Marist and Redan will attempt to build onto their baseball traditions Monday as the high school season of sports nears its final out.
Championship series in classes AAAAAA (Milton-Roswell) and AA (Westminster-Lovett) resume while Redan travels to Marist for Game 1 of their three-game series in AAAA.
Marist defeated Redan in three of four meetings in the regular season and won the team’s region. Marist also is favored because of its history of 12 state championships.
Redan’s tradition is lesser known if only because this is the Stone Mountain school’s first state final appearance.
Three Redan graduates are in the major leagues in Domonic Brown (Phillies left fielder), Chris Nelson (Dodgers third baseman) and Brandon Phillips (Reds second baseman). Retired all-star Wally Joyner also is a Redan alumnus.
Brown and Nelson played for current Redan coach Marvin Pruitt, the first 400-game winner in DeKalb County history. Redan’s leading hitter is Chris Nelson’s nephew, sophomore James Nelson, at .418. Redan also features Missouri signee Brandon Baker (11-1, 1.66 ERA) and Georgia signee Wesley Jones (.380). Jones is a likely MLB Draft pick.
”Our kids have a real good history of our program because the majority of those [major league] guys come back and talk to the club every year,” Pruitt said. ”Brandon [Phillips] comes back two or three weeks before reporting to camp and works out on our field and spends a great deal of time with the kids. We’ve also got a large college contingent that comes back and works out on our field.”
The other two championship series have begun. Roswell plays at Milton on Monday in the deciding third game. They split a double-header on Saturday. Roswell is seeking its first state title since 1986. Milton last won in 2004.
In AA, Westminster leads the series with Lovett 1-0 after a 2-1 victory on Saturday. Westminster has beaten Lovett all four times they’ve met this season, but by a total of only five runs. Westminster is trying to win its 10th sprint-sport championship. The previous state record had been five.
Already crowned as state champions are Pope (AAAAAA), Cartersville (AAA), Eagle’s Landing Christian (A private) and Charlton County (A public). Baseball is the only GHSA sport with games remaining this academic year.
Monday’s championship schedule:
Lovett at Westminster, 3 p.m.
Redan at Marist, 3 p.m.
Roswell at Milton, 4 p.m.