Rivalry stirs passions in north Fulton

Milton HS

The Class AAAAAA baseball state championship restores excitement into the North Fulton community. Both Milton and Roswell are looking to lift long championship droughts. Milton has not made the state finals since they were 2004 champions, and the last time Roswell reached the championship was during its title season in 1986. Winning a championship is on the mind of every team before the season, and for these Region 5 rivals it has been seasons of trying to return to the stage. From winter workouts to the season’s games, the players have given their all and have prepared for this moment.


For Milton, its win against Parkview has given them the momentum to finish the season strong. Joey Ray, Milton’s head coach, explained the road to the finals as being “very difficult and long.”


“We have had a lot of good things go our way,” said Ray. “It’s exciting for our players, coaches, and the community.”


Even though this is the biggest game of the season, Ray says the team is preparing like it has the entire season.


“It’s about consistency and winning two out of three games,” explained Ray. “We have to stay in there, hit and pitch well, and play good defense.”

This Milton team went to North Carolina for the National High School Invitational during the regular season to compete with the best teams in the country; Ray believed that having a battle-tested team would benefit the way his team handled the pressure of the playoffs.


“Inside the fence, it’s about playing good defense, throwing strikes, and playing good baseball for each other and having fun,” said Ray. “That’s what it’s all about.”


Milton pitchers, Alex Schnell and Dylan Cease, had success in the semifinals against Parkview, and will be the likely starters in the state finals. Schnell pitched a complete game shut out in Game 1, and Cease struck out 11 batters in 5.2 innings. The pitching will have to face the Roswell Hornets offense, which has been difficult to slow down this postseason. The Hornets used sacrifice bunts and excellent base running to exploit Walton in the semis, and the Milton bullpen will have to minimize their damage.


Roswell’s, Drew Davis, Syd Hopkins, and Lawson Dunkin have thrived throughout the playoffs giving the Hornets the run-support and plays to make it into the finals. The accomplishment of making the state championship shows how the underdog can rise to the occasion in order to beat the higher seats in the region. If Roswell plans to win the state championship against Milton, they have to play like they have been doing throughout the playoffs, scoring runs and pitching strikes.


As coach Mike Powers said, “The players and the community are excited about the game and the rich baseball tradition.”


Game 1 of the 6A championship will be played on May 25.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply