GHSA Baseball 2019 Championship Previews

By: Brian Zwerner — SportalNews contributor

May 17, 2019 (Atlanta, GA):  The GHSA baseball championship games are heading to the Atlanta Braves and their minor league affiliate stadiums for the first time this year.  It’s an exciting time for student-athletes as they get to compete where the big league players roam.  Games will run from May 20-23, 2019 at SunTrust Park, Coolray Field, Historic Grayson Stadium, Luther Williams Field, and State Mutual Stadium.  Schedule here.

7A Hillgrove vs Parkview: Parkview has dominated the top classification in the GHSA for many years, tallying seven titles total.  They are the defending state champs and have been strong all season.  They beat a strong North Gwinnett team in the semis and have put up solid defensive performances throughout the playoffs.  Hillgrove has never climbed the GHSA baseball mountaintop, but they enter the title game with impressive wins over state powers Grayson and Mill Creek in the last two rounds.  The Hawks were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs last year by Etowah, and they are looking to complete an incredible step forward this season.

6A Pope vs Heritage Conyers: the Pope Greyhounds have been the team to beat in 6A winning the last two state titles.  They look to complete the Threepeat this season.  They went to three games in their semifinal win over Harrison, recording two shutout victories. Lee County also took the Greyhounds to a third game in the quarterfinals, maybe opening the door for a new champion.  Heritage Conyers might be the team to do it after scoring a three game series win over Effingham County in the semis.  A win here would be the first title for Heritage Conyers and a big step up from their second round defeat last season.

5A Loganville vs Ola: much like Pope in the 6A classification, Loganville has been a runaway train in 5A.  They have won the last two state titles and four overall.  They cruised past Locust Grove and Thomas County in the last two rounds of the playoffs.  Up this year in the finals is Ola.  Ola had a tough road to the finals with a three game series against powerhouse Buford (a revenge game from last year’s quarterfinals) and then a tight battle with Decatur in the semis.  Ola looks for their first GHSA state baseball title.

4A Denmark vs Northside Columbus:  With defending champ Jefferson dropping down to 3A this season, the 4A Classification was guaranteed a new champion.  The Denmark Danes are certainly making their presence felt in their first season at the new school.  Denmark scored a three game win over a tough Blessed Trinity team in the semis and look to set the tone in 4A with a title in their first year.  They will take on the Northside Patriots, who are also angling for their first GHSA baseball title.  They knocked off a strong North Oconee team in three in the semis.  After a surprising first round loss last year to a pesky Spalding team, Northside has already taken 4A by storm this season.

3A Pace Academy vs Pike County:   The Pace Knights won three GHSA baseball titles in a row back in the 1990s but haven’t tasted greatness since.  They snatched the region title this season from the defending champ Lovett Lions and have steamrolled the competition in the playoffs so far. They come into the final game hot, easily beating North Hall in the semis. Pike County has never won a baseball title, and they come into the champ game riding a great defensive streak.  They have already had 3 shutouts in the playoffs and will need their best stuff to keep the Knights in check.  Both these teams were knocked out of the playoffs last year by Morgan County.

2A Jeff Davis vs Rockmart: Jeff Davis won the 2A title back in 2017, their first GHSA baseball state championship. They look to add to the trophy case after a thrilling 13-12 third game win over Bleckley County. Jeff Davis made the semis last season before falling to runner up Berrian.  Rockmart also needed three games to beat Callaway in the semis and Harlem in the quarters.  Rockmart fell in the first round of the playoffs in 2018, and they are enjoying this season’s big run.  Expect a tight series between these two as Rockmart goes for its first GHSA baseball title.

1A Public Schley County vs Gordon Lee: Schley County has captured the title twice in the last four years, the most recently in 2017.  They needed three games to edge Irwin County and Commerce over the last two rounds.  Gordon Lee is the defending 1A Public champ, with three total titles to their name.  They have rolled through their opponents in their run to the finals, knocking off Bowdon in the semis. Bowdon got the better of Schley last year in the quarterfinals.

1A Private Tattnall Square vs Savannah Christian: Tattnall Square is the defending 1A Private state champ, and also took home the title in 2016.  They look to make it three out of four after beating Hebron Christian and Strong Rock over the last two rounds, with both series going the distance.  Savannah Christian got the title in 2017 to break up Tattnall’s run, and they are well positioned to do it again this season.  They edged a strong Wesleyan team in three games in the semis to seal their spot in the title round.  Last year Savannah Christian lost a tough three game series to Prince Ave, the runner-up last season.


Pope Powers to Win over Centennial

By: Cody Butler/Brian Zwerner — SportalNews contributors

April 15, 2019 (Roswell, GA):  The Pope Greyhounds are back-to-back state champs in the 6A GHSA classification, and they brought a star-filled roster to battle the Centennial Knights.  The fireworks for the Greyhounds started with the first batter, when FSU commit James Tibbs went yard.  The Knights were not intimidated, as their UGA commit Jonathan Cannon answered with his own lead-off homer to tie the score at 1-1 at the end of the first.

In the third inning, the Greyhounds bats came alive, with a three run bomb by Caden Smith building a 6-1 lead for Pope.  Starting pitchers Gage Vailes and Aidan McConnell settled in for a few innings, before Pope grew the lead to 10-1 in the top of the fifth.  The Knights were not done yet though.  They found their own offensive punch, and cut the lead to four runs entering the bottom of the seventh.  Pope’s pitching held up in the final frame, and the Greyhounds got the 10-6 victory.

See highlights below.



Woodward Scores Impressive Road Win at Newnan

By: Rob Grubbs — SportalNews contributor

April 2, 2019 (Newnan, GA): The Woodward Academy War Eagle baseball team (12-6), who is locked in a three-way battle in Region 4-AAAA, went on the road for a non-region game against the 2-AAAAAAA Newnan Cougars (15-7). On a breezy afternoon, the War Eagles broke open the game with six runs in the second, triggered by a two-run double from Khari Gee and cruised behind a strong night on the mound from Will Sanders for the 14-5 win.

It was a tough night for the Newnan defense as multiple miscues gave the War Eagles nine unearned runs. Allen Thompson reached base in all five at-bats and scored four times in the victory while Sanders pitched into the fifth inning, striking out 6 and only giving up four hits. Nicholas Crossing scored two for the Cougars.

See highlights of the game below.