By Stephen Black and Craig Sager II
Milton 10, Parkview 0: Pitcher Alex Schnell tossed a complete-game shutout for the Eagles, who made the finals for the first time since 2004. Parkview, the 2-time defending state champion, was held to one hit in a game that was halted in the sixth inning. Dylan Cease’s 2-run homer gave the Eagles the final scoring margin and allowed the mercy rule to take effect. Milton jumped all over Parkview in the first inning with a 7-run outburst. Milton advances to play rival Roswell in the state finals series.
Roswell 7, Walton 6: Syd Hopkins doubled to drive in two runs in the third inning to put visiting Roswell ahead 2-0. Lawson Dunkin had an RBI double in the fourth making it 3-0 Hornets. Walton cut it to 3-2 in the bottom of the inning, but Hopkins hit his second two-bagger of the game and sparked a four-run fifth inning that resulted in a 7-2 Roswell lead. With a two-out rally and a Chase Burks two-run homer, Walton cut the lead to 7-6 heading into the seventh inning. Roswell’s last state title came in 1986.
Pope 7, Starr’s Mill 6: Starr’s Mill’s Garrison Elliot hit a 2-run single to tie the game at 5 and force extra innings. In the top of the eighth inning, Starr’s Mill had a runner on second base with no outs when lightning forced a delay. Play resumed and the Panthers loaded the bases and scored the go-ahead run off of a balk by Pope’s Braden Zarbnisky. In the bottom of the inning, Patrick Wiseman drove in Jared Parker to make it 6-6 and Lowe singled in Wiseman to clinch a walk-off win.
Redan 3, Troup County 2: Troup County took a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Jacob Ozley’s RBI double. In the bottom of the sixth, Redan grabbed its first lead of the game after sophomore Bakari Gayle drove in the go-ahead run. Redan’s starting pitcher, Darian Osby, went six scoreless innings after giving up two in the first. Troup threatened in the final inning, but Osby forced a fly ball to leftfield that was secured by Gayle for the final out, sending Redan to its first state championship.
North Hall 4, Blessed Trinity 0: North Hall’s Colton Duttweiler and Preston Graham combined to toss a 2-hit shutout in Game 3. The Trojans opened the scoring in the fifth inning on a Blessed Trinity wild pitch. North Hall added three runs in the sixth inning, including two on a home run by Stephen Murray. North Hall clinched its first trip to the state championship.
Lovett 7-2, Benedictine 1-3: Pitcher Mitch Stallings went the distance for Lovett in Game 1, striking out 10 and giving up five hits. The Lions were led at the plate by Grant Haley (2-for-4, one RBI), Sean Reagan (1-for-3, solo homer) and Nick Boden (1-for-3, 2-run homer). Benedictine scored the game-winning run in the sixth inning when Brad Stewart scored on a single by Chipper Wiley. In a losing effort, Lovett’s Pearce Howell pitched a complete game and struck out 14. Game 3 will be played Wednesday.
Westminster 5, Pepperell 1: The Wildcats earned the sweep on the strength of a complete game by pitcher Conrad Cornell, who struck out five, gave up five hits and one unearned run. Visiting Westminster got on the board in the third on a 2-run single by Nelson Douglas. McClain Bradley had a RBI single in the fourth and Jake Johnson singled in a run in the fifth. Johnson added two stolen bases. Bradley Adams drove in Pepperell’s only run. The Wildcats will attempt to win their first baseball state title since 1975. It would be their 12th state championship of this school year.