Tigers Looking For
CHS To Play Two Games With Athens
BY DREW BRANTLEY
After suffering three straight subregion losses, Commerce will
get a chance to regroup with two games that won't count in the
standings this week.
Commerce lost to Greater Atlanta Christian Friday 11-0 to conclude
a 0-3 start to the Region 8-A South schedule.
Commerce will face Athens Academy Wednes-day and Saturday. The
two non-region games will allow the Tigers to work on improving
"We've had a rough time in the first three subregion games,
but there's still plenty of time to correct things," coach
David Cash said. "We've got two games against Athens Academy
coming up. That will give us a chance to play some younger kids
and look at people."
Wednesday's game is at Athens Academy. Saturday's game is in
Commerce's game with Riverside on Monday was rained out. The
game will be either be made up as a double header when the Blue
Devils visit Commerce or in the last week of the season.
Down 9-1, Commerce battled back with six runs in their final
two turns at bat. In the seventh, seven Tiger batters reached
base with two outs.
Adam Stephenson, Wes Massey, Matthew Owensby and Wes Smith each
got hits. Daniel Carder walked.
Charlie Epps was hit by a pitch. Brody Bearden reached on an
error. The Tigers scored five runs in the seventh.
"The bases were loaded when we made the final out,"
Cash said. "Down 9-1, it would have been real easy to just
roll over. But I was proud of the way they fought back."
Epps finished the game with three hits. Massey and Stephenson
each had two hits. Stephenson also added three runs driven in.
Owensby had five strikeouts on the mound for Commerce.
Carder entered the season as the Tigers' leading returning pitcher.
Even though he has spent the early part of the season recovering
from a sprained ankle suffered during basketball season, he has
lived up to the expectations, Cash said.
"Daniel has pitched well for us," Cash said. "He's
gone today for his final visit to the doctor on his ankle. He's
just been getting stronger and stronger."
Carder has a 2.10 earned run average with 28 strikeouts in 20
At the plate, Adam Stephenson has shined early.
"Adam has hit the ball real well," Cash said. "Even
his outs have been hit hard."
Tiger Golfers Face Jefferson On Thursday
The Commerce girls' golf team picked up
another win over Jackson County Monday.
The Lady Tigers downed JCCHS 121-122. Erin Redmon led Commerce
with a 57. Courtney Carlin added a 64.
Megan Elliot led Jackson County with a 59. Lindsey Mims shot
The two teams will meet again at Winder on Wednesday.
Riverside downed the Commerce boys 172-179 at Deertrail Country
Club. Knox Smith led Commerce with a 39. Eric Reed had a 41.
Dean Brown added a 47. Corry Minnish rounded out the scoring
with a 52.
Commerce will face Jefferson Thursday at Sandy Creek.
Runners Hit The Track This Week
Commerce's track and field teams started
their season this week with a meet at Habersham Central High
School. Results were not available at press time.
The teams will run Thursday at Oglethorpe County.
Next Tuesday, Commerce will travel to Franklin County.
CHS Netters To
Take On Jefferson Thursday
The Commerce High School tennis teams
will take on Jefferson this Thursday. The boys will travel to
Jefferson, while Commerce's girls will host the Lady Dragons
at the Commerce recreation department courts.
The varsity teams will travel to Franklin County on Monday. The
junior varsity players will host Jackson County.
The teams opened the year by losing to Greater Atlanta Christian.
The boys lost their match to Riverside March 9, while the girls
lost 3-2 at Brenau Academy last Tuesday.
The teams were to have traveled to Buford Tuesday night.
Heather Stockton picked up the only win for Commerce with an
8-5 victory in the number one singles match. Stockton improved
her season record to 2-0 with a win over her Brenau opponent.
Stockton downed Rachel Sligan 6-4,3-6,6-2.
Audrie Talbot also beat Brenau's Jacki Alexander 6-3, 6-1 in
the number three singles match.
David Rogers won one set in his match against Riverside's Jason
Wang. Kevin Powell and Josh Jordan won their junior varsity match
against Riverside 8-6.
"We've got a lot of first-time players," boys' coach
Greg Jarvis said. "It puts us at a disadvantage when our
guys are picking up a racket for the first time and playing against
guys who have played since they were 5."
The boys are playing without last year's number one player Steven
Beardsley, who had laser surgery to repair a stretched anterior
cruciate ligament. His absence has already been felt on the team,
"Steven's not playing has hurt us," Jarvis said. "I
feel like he could have been more competitive at the number one
spot. And Aaron Talbot and Blake Milford could have been more
competitive dropping down to two and three."
set at Sandy Creek
Banks, three area golf teams meet Thursday
Banks County will square off Thursday
against three of its area rivals at Sandy Creek Golf Course in
Banks County will face Jefferson, Jackson County and Commerce
in the event.
The boys' team recently took a loss in a tri-match with Madison
County and Oconee County at Whispering Pines in Colbert. Madison
County won the event with a 151. Oconee County shot a 154. Banks
County scored a 175.
Brandon Brown led Banks County with a 38. Drew Sparks shot a
43. Jason Sparks turned in a 45. Brandon Crumley rounded out
the scoring with a 49. The team played a match Tuesday, but results
were not available at press time.
Boys' netters in subregion hunt
The Banks County boys' tennis team improved
its record to 3-0 overall and 3-0 in the subregion with a win
over Tallulah Falls.
The win keeps them in contention for one of the two postseason
team spots in the region tournament. The top two teams in the
subregion advance to the region tournament.
Banks County's boys will face Towns County Wednesday, Woody Gap
Thursday and a trimatch with Dawson County and Rabun Gap next
"Our last subregion match is against Rabun County, who is
supposed to be the best team in our subregion," coach Mike
Ruth said. "If we sneak in there and win the others before
then, it won't matter what we do against Rabun County. But we've
got to play them one at a time."
The boys downed Tallulah Falls 3-2 Tuesday. Ryan Loggins and
Matt O'Neal each won their singles matches to remain undefeated
on the season. Freshmen Kellen Ankrum and Dustin Bonds won their
doubles match to remain undefeated as well.
Trae Hill lost his number one singles match. Billy Jackman and
Ryan Shuler lost the number one doubles.
Tallulah Falls' girls swept Banks County in the other side, but
Caprise Hughes provided a bright spot for the Lady Leopards.
Even though she lost 6-1, 6-3, her performance was better than
most who go against the Indians' top girl, Crystal Bowen.
"Tallulah Falls' number one girl is the top player in our
subregion," Ruth said. "Caprise took her to 6-3 in
the second set of her match, where she had been shutting out
Ashley Freeman and Heather Banks also played singles for the
Banks County girls.
Holly Phelps and Kristen Powell made up one doubles team. Jennifer
Wiley and Lucy Reed were the other doubles squad.
BCHS jumps in thick of subregion race
Diamond Leopards boast12-2 record with
12 games left to play in season
BY DREW BRANTLEY
With more wins than they collected all of last year, the Banks
County baseball team has plenty of reason to celebrate.
But they have even more incentive to keep winning.
Banks County (12-2, 2-1 in 8-A North) is in the middle of the
subregion race. In the first week of play, the three teams with
the best chance to claim the Region 8-A North title have each
played each other.
Banks County picked up a 6-1 win over Dawson County last week.
Dawson County then downed Union County. Tuesday night, Union
County took a 5-4 edge over Banks County in an 11-inning game.
Banks County opened a 4-0 lead but surrendered four runs to the
Panthers in the sixth.
"We feel good about where we are at the halfway point,"
coach Michael Williams said. "We're glad to be 12-2. We're
glad to be 2-1 in the subregion. But it hurt to lose this game
Banks County is scheduled to face three more subregion teams
in the next week. The top two teams from the subregion advance
to the region tournament.
Wednesday the team travels to Tallulah Falls. The Leopards host
Towns County on Friday and Rabun County on Monday.
Next Tuesday, Banks County will travel to Commerce for a non-subregion
Banks County picked up three other wins in the past week of play.
The Leopards downed Lakeview 13-11 for their other subregion
win. Banks County swept a doubleheader at Athens Academy Saturday
with wins of 3-2 and 7-5.
Banks County put together enough offense early to take a 4-0
lead. But the Panthers rebounded in the sixth to tie the game.
Joseph Whitlock started the game. He pitched through the sixth,
turning the game over to Justin Smith.
Smith yielded an unearned run in the top of the 11th, but the
Leopards could not put together a scoring threat on offense.
"We've got to hit the ball better," Williams said.
"Our defense played great. We just didn't get anybody on
Banks County had one baserunner after the sixth inning.
The Panthers threatened to score in the top of the 10th inning,
with runners at first and second with one out. Banks County turned
a missed pop fly over the infield into a force at second. Then
a grounder back to the mound ended the inning.
Ross Oliver had three hits and one run scored for the Leopards.
Drew Gowder had two hits and one run scored for Banks County.
Whitlock had nine strikeouts in six innings pitched. Smith fanned
four batters in five innings of work.
Steven Cruce pitched five innings, allowing two runs and striking
out four batters to help lead the Leopards to a 3-2 win in the
first game of the double header Saturday at Athens Academy.
Hank Jones had two hits to lead the offense.
In the second game, Smith, Gowder and Whitlock combined for the
7-5 win on the mound. Joe Krause had two hits and two runs scored
to pace the offense.
The Lions came back after Banks County had led 13-1 last week
in Gainesville. Smith and Cruce combined for three scoreless
innings on the mound, but Lakeview picked up 10 runs to challenge
Oliver and Whitlock each had three hits. Jones, Gowder and Eli
Cooper each had two hits.
Banks County took the early edge in the subregion race by downing
the Tigers in Dawsonville 6-1.
Whitlock shut down Dawson County with a one-run complete game.
He had 10 strikeouts.
The Tigers managed six hits and four walks off the sophomore
Banks County track
team running through early meets
Banks County will continue its track and
field schedule with a meet at Franklin County next Tuesday.
The teams will not compete again until after spring break on
April 11 at Franklin County.
The team competed at Jefferson Wednesday, but results were not
available at press time.
Banks County was one of 17 teams to take part in the Habersham
Central Invitational track meet Saturday.
Chris Ivey led the boys' team with a third place finish in the
high jump with a mark of 5-8.
Taffy Carruth was fourth in the shot put for the girls' team
with a distance of 30-11.
The event featured several schools of all sizes from around northeast
Desire Matheny had a long jump of 9-5. Jennifer Webb had a mark
Janet Crutchfield threw the discus for 69 feet nine inches.
In the 100-meter dash, Juana Monreal turned in a 15.87.
Charli Bellamy had a 57.71 in the 300 hurdles. Crutchfield turned
in a 1:05.21. Bellamy had a 20.37 in the 100 hurdles. Crutchfield
had a 22.15.
The girls' four by 100 relay team had a time of 1:01.44.
Jeffery Griffin had a shot put distance of 32-8.
Jamie Voll had a long jump of 15-4. He also ran a 12.0 in the
Hank Wilhelm threw the discus 83 feet. He also ran a 27.29 in
Blake Sanders had a 28.19 in the 200. Chris Jones had a 48.74
in the 300 hurdles.
Tim Williamsson ran a 58.72 in the 400.
Matt Smith ran a 6:04 in the 1,600.
The four by 100 relay team turned in a time of 48.71.
Carruth led Banks County against Oglethorpe County with a mark
of 33-4 in the shot put. That put was best for the meet. Bellamy
was fourth in the triple jump with a 25-0. She also took fourth
in the 100 hurdles with a 21.20. She was third in the 300 hurdles
with a 56.38.
Ivey was first for the boys in the high jump with a 5-10.
Carruth led the girls' team at a multi-team event March 11 at
Greater Atlanta Christian with a 31-11 1 1/4 mark in the shot
Crutchfield had a 72-8 in the discus. She added a 21.58 in the
The 400 relay team had a time of 1:01 at the meet.
For the boys, Smith ran a 5:44 in the 1,600. Williamson was first
in his heat with a 58.74.
The 400 relay team of Wilhelm, Jones, Voll and Chris Keyros was
third in their heat with a 48.17.
Banks County was one of 12 teams to compete in the Class A event.
Other teams participating included Lovett, Mt. Zion, Bremen,
Buford, Landmark Christian, Rabun County, Brookstone, Jefferson,
Providence, Calloway and Heard County.
The event was postponed due to inclement weather and completed
on Monday, but Banks County did not attend the conclusion.
Diamond Dragons 3-1 in
BY TIM THOMAS
It was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Somebody forgot to tell
After their first full week of subregion 8-A south play, the
Jefferson Dragons stand at 3-1, and 7-5 overall. The toughest
part of the subregion schedule is yet to come.
Greater Atlanta Christian, regarded by most as easily the best
team in Georgia, will host Jefferson in Lilburn Monday at 5 p.m.
The Dragons will have two more games to prepare for the Spartans,
today against Riverside and Thursday at Johnson.
Tuesday, the Buford Wolves handed Jefferson their first subregion
loss of the season, 6-3. The Dragons led 2-0 early, but Buford
rallied to take the lead. Kyle Potts helped himself out of trouble
in the sixth inning. With one out and Wolves at the corners,
Potts stopped a hard grounder up the middle and threw to second
to start an inning-ending double play.
Ryan Gurley and Jon Veldhuis each grabbed difficult bloopers
shallow on the grass in the seventh. The Dragons managed to get
two on with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but struck
out twice to end the game.
Jefferson continued the subregion winning streak that started
last Tuesday at Commerce by blasting Wesleyan Wednesday, 14-9.
Gurley and Clint Bryson powered the Dragons to victory. Both
were 3-for-4 on the day, and both hit home runs. Bryson drove
in five runs, and Gurley two. Mark Nunley was 2-for-4 in the
win, with two RBIs. Jeremy Love picked up the win, aided by good
performances in relief by Chris Wheaton and Corey Hill, who earned
Friday's spotlight was filled by some unfamiliar players. Hill
allowed only two earned runs in seven innings, a performance
Cook labeled as outstanding. Josh Nabors had a career day, going
3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBIs. Hill and Potts each
went 2-for-4, and Jeremy Smith 2-for-3. Nunley sent a blast over
the center field fence in the sixth inning that put Jefferson
on top to stay, 4-3.
Prior to Tuesday's loss to Buford, head coach Chuck Cook was
thrilled with his team's performance.
"The most pleasing thing about Friday's win," said
Cook, "was that the guys who've been coming out and getting
hits had an off day, but some of the other guys stepped up and
had a big day. That kind of makes you want to smile as a coach,
because it means your team is becoming more complete."
In 12 games, the Dragons have lofted 20 home runs, an accomplishment
that Cook never expected.
"The desire of these guys is great," Cook said. "It's
like they wake up, and they want to be here for batting practice
at 7 a.m. I'm tickled to death with where we are right now, but
my expectations are getting higher."
Jefferson will seek to avenge Tuesday's loss during spring break.
The Dragons are scheduled to visit Buford Friday April 7, at
track split with Panthers
Girls rule. At least they did last week for Jefferson High School.
Jefferson's girls' track team took the top spot Wednesday in
a three-way meet with Jackson County and Wesleyan. The Lady Dragons
scored a total of 71 team points, compared to 58 for Jackson
County and 29 for Wesleyan.
Six ladies earned first-place finishes for Jefferson during the
meet. Stacey Anderson (14'8.5" long jump), Heather Green
(5'2" high jump), Megan Lindsey (29'8" triple jump),
Julie Coile (84'3" discus), Phydan Garner (2:57 800 meters)
and Audrey Johnson (54.23 300-meter hurdles) all made it to the
top of their respective packs.
Johnson was second in the high jump and 100-meter high hurdles,
and had the fastest Jefferson time on the second-place 1600-meter
relay team. Green, Anderson and Vanessa Greenwood were the other
members of that team. The 400-meter relay team of Greenwood,
Anderson, Michelle Boring and Emily Jackson also finished second.
Boring earned third in the shot put, just 18 inches out of first.
She also finished third in the discus and fourth in the 200 meters.
Others placing for the girls' team were: Yolanda Usher, second,
shot put; Greenwood, second, triple jump, 100 meters and 200
meters; Lindsey, third, 1600 meters; Sarah Nail, third, 400 meters;
Annie Goza, second, 800 meters; Emily Thompkins, third, 300-meter
hurdles and fourth, 100-meter high hurdles; Molly Cleveland,
fourth, triple jump; and Sunny Bush, fourth, discus.
The boys' team finished a close second to Jackson County, but
easily outpaced Wesleyan. Steve Green led the effort, grabbing
first place in the high jump (6'2") and triple jump (39'6"),
and taking second in the pole vault (10'6").
Roderick Young earned several team points, finishing second in
long jump, high jump and 100 meters, as well as being on the
winning 1600 and 400 meter relay teams.
Jacob Cole was first in the 200 meters (23.51) and second in
400 meters, and was also on the two winning relay teams. Chris
Gooch and David Boring finished out the 1600-meter relay team,
and Boring and Hunter Garner ran with the 400-meter relay squad.
Garner also finished first in the 800 meters and third in the
high jump. Chris Gooch earned the top spot in the 300-meter intermediate
Also placing were: Blake Gooch, third, pole vault; Jason Martin,
second, shot put; Bryan Cole, second, 1600 meters and third,
3200 meters; and Boring, second, 800 meters.
Panthers, Dragons tangle
BY TIM THOMAS
Jackson County's boys came out on top of the heap last Wednesday,
in a three-way meet with Jefferson and Wesleyan. The Lady Panthers
finished second in the meet.
The Panthers travel to Lexington Thursday at 4 p.m., to take
on Oglethorpe County. Jackson County will host the Panther Middle
School Invitational Saturday at 9 a.m.
Carly Parr led the Lady Panthers, easily winning both the 1600-
and 3200-meters. Sara Freeland finished second in both events.
Anita Geter grabbed the top spot in the 100-meter dash, and Nicole
Rizzo was third, less than a half-second back.
Megan Lerette (shot put) and Carla Rainwater (100-meter high
hurdles) each earned first-place finishes, as did the 400-meter
relay team. Lerette also took second in the discus throw.
Other placers for Jackson County were: Nikki DuBose, third, 100-meter
hurdles and second, 300 meter hurdles; Crystal Yonce, third,
high jump; Brandy Logan, third, triple jump; Lacey Phillips,
third, 200 meters and fourth, long jump and 400 meters; Karrie
Hammond, fourth, shot put; Julie Griffith, fourth, 800 meters.
Chuck Kubiak and Tim Birdette led the Panthers to their win over
Jefferson and Wesleyan. Kubiack took top honors in shot put and
discus, and Birdette was the top of the heap in long jump and
400 meters. Tony Dalton was first in the pole vault, Kelly Parr
in the 1600 meters and Justin Lott in the 110-meter high hurdles.
Jackson County's boys came out on top against Habersham Central
and Commerce Tuesday, and the Lady Panthers finished second.
Finishing first for the boys were: Birdette, long jump, 200 and
400 meters; Hughes, triple jump; Travis Parks, high jump; Tony
Dalton, pole vault; and Justin Lott, 110 high hurdles. The 1600-meter
relay team of Hughes, Lott, Butler and Chris Kubiak.
For the girls, Brandy Logan (high jump) and Carly Parr (1600
and 3200 meters) each finished in first place.
At Saturday's Northeast Georgia Invitational at Habersham Central,
the Lady Panthers beat three previous meet records. Carly Parr
won both the 1600 and 3200 meters in record times, and Carla
Rainwater beat the previous best in the 100-meter hurdles, though
she finished second to Central Gwinnett's Anna Beth Armstrong.
Crystal Yonce was fifth in the high jump, Phillips ninth in the
long jump, Geter ninth in the 100 meters, DuBose 10th in the
100-meter hurdles, and the 400-meter relay team finished sixth.
As a team, the Lady Panthers finished seventh.
The boys' team finished 13th. Finishing in the top 10 were: Chuck
Kubiack, fourth, discus and sixth, shot put; Hughes, seventh,
triple jump; Casey Berryman, sixth, discus; Lott, eighth, 110-meter
hurdles; John Hardie, ninth, 110-meter hurdles; Tony Dalton,
fifth, 300-meter hurdles; and Kelly Parr, seventh, 1600 and 3200
Panthers fall to
1-4 in subregion
BY TIM THOMAS
A season that started with a promising 5-0 start deteriorated
into disappointment a week ago for Jackson County. Tuesday, the
slide resumed, into the bizarre.
The struggling Panthers seek redemption this week against region
foes Dacula Thursday, Oconee County at home Saturday and Central
Gwinnett Monday, before traveling to Monroe Area Tuesday for
a non-region contest.
Things were looking up a bit for Jackson County last week. The
squad managed to earn its first subregion win of the season Friday,
over West Hall. The win kept the Panthers in decent position
to contend for a playoff spot.
Tuesday's game against North Hall put the Panthers behind the
proverbial eight ball in the playoff hunt. The previously winless
Trojans defeated Jackson County 8-7, climbing out of the subregion
cellar and leaving the Panthers behind.
Even before it started, Tuesday's game was not without controversy.
After being delayed Monday due to Sunday's heavy rain, the first
pitch was pushed back a short time Tuesday because one of the
umpires was absent.
A single umpire was forced to work the entire field for the full
seven innings. To add insult to injury, the game was full of
close calls all over the field.
The most significant play came early in the game, with the bases
full of Panthers. After the official called an out on a fly ball
to the outfield, the North Hall player dropped the ball. What
happened next is not quite clear, except to say that another
batter took the box and began his at-bat.
The North Hall coach then informed the umpire that he had never
officially changed his call to safe, so the out would have to
stand. The official apparently agreed, and the Panthers were
done for the inning. Hendricks argued the call, but to no avail.
The potential runs that were lost would prove to be very costly.
With the Panthers down 6-5 in the fifth inning, Drew Beatty started
a two-out rally by beating out an infield single. Beatty took
second moments later on a wild pitch, then was replaced by a
Michael Hill punched a ground ball between third and short, driving
in the tying run. Jackson County continued to threaten, with
Hill eventually stealing third, but an infield grounder ended
Tim Whisnant retired three straight in the sixth, two by strikeout.
Blake Merritt walked to lead off the Panther sixth, and stole
second on the first pitch to Jason Pittman. Pittman hit a sacrifice
fly to deep center field, moving Merritt safely to third on one
of several controversial plays in the late innings.
Jeremy Smith blooped a single into no-man's-land between third
base and left field that landed right on the foul line. Even
under the pressing circumstances, the umpire was in good position
to make the call, but a number of North Hall fans were displeased
with it. Merritt scored easily on the play, giving Jackson County
a 7-6 lead going into the final inning.
Whisnant had difficulty finding the strike zone in the seventh,
sandwiching a fly out between a walk and a hit batsman. With
two on and two out, a North Hall batter pulled a double just
over the bag at third, driving in two runs and putting his team
up by what would turn out to be the winning score. Whisnant struck
out the next batter to end the inning.
Beatty reluctantly tried to rally the team again in the seventh,
taking first after being hit by a pitch with two out. A hard
liner to shallow right field ended the threat almost before it
After the game, Jackson County coach Rusty Hendricks kept his
emotions in check, though it was not without effort.
"I'm going to go home, read the rule book, and hit my punching
bag for a while," Hendricks said calmly, while managing
a smile. Hendricks also pointed out that his team had ample opportunity
to win, despite the officiating difficulties.
"We did everything except finish the game," Hendricks
said. "We got down by three early and rallied back, but
we just couldn't close the deal."
The Panthers outhit Madison County 7-5 in a 6-3 loss last Wednesday.
Michael Savadge drilled a third-inning home run for Jackson County's
first run. Beatty added an RBI in the sixth, but four throwing
errors in the bottom half led to two more Raider runs.
Whisnant singled and scored on a wild pitch in the seventh to
finish the Panther scoring.
Raiders roll past West
Madison County tops Jackson Co., falls
BY BEN MUNRO
AND ZACH MITCHAM
With the aid of a solid pitching performance from junior Chad
Youngblood, the Red Raiders picked up their eleventh win Monday
night as they downed the West Hall Spartans by a count of 6-2.
Youngblood was able to keep the Spartans' batters off balance
the entire evening as the left-hander pitched seven innings,
surrendering five hits, allowing no earned runs while fanning
seven and walking none.
Both squads were held off the score board for the first three
innings of the contest before West Hall broke the tie in the
The Spartan team took a 1-0 lead in the inning as they got an
RBI single to center field from Brian Kaggle, driving home B.J.
England from third.
However, Madison County quickly grabbed a lead as they picked
up four runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a three
The Raiders got their first run of the contest off the bat of
Daniel Smith as he grounded a single to center field to bring
home Bo Williamson from third. Madison County pushed two more
runs across the plate a batter later as Stephens Seagraves ripped
a double down the right field line to bring home both Chad Gillespie
and Smith. The
Raiders then padded their lead, taking a 4-1 edge as an error
at third base off a Nick Mattox ground ball brought home Seagraves.
Madison County pushed another insurance run across the plate
in the fifth inning as Jeremie Strickland smashed a double to
left center field, moved to third off an infield hit by Youngblood
and then came home after Williamson hit into a fielder's choice.
The Raiders then picked their final run in the sixth as Seagraves
led off the inning with his second double of the night, moved
to third and then came home off a sacrifice fly from N. Mattox.
After surrendering a run in the fourth, Youngblood retired the
next eight batters he faced until the final inning, when an error
in right center field allowed West Hall's Kaggle to reach third.
Kaggle then came into score two batters later off a fielder's
choice, giving the Trojans their final run of the game.
MADISON COUNTY 6
JACKSON COUNTY 3
Madison County ran wild in a 6-3 win over Jackson County, stealing
nine bases. The baserunning and some Panther miscues helped the
Raiders overcome some anemic hitting for their tenth win of the
year last Wednesday.
The Raiders, who managed just five hits, took a first inning
lead, scoring two runs on one hit, an RBI single by Jeremie Strickland,
who stole second and third, before racing home on a wild pitch.
Strickland, who stole five bases on the evening, drove home another
run in the second inning with an infield single, giving the Raiders
a 3-0 lead.
But Jackson County's Michael Savadge put the Panthers on the
scoreboard with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the
third, knocking a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall.
Jamaris Mattox cushioned the Raider lead with an RBI double into
the right-centerfield gap in the third.
Jackson County scored one in the sixth, cutting the Raider lead
But the Panthers committed four throwing errors in the bottom
of the inning, allowing two Raider runners to cross the plate.
Daniel Smith drove home J. Mattox with a sacrifice fly for the
squad's fifth run of the game and Stephen Seagraves crossed the
plate on an error.
Jackson County scored its final run in the sixth on a wild pitch.
Youngblood picked up the win, going six innings, allowing two
runs - one earned - five hits and a walk, while fanning five
Bo Williamson pitched the seventh inning in relief.
Chad Gillespie was two-for-two for the Raiders.
STEPHENS CO. 4
MADISON CO. 3
Stephens County outlasted Madison County 4-3 in a marathon 12-inning
contest Friday night.
The Raiders got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning when Chad
Gillespie smashed a two-run homer. Chad Youngblood had a two-out
RBI single in the sixth for Madison County's other run.
Jeremie Strickland led the Raiders with two hits; the squad finished
with nine on the night.
Scott Tolbert started the game for the Raiders, fanning 13 batters
and walking five in eight innings. Dustin Dinsmore took the loss,
giving up the final run in the twelfth on a high hopper to shortstop
with the bases loaded.
"We left a lot of guys on and couldn't get the big hit when
we needed it," said head coach Charlie Griffeth.
Griffeth said his squad is still struggling to find its offensive
"The last few games we just put it in play and watched the
other team make errors," he said. "We're not striking
out like we were. So that's an improvement."
Griffeth said his players are not performing "great or even
really good" right now. He said his team is not blessed
with some of the talent it's had in the past.
"So they (the players) have to come out and play their best
every day," he said.
Raiders earn three wins this week, to
host Invitational Sat.
BY BEN MUNRO
Though the Raider golfers nabbed two more wins in a three squad
home match last Wednesday, the day was doubly sweet as the team
was finally able to get a monkey off their back, downing nemesis
Oconee for the first time since 1998.
Madison County, which has finished runner-up to Oconee in region
8 AAA for the past two years, bested their region rival by three
strokes, topping the Warriors, who finished second in the state
last year, 151-154. Banks finished third with a 175 on the day.
The win might have also earned the Madison County golfers a measure
of respect in the process.
"I think that Oconee might have come in here and just thought
they were going to walk away with it because they've beaten us
so many times over the past couple of years," coach Mark
Turner said of the squad's first win over the Warriors since
the 1998 state tournament. "But I think that we suprised
them and got their attention. We've had a mental block with Oconee
so I think it really helped us."
In the win over Oconee - a squad that along with Dacula and Madison
County looks to be in a horse race for the region title - the
Raiders got solid efforts from top to bottom, with the team turning
in their second-lowest nine-hole score of the season.
Ryan Hybl led the way in the match, putting forth a stellar effort
with a four-under-par 32 on the day.
"Ryan's 32 really stands out at me," Turner said. "For
him, he had been struggling lately, so I was glad to see him
Following Hybl was Lee Allen, who continued his impressive play,
firing a 38, along with Jeremy Cooper, who finished with a 40,
and Tyler McSpadden, who came through with a 41.
"I was pleased with the way Lee and Jeremy played,"
said Turner. "If they continue to play like that, we should
be in good shape for the rest of the year."
Turner also said that McSpadden had a breakout match in the wins
over Banks and Oconee.
"I was really proud of Tyler's score," Turner said.
"He had been really struggling, so I was glad to see him
come through. He works as hard as any player I've ever had, so
he deserves everything he gets."
The Raider golfers picked up another win on Tuesday as they got
past Clarke Central 158-160 at Athens Country Club.
"We didn't really play very well," said Turner. "But
if you can play bad and still win, I guess you've got a good
Hybl turned in another solid day, firing a 34 to lead the Raider
effort while Jeremy Cooper followed him with a sound performance,
posting a 38. Lee Allen was two-over-par heading into the last
hole but caught a bad break as his approach shot got pinned in
the bunker, causing Allen to triple-bogey the hole and shoot
Rounding out the rest of the Raider scores were McSpadden and
Jason Poss, who both fired a 45.
"It was a different course for us, so we're not used to
it," said Turner of his team's struggles in the match.
The squad will again take on Clarke Central Thursday along with
Hart County in a nine-hole home match at Whispering Pines Golf
Course before hosting the Madison County Invitational on Saturday.
The Invitational will loom as a large test for the squad as they
will be competing in their home tournament without the services
of their top-rated player, Hybl, who will be competing in a major
amateur tournament, the Azalea Classic, in South Carolina.
Turner said the absence of Hybl will be felt but would also give
more players on the squad a chance to step up.
"Having Ryan would give us a very good shot to win our home
tournament," said Turner. "But it will be interesting
to see how we do without him. It will put Lee Allen in the spotlight
as he will have a chance to contend for the individual title
in our tournament."