitched 10 innings in Game 1 and gave up just three hits before Barber came on in the 11th and shut down Lanier, setting the stage for his late heroics. Barber finished 2-for-4, while Jake Warren was 2-for-4 with a triple and a run score. Adrian Hayes added a double.
Cole Vann took the loss for Miller in Game 2 as he was pulled after just one inning due to several wild pitches.
Today’s do-or-die Game 3 will be played at noon in Colquitt.
CHARLTON 11-15, BACONTON CHARTER 1-2: The Blazers saw their season end in a pair of five-inning routs Friday in the first round of the GHSA Class A State Tournament.
Baconton finishes its season 16-8 overall and will lose two seniors: William Sullivan and Kyle Parks.
SEMINOLE SWEEPS: The Seminole County baseball team, winners of 20 of its last 21 games, stayed hot Friday by sweeping Clinch County, 10-5, in Game 1 and 6-3 in Game 1 in the opening round of the GHSA Class A State Tournament.
Justin Burke got the win on the mound in the opener for the Region 1-A No. 1-seeded Indians, while Bradley Harris won the second game and Josh Buczek picked up the save. Seminole and Clinch were tied 2-2 after the seventh inning of Game No. 2, but Jakhari Martin, Dee Virgin, Chris Brown and Buczek all had key hits in the eighth inning to put the Indians in the second round, where they will play either Johnson County or Schley County.
WEST LAURENS 11-5, WORTH COUNTY 1-0: Worth County was the victim of a controversial call at the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning in Game 1, and West Laurens took advantage of it.
West Laurens, Region 2-AAA’s No. 2 seed, broke open a 1-1 tie by scoring 10 runs in the next two innings to run away with the opener and then shut out the Region 1-AAA No. 3 Rams in the nightcap.
Corey Odom shouldered the loss in the opener for the Rams (15-12), but all 11 runs West Laurens plated were unearned. Worth’s Eli Reddell was the losing pitcher in the second game.
VETERANS 6-12, WESTOVER 1-2: Westover’s season came to an end Friday in the opening round of the GHSA Class AAA State Tournament.
Veterans, the top seed from Region 2-AAA, advances to play either Cartersville or Oconee County in the second round, while the Patriots (11-14) finished their season on a four-game losing streak.
ALBANY — The Westover girls’ march toward a state title was cut short Friday during a 2-1 loss to West Laurens in the first round of the GHSA Class AAA State Tournament.
West Laurens struck first in the first half and took a 1-0 lead to intermission, then with 16 minutes left to go in the second half, Westover leading scorer Nellie Young, a freshman, tied the game on a penalty kick. But then West Laurens found the back of the Westover net with six minutes left to play to end the Lady Patriots’ season at 14-5.
GATEWOOD 3, TERRELL ACADEMY 1: In the GISA Class AA Final Four on Friday, the Lady Eagles’ state title hopes ended. Maura Milliron scored TAE’s only goal on assist from Alex Barfield as the two teams went to halftime with the same score the game ended with.
TAE loses two seniors off its third straight Final Four team: Barfield and Harltey Ingram.