Tuesday baseball roundup: King’s Ridge defends A-Private title with walk-off win

Photo by David Steele

In Game 3 of the GHSA Class A-Private baseball state championship, a Lawson Hill sacrifice fly scored Penny Hart in the bottom of the ninth to seal a second-straight title for King’s Ridge and a 6-5 win over Hebron Christian Academy Tuesday night.

Hill finished 1-for-5. Connor Burns toed the rubber for the Tigers and lasted 4.1 innings in the game at King’s Ridge while allowing four runs on three hits and four walks. Jake Hershman, a Wofford-signee, pitched four innings for Hebron and gave up three runs.

Parker Runnels got Hebron on the board early with a first inning double off of Burns to score Tyler Calvert with one out, but the damage would be limited to just one run after Burns induced a Smith Bogdan double play. Burns would help his own cause in the bottom of the fourth scoring Brandt Stallings on a single. King’s Ridge led 3-1 after four before Hebron stormed back for four in the fifth inning. Steven Casey hit an RBI double and Runnels singled home Austin Jett. Parker Runnels had a big night with two RBIs on three hits for the Lions.

King’s Ridge had a chance to win in the seventh when Brandt Stallings hit a sacrifice fly to force extra innings, but Adam Moore hit into a double play to end the inning. Stallings, the Georgia Tech-signee finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs. King’s Ridge outhit the Lions 11 to eight.

King’s Ridge won the opening game of the series 2-0 while Hebron forced a third game with a 7-5 win in Saturday’s second game.


Parkview 12, Pope 3: After winning Game 1 3-2 Monday night, Parkview swept its way to the Class AAAAAA championship in convincing fashion. The Panthers went into the top of the 4th tied 2-2 but drove in 10 runs in the final three innings, while finishing the game with 13 combined hits and drawing six walks.

Trevor Brown went 4-4 at the plate and also walked and was driven home all five times he reached base. Brandon Hill accounted for four RBI, including a 2-run homer in the top of the 4th that sparked a chain of Parkview offense. Hill came back up in the top of the 6th inning and connected on a two-run double to make it a 7-2 lead. Will Etheridge pictched five and one-third innings and allowed one earned run before Jake Robinson and Garrett Fowler came in as relief and closed the series.

Walton 4-3, Kennesaw Mountain 2-4: Walton led 4-0 in Game 1 before Kennesaw Mountain’s bats got going late, but despite falling short 4-2, it proved to be a boost of confidence for the visiting Mustangs as they rallied in thrilling fashion to take Game 2 4-3 in the final inning. In Game 2, both teams went scoreless into the 6th inning, but Walton took a 3-0 lead after a Jason Avers RBI single and a 2-run homer by Carter Keiboom. The bottom of the seventh started with a Reggie Pruitt lead-off single and then Michael Adkinson walked during the next at bat to bring up all-state slugger Tyler Stephenson. Walton intentionally walked Stephenson to load the bases and speedy junior Terence Norman came up to the plate. Norman singled down the left side to drive in Kennesaw Mountain’s first run and the next at bat resulted in a Patrick Morgan two-run single to right field that tied it 3-3. The single advanced Norman to third and Walton then sent a wild pitch into the backstop that took a hop towards first base and gave Norman enough time to cross the plate for the winning score. Game 3 will be at Walton Wednesday at 5:55 p.m.

Class AAAA

Buford 10-9, Cartersville 0-3: Buford set the tone for the series in Game 1 of the Class 4A semifinals with a 10-0 shutout of the Purple Hurricanes. Brandon Marsh and Nick Wilhite had big games at the plate for the Wolves with Marsh finishing 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Wilhite 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Justin Glover tossed a complete-game and struck out six while allowing four hits. Elliott Anderson struggled for Cartersville in three innings of work allowing seven hits and six runs. Game 2 was much of the same with the Wolves jumping to an early 6-0 lead and chasing starter Anthony Seigler after four innings. Austin Wilhite finished with two doubles during his 4-for-4, two RBI night. Nick Wilhite, Ian Jenkins, Justin Glover and Dillon Lancaster all produced two hits apiece. Lancaster plated three runs while Jenkins knocked home two. Keyton Gibson struck out 11 batters over 5.2 innings.

Class AAA

Jefferson 5-0, Westminster 4-6: Jefferson held off Westminster’s seventh inning rally Game 1 and held on for a 5-4 victory. Jake Franklin put the Dragons up 1-0 in the 1st inning with an RBI single and extended Jefferson’s lead to 2-0 with another RBI single in the 3rd. Westminster’s Rankin Woley cut it to 2-1 with a solo shot in the bottom of the third, but Taylor Wilkes pushed Jefferson back up by two in the 4th with another timely Dragons’ RBI single. After a scoreless 5th inning, Jefferson got two more runs to make it a 5-1 lead and they held off Westminster’s rally that was sparked by a Will Benson solo shot in the 6th inning. In Game 2, the Wildcats jumped to a 3-0 lead and the successful hitting with runners in scoring position that Jefferson showcased Game 1 never got going. Jefferson stranded a runner on second in the 1st inning and left two on base in the bottom of the 4th. Westminster took a 5-0 lead into the 5th inning and Jefferson appeared to have something going before the Wildcats ended the inning with a 6-4-3 double play. The deciding Game 3 will take place Wednesday at Westminster at 5:30 p.m.

Blessed Trinity, Westside-Augusta 3-2, 6-0: Defending Class AAA champion Blessed Trinity swept the host Patriots to return to the finals. John Castro drove in all three Titans’ runs Game 1. Castro hit a two-out double in the top of the 1st inning but the 2-0 lead was brief as Westside’s Jonathan Jahn belted a 2-run homer in the bottom of the inning to tie it 2-2. Castro scored the game-winning run in the top of the 5th on a solo home run. In Game 2, Blessed Trinity once again took a 2-0 lead, but this time, the Patriots would find no answers. Adding insurance was Blessed Trinity’s Conor Davis, who hit a 3-run homer to push the lead to 5-0.

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