By Stephen Black
Johns Creek, winners of nine of 10 games, is alone in first place in Region 6 with a 7-0 record. In the Monday win over Class AAAAAA No. 1 Lambert, Justin Friend homered and drove in three, Skye Overton and Justin Mihalik each doubled and Matthew Gorst earned the win on the mound after hurling five innings and allowing two earned runs. In a 7-2 win over Chattahoochee Wednesday, the No. 3 Gladiators totaled just three hits. However, coach Billy Nicholson’s team scored five in the fifth to overcome a 2-0 deficit. Two bases-loaded walks and singles by Brandon Gold and Mihalik helped the Gladiators get on the board.
Class AAA No. 1 Blessed Trinity went 2-2 in Fort Myers, Fla., in the Perfect Game High School Showdown over spring break against four Sunshine State teams. The Titans’ won their opener against Mater Academy 9-2 after scoring six runs in the sixth to break the game open. Bronco O’Brien hit a grand slam that inning, while brothers Cody and Sam Roberts also homered during the game. Senior lefty Brian Kehner earned the win for the Titans going five innings with six strikeouts. Blessed Trinity won Game 2 of the tournament Friday to improve to 2-0 after a 4-0 victory over Montverde Academy. Andrew Riel got the win on the mound after allowing just two hits over five innings of work. Sam Roberts and Nathaniel Maggio each had RBI triples for the Titans. Coach Andy Harlin’s squad couldn’t overcome a 3-0 first-inning deficit in Game 3 against Sarasota, which held on for a 4-2 triumph. John David had two hits for the Titans while Cody Roberts contributed an RBI. Blessed Trinity fell in the final game of the weekend 9-0 to Venice, which was the only squad to emerge from the event with a perfect 4-0 record. Sam Roberts and Maggio each had two hits for the Titians in the finale.
Class AAAAAA No. 7 Parkview was also at the Perfect Game Showdown and also went 2-2 against the same four teams Blessed Trinity played. While the Titans failed against Sarasota, Parkview opened the weekend with a 1-0 win over the Sailors Friday. Junior lefty Christian Vann got the win while senior righty Sam McCoy closed it out. Sophomore infielder Daino Deas had the game’s lone RBI. Later on Friday, the Panthers took on Venice and, like Blessed Trinity, failed to score in a 3-0 defeat. In Game 3 on Saturday, Parkview was again shut out, this time 10-0 by Mater Academy. Senior outfielder Ryan Blanton’s double was the lone extra-base hit Parkview could muster. Also on Saturday, Parkview closed their tournament on a good note after defeating Montverde Academy 2-0. The Panthers gave up just three runs all tournament second to Venice, which did not yield a single run. Jake Roberson, Andrew Dorminey and McCoy combined to pitch the shut out.
Lambert has lost three in a row, including the 8-2 loss to Johns Creek Monday and a 5-4 loss to North Forsyth Wednesday. Senior outfielder and South Carolina signee Brock Maxwell went 3-for-3 with a double and homer in the Wednesday game.
South Gwinnett, ranked No. 6 in Class AAAAAA, has rattled off nine straight wins against Region 8 opponents. The Comets lost two games by the 10-run rule prior to the region schedule getting started. But coach Steve Teschner’s group, led by nine seniors, responded nicely. Lefty pitcher Ryan Patterson hit a game-winning 3-run homer against Brookwood April 5 in the seventh inning of an 8-6 win. On Wednesday, Patterson tossed a complete game in a 11-1 triumph over Shiloh. Patterson is committed to Reinhardt University. Lefty Adrian Martinez got the win in a big 8-6 victory over region-rival Parkview, the defending state champs, on April 1. He is also the team’s leadoff hitter. Martinez threw a 1-hitter in a 6-0 win over Archer Monday. Outfielder Colton Nash is signed with Reinhardt to play football and second baseman Drew McCarthy is a Piedmont College commitment. Junior shortstop Montrell Marshall is committed to play baseball at Auburn.