Three teams clinch state playoff spots

Fri, 05/02/2008 - 2:17pm
By: Kevin Wandra

McIntosh's Cameron Rich pitching McIntosh's Cameron Rich fires a pitch against Northgate. Photo/Kevin Wandra.

The regular season has come to a close for all the local baseball teams, and three will be playing in the state playoffs next week.

Three days after clinching the No. 2 seed in Region 2-AAAA with a 9-0 victory over region rival Northgate, the Starr’s Mill Panthers defeated Sandy Creek 7-5 Thursday.

Starr’s Mill’s Ken Jackson had two hits and an RBI, and Mitch Holley, Derrick Abrams, Ed Cook, David Norman and Tyler Claburn each had a hit and an RBI.

Michael Jeanes recorded the victory for the Panthers, allowing only one run with three strikeouts. Jackson and Cook also pitched effectively for Starr’s Mill.

Starr’s Mill (17-9, 12-4 region) plays host to Northside, Warner Robins in a doubleheader in the first round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs Friday.

The McIntosh Chiefs ended the regular season on a three-game winning streak, including a 9-4 victory Wednesday over Northgate to clinch the No. 3 from the region. A loss would have dropped McIntosh to the No. 4 seed.

Cameron Rich and Andrew Austin stood out for the Chiefs both at the plate and on the mound.

Rich went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI and one run scored, and he was the winning pitcher, striking out four and allowing four runs, eight hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings.

Austin pitched one 1 2/3 innings, giving up no runs, two hits and one walk, for the save.
He also went 2-for-3 with a home run and two runs scored.

McIntosh’s other top hitters were David Pauley (2-for-3, one RBI, one run), Dwight Smith (1-for-2, home run, two RBI, one run scored) and Brandon Hannon (1-for-3, double, one run scored).

McIntosh (15-11, 11-5 region) will play at Jones County in a doubleheader in the first round of the Class state playoffs.

Whitewater fell short of the playoffs, but it ended the regular season on a high note, defeating two Region 2-AAAA rivals, Starr’s Mill 8-7 Wednesday and Banneker 8-7 Monday.

In its victory over Starr’s Mill, Whitewater jumped out to an early lead, with Tyler Morgan driving in a run with a fielder’s choice and Travis Dingler hitting an RBI single in the first inning.

The two teams went on to trade the lead, and the game eventually went into extra innings. Whitewater was down by one with two outs in the bottom half of the eighth inning, but Morgan came to the rescue, hitting an RBI single to tie the game before Miles Head, who had been intentionally walked, scored the winning run on a passed ball.

Whitewater’s top hitters were Dingler, Heine Rivera and Kyle Dearing, who each had two hits, and Morgan, who had three RBI.

Danny Beadling had two hits, including a three-run homer, for Starr’s Mill.

Whitewater finished the regular season in fifth place in the region with an overall record of 19-7 and a region record of 10-6.

Fayette County finished the regular season by winning two of its last three games: 9-1 Monday over Region 2-AAAA rival Westlake and 2-0 Wednesday over Creekside.

It lost to Creekside 11-7 Thursday in its regular-season finale.

The Tigers (9-13, 6-10 region) finished the season sixth in the region.

In Class AAA, the Sandy Creek Patriots enter the playoffs having lost two of their last three games, 8-5 Monday to Villa Rica and 7-5 Thursday to Starr’s Mill.

Creek’s victory came against Cedartown on Wednesday, 16-2 in five innings on Senior Night. It handed Creek the No. 3 seed from Region 6-AAA.

The Patriots’ five seniors — Avery Anderson, Nathan Bowen, Blake Brewer, Craig Carroll and Duncan Midkiff — were honored before the game.

Every batter for Creek had a hit. Braxton Lane had a big night, going 2-for-2, reaching base in all five of his at-bats and scoring four runs.

Arthur Owens, Andrew Toles, Anderson and Bowen each had two hits for Creek.

Russell Bonner hit a home run for Creek.

Midkiff struck out five and allowed five hits, one walk and two runs (none earned) in four innings for the victory.

Hunter Parrott pitched a perfect fifth to end the game.

The Patriots (18-8, 9-5 region) are the No. 3 seed from Region 6-AAA.

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