Mill Creek ran away with Region 7-AAAAA last season with a team of 12 seniors, six that signed with college baseball teams. Only two starters returned, but the result was the same – another region title, although this one came down to the final week of the regular season.
The two position players that returned – first baseman Nick Tillman (.330, 4 HR) and third baseman Tim Hernandez (.303) – are the leaders of a team that is hitting only .260. No player other than Tillman has a home run.
‘’People who bet the Las Vegas odds on the Mill Creekers would’ve won some money this season,’’ Jones said. “Not many were expecting too much. To be honest, I couldn’t be more proud of a bunch of young men than this.’’
Pitching and defense have been remarkable. The team is fielding .950. Juniors Cody Pugh ( 7-1, 1.40 ERA) and Shane Seckinger ( 6-0, 1.18) have anchored the staff.
Mill Creek has played in 10 one-run games, winning seven. The most recent was a 1-0 decision Monday over Columbus, the No. 1-ranked team in Class AAA.
Mill Creek scored its run in the sixth. B.J. Harmon beat out a leadoff bunt, got to third on an errant pickoff attempt and scored on Logan Moseley’s suicide squeeze.
The No. 3 starter, senior Kane Fraser (3-4, 3.85), went 6 2/3 innings, allowing five hits. Moseley, a sophomore, relieved and got the last out.
‘’They hit it to deep left, the wind was blowing in about 40 mph,’’ Jones said. “We caught and got on the bus before they wanted us to play again.’’
Mill Creek (17-8, 12-5) finishes its regular season Friday at North Gwinnett (16-9, 10-7). Mill Creek will have the No. 1 seed in the event of a tie with Peachtree Ridge (16-9, 11-6) for having beaten Peachtree Ridge two of three games.