Area Sports...

 April 19, 2000


Diamond Tigers Look To Future
Commerce Losing Three Players To Graduation
Ending the season with a losing record is not desirable. Commerce's baseball team finished the year 6-13 this year. But the future appears promising for the Diamond Tigers.
The 2001 Tigers will play without three seniors from this year's squad: Daniel Carder, Bryan Allen and Matthew Owensby.
But several younger players got time on the field this year to prepare them. The group is committed to improving, according to coach David Cash.
"We'll have a lot of people returning," Cash said. "And they all have indicated they will play some type of summer ball. We've got to put an emphasis on getting stronger and getting all the experience we can."
There were several bright spots to the season, Cash said.
"Daniel Carder had a good year for us," Cash said. "Chad Jordan had a good year as a freshman. He had more at-bats than anyone we've had in a while as a ninth grader.
"We had several people that did a lot better hitting the ball than I had expected. Our ERA was too high. We struck out too many times and gave up too many errors."
Carder led the team with a .413 batting average, 21 runs and 18 RBIs. He tied with Wes Massey for the team lead in home runs with four.
Carder led the team with a 2.42 earned run average and 37 strikeouts.
Jordan hit .368 in 38 at bats, playing primarily as a catcher.
JUNIOR VARSITY
The JV Tigers finished their season with a 3-3 record.
Several players had productive years at the plate.
Greg Watts led the team in hitting with a .478 batting average. Kevin Wilson was close behind with a .476 mark. Sam Cutler and Scott White also hit over .300 for the junior varsity.
Wilson led the team with two home runs. Watts, White and Worley each homered once.
Eighth grader Casha Daniel led the team in innings pitched.
"Casha pitched a lot of games for us," JV coach Mark Hale said. "As an eighth-grader, he played more innings than we've had in a while."
Jordan and Bobby Worley saw limited action on the mound for the junior varsity. Jordan had a 2.76 earned run average with one win in seven and two-thirds innings pitched. Worley had seven strikeouts in seven innings.


Tigers' 2000 Gridiron Schedule Set
BY DREW BRANTLEY
Commerce High School has a football schedule for next year, again. The first one was thrown out with the new realignment.
The newest version awaits the signing of contracts to become official.
"This is going to be one of the toughest schedules we've had around here in a while," Commerce coach Steve Savage said.
The change to five classifications kept Commerce in Region 8-A. However, only four schools compete in football from the region. That left Commerce three region games and seven games to pick up.
Finding seven games to fill the schedule allowed Commerce to pick up several teams that are not new to a Tiger schedule.
However, the most noticeable newcomer will be Walhalla, S.C. The South Carolina school is located about 25 miles northeast of Toccoa. Playing in a six-team conference, Walhalla faced a similar scheduling problem to Commerce.
"We were looking at some pretty heavy travel with the in-state games we were looking at," Walhalla coach Rick Pate said. "Commerce is just down the road. We can hit 85 and get to Commerce quicker than we can even than the Spartanburg area."
The Walhalla Razorbacks finished 4-6 overall and 3-2 in their conference last season. They lost in the first round of the South Carolina state playoffs to Ninety Six, the eventual champion. The past two years, Walhalla has played Rabun County.
Washington-Wilkes will make the Commerce schedule for the first time ever. The W-W Tigers reached the quarterfinals of the state playoffs last year in their second year after dropping down from Class AA.
Forsyth Central will also play Commerce for the first time. The two teams were slated to play in the original schedule for next season.
The rest of the Tigers' 2000 schedule offers plenty of familar foes.
Franklin County continues to open its season with a matchup with Commerce.
Morgan County has been a recent participant in Commerce's jamboree.
Lincoln County and Commerce have met in the playoffs during the past two years. This year's regular season meeting will be the first for the two teams since 1987.
Commerce played Athens Academy in the second round of the playoffs this year. But for several years prior, the two teams were both in Region 8-A. All but one of Commerce's opponents have been in the playoffs in the past two years.
Commerce also plans to participate in a jamboree on the last Friday in August, Savage said.
Savage said he had talked to Central Gwinnett and Dacula, but he did not know where the final setup for preseason game would end up.
REGION 8-A
Since four teams from each region advance to the state playoffs, every team in Region 8-A is in. Already qualified for the state playoffs, Commerce's region schedule will be purely for seeding.
Although Wesleyan is on the Commerce schedule for the first time, the Wolves have been in Region 8-A for the past two years. A private school in Gwinnett County, Wesleyan began play in varsity football in 1998.
The regular season will close out next year with Commerce facing two of its most familiar opponents.
No other team has faced Commerce as many times as Jefferson. The intracounty rivals will square off Nov. 3 for the 54th time.
Just like the past two seasons, Commerce will play its final regular season game against Buford.
Last year, the two teams entered the final week with perfect records for what was the region championship game.
Only Madison County and Jefferson have played Com-merce more times than Buford.


2nd Annual Peace Place Golf Tournament Set For May 2
The second annual Peace Place Golf Tournament will be held Tuesday, May 2, at The Woodlands course at Château Élan. Proceeds will go toward the Peace Place battered women's shelter serving Banks, Barrow and Jackson counties.
Teams at $500 apiece and sponsorships from $250 to $2,000 are being solicited for the event, which begins at noon with registration and a silent auction. The golf tournament begins at 1:30 with a shotgun start.
The field is limited to 120 players and scoring will be based on each four-player team's handicap. Prizes will be awarded for the first through third place teams and for the longest drive, closest to the pin and hole-in-one.
Players will receive green fees, cart, a gift prize, golf shirt and a post-tournament awards dinner.
The entry fee is $125 per player or $500 per team of four. Hole sponsorships are offered at $250 apiece. There is also a silver sponsorship for $1,000 that includes an entry of one team in the tournament. Gold sponsorships, for $2,000, include sponsor signage and play for two teams. Sponsors will also receive follow-up publicity and recognition at the awards dinner.
Additional sponsorships (for shirts, balls, awards, etc.) are also available.
All contributions are deductible to the limit allowed by law.
For information, contact Christine Smith at (404) 995-2598.


Local golfers in Piedmont golf tourney
Three Banks County golfers took part in the Piedmont College Coach Cave Memorial Golf Tournament at Innsbruck Resort and Golf Club in Helen.
Rodney Thomas, Stan Brookshire and Jason Sparks were part of a Laurderdale team that finished in second place. Arnold Meeks of Cornelia played as the fourth member of the team.
Melvin Coley, of Baldwin, was on the second-place team in the handicapped division with a score of 45.
The team shot a 59, but lost by one stroke to a team of players from Habersham and White counties.
The annual event is named for the late Leon O'Neal Cave, longtime athletic director, baseball, golf and basketball coach at Piedmont College.
The event raised more than $9,000 for the Cave Scholarship Fund, said Nancy Singer of the Piedmont College alumni office.


BCHS hosts shot at third straight golf title
BY DREW BRANTLEY
When Banks County High School co-hosts the Region 8-A golf tournament Monday at Scales Creek Country Club, there will be more than homefield pride at stake.
The BCHS boys' golf team has claimed the past two region titles in golf. In 1998, the group won the region match on what was then their home course, Sandy Creek.
Last year, the team came back to win the team event at The Orchard in Habersham County.
Even though the team has played well in recent matches, coach Bobby Morris knows that winning region again won't be easy.
"They've been playing pretty consistently," Morris said. "They shot a 157 the other day. If they can keep their scores in that range they can be in good shape. But Greater Atlanta Christian and Providence are going to be tough."
The region tournament will begin Monday morning for the girls' and boys' teams. Every player will play a round of 18.
For the boys, the top four scores count toward the team score. The top two teams advance to the state rounds May 8 at Fields Ferry Golf Course in Calhoun.
The girls' event counts the top two best scores. The region champion will advance to the state tournament at Indian Mounds on Jekyll Island.
The low medalist for the boys' and girls' region tournaments will also go to state, should their team not advance.
Banks County and Commerce are co-hosting the region tournament.
RECENT MATCHES
Banks County is running out of matches to tune up for the region event.
Last Thursday, the boys braved cold and windy conditions at Athens Country Club to shoot a 168 to best Athens Academy's 184.
Brandon Crumley led the Leopards with a 39. Brandon Brown followed with a 40. Jason Sparks shot a 42. Cody Whitlock rounded out the scoring with a 47.
Tuesday afternoon the team had a run-through on the home course against Rabun County and Union County.
Banks County shot a 151 to win the match. Rabun County had a 173. Union County turned in a 180. D. Sparks led the way with a 35. Brown and J. Sparks each shot 38. Crumley shot a 40.
"The first three groups got 18 holes in," Morris said. "But we rolled the scores back to nine holes because the rest of them got couldn't finish because of darkness."
The scores for the first three groups continued their solid play from the first round. Brown finished with a one under 75. J. Sparks shot par for his 18 holes. D. Sparks turned in a 79.


Diamond Leopards close 20-5 year
Dawson Co. downs BCHS for playoff spot
BY DREW BRANTLEY
If it isn't the most, it's got to be close.
The Banks County High School baseball team turned in what is surely one of the best baseball seasons in the school's history.
With a 20-5 mark overall on the season and an 11-3 record in the subregion, the Diamond Leopards have plenty to celebrate, improving from last year's 10-12 mark.
"I knew we had some capabilities this year," Leopard coach Michael Williams said. "We had double the wins from last year. That's something to be tremendously proud of. I've asked around, but I don't know what the record for wins in a season is for Banks County. I don't know if there's ever been a team to win 20 games in a season. I would think that's got to be close to a record."
Still, the team did fall short of the region playoffs, losing to Dawson County Monday in a one-game subregion playoff.
However, returning all but two players from the team next year offers plenty of hope for the future. Justin Smith and Steven Cruce are the only seniors on the team.
"We've got 16 of 18 kids coming back," Williams said. "We will lose a lot in Justin and Steven. They both pitched for us. And they both came up and hit the ball for us. But Casey Murray, Corey Sims, Drew Gowder and Clint Angel will have to help us out pitching. Of course, we'll have Joseph Whitlock back."
Whitlock proved again last week how valuable he can be to the team. Banks County had beaten Towns County 11-1. In order to make the extra game with Dawson County, Banks County had to have a win over Rabun County Thursday.
Whitlock pitched a complete game victory, his sixth of the year, with 12 strikeouts. That would have been enough for one player, but Whitlock also added three two-run homers as a batter. For the week, he had five hits in eight at-bats with four home runs.
"Joseph had a really good ball game for us," Williams said. "He was focused on Thursday. He stepped up for us."
"Our kids worked hard, and we were successful," Williams said. "It was disappointing that we didn't go further. But it was rewardeing to see what they could do. Hopefully we can build on that for next year."
FINAL GAMES
Cruce pitched into the sixth innning against Towns County, allowing one run for the Leopards. Whitlock closed out the inning on the mound as Banks County won the game 11-1.
DAWSON COUNTY
Things started bad and got worse for Banks County in their one-game playoff at Dawson County.
"It just wasn't our day," Williams said. "They got some good hops on balls we hit. Things just kind of snowballed for us."
The Tigers scored two runs in the first inning on a home run.
Dawson County scored three runs in the second inning. The Tigers added four runs in the third.
Dawson County picked up three in the fourth. When Banks County failed to score in the top of the fifth, the game was called due to the run rule.


Landmark claims Jefferson Relays crowns
Local athletes claim four events
BY TIM THOMAS
The Landmark Christian War Eagles flew into Jefferson Saturday for the Jefferson Relays, and flew out with a pair of team titles.
Landmark dominated both the girls' and boys' fields in group 2, composed of schools in classes A and AA. Crim finished a fairly close second in the boys' competition with 91 points, and third in the girls' with 71. Jefferson's boys ranked sixth in the final standings, while the girls were seventh.
Heather Green grabbed the spotlight again in the girls' high jump, winning the event with a leap of five feet, two inches. The mark was only three inches shy of the meet record, set by Jackson County's Melissa Yonce in 1997.
Roderick Young claimed the top high jump spot for the boys, at six feet, four inches. Steve Green was second, just four inches behind.
In group 1, Brookwood's boys and Griffin's girls took home team trophies. Jackson County's boys were eighth, and the girls' team finished fifth.
Chuck Kubiak finished first in the boys' discus throw, with a distance of 133 feet, six inches. The 4X800 relay team shocked coach Steve Collins with their first-place performance.
"When that last leg came around and Carly [Parr] was out in front, I thought, 'It's over,'" Collins said. The Sandy Creek anchor crossed the line second, 15 seconds after Parr. Crystal Yonce earned the Panthers' sole second-place finish, with a 4' 8" high jump, just one inch out of the top spot.
Others placing and scoring team points for Jackson County were: Justin Lott (sixth, 110-meter hurdles), Tim Birdette (fourth, long jump), Carla Rainwater (fifth, 100 meter hurdles), Nikki Dubose (sixth, 300-meter hurdles) and Melissa Lerette (fifth, shot put).
In addition, the boys' 4X200 relay team (sixth) and girls' 4X100 (seventh), 4X200 (fifth), 4X400 (fifth), distance medley (third) and sprint medley relay teams (fourth) all scored team points.
For Jefferson, Chris Gooch (fifth, 300-meter hurdles), Young (third, long jump), S. Green (fifth, triple jump), Blake Gooch (fifth, pole vault), Audrey Johnson (fourth, 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles, and sixth, high jump), Emily Tompkins (sixth, 100-meter hurdles), Annie Goza (fifth, discus), and Julie Coile (sixth, discus) contributed to their teams' efforts.
Relay teams placing for the Dragons were: boys' 4X100 (fifth), 4X200 (third) 4X400 (fourth), 4X800 (fifth), distance medley (fifth) and sprint medley (fourth).
The Lady Dragons earned fourth in the 4X200, 4X400 and 4X800 relays, and fifth in the 4X100, distance medley and sprint medley.
New meet records were set in three girls' categories.
Habersham Central's Kiley Wright broke her own year-old group 1 discus record, with a throw of 125'2". Kindra Mattox, last year's class A champion for Oglethorpe County in the triple jump, broke her 1999 group 2 record, with a jump of 35 feet, two inches.
Cicely Lewis reached a new group 2 milestone in the 300-meter low hurdles, with a time of 49.24.


JHS Lady Netters ace Panthers
Jefferson's girls' tennis team finished their regular season with a 5-0 thrashing of Jackson County last Wednesday.
Winning singles matches for the Lady Dragons were: Misty Lance, Lara Bridges, Vanessa Greenwood, Ashley Evans and Holly Hensley. Molly Cleveland paired with Ashley Wheaton for a doubles win, and Heather Simmons and Jessica Roberts earned another. Heather Baker also won a JV singles match.
Jefferson's boys did not fare as well, as Coda Carloss came out the lone winner, at number-two singles.


Dragons gain maturity
Jefferson baseball players finished a season of surprising improvement on a low note, getting thrashed at the hands of top-ranked GAC. The Dragons hung close until the fifth inning, when the wheels came off and the Spartans scored five runs off five errors and two passed balls. Jefferson committed a total of 10 errors in the game.
"The only way you can play with the number one team in the state is to not make any mistakes," said coach Chuck Cook. "I'm really disappointed that the last game ended that way, because it was not characteristic of the way we've played this season."
Cook said that most of his underclassmen will play together on a summer team that will see action in 26 to 30 games, providing even more experience for a team that made tremendous strides during the past season.
"We matured a lot more than I expected us to. We've got a good jump on next season."
Senior Jon Veldhuis had the lone Dragon hit in his final game.


Lady Dragons head to region meet beginning Monday
Jefferson's girls' track team will compete in the region 8-A meet Monday and Tuesday at GAC. The top two in each event will qualify for the girls' state meet beginning May 4 in Albany.
The ladies won over Dawson and Rabun Tuesday, setting new personal best marks in four events. Michelle Boring (discus), Megan Lindsay (3200 meters), Amber Battles (100-meter dash) and Vanessa Greenwood (long jump) had best-ever performances. Annie Goza (discus), Heather Green (high jump), Greenwood (long jump and 100 meters), Michelle Boring (400 meters), Audrey Johnson (300-meter hurdles) and the 4X400 relay team all won their events.
Thursday's meet with Washington-Wilkes and North Forsyth will be the last of the regular season for the Lady Dragons, but the boys will host Riverside and West Hall next Wednesday. The boys' region 8-A meet will be hosted by Jefferson on May 1 and 2.
Jefferson's boys bested Rabun County and Dawson County Tuesday. Roderick Young (52.28) and David Boring (53.25) set new personal-best marks in their legs of the 4X400 relay. The team finished first, with a time of 3:33.86.
Young (high jump), Blake Gooch (pole vault), Jason Martin (shot put), Steve Green (triple jump and high jump), Boring (800 meters) and Kevin Kelly (3200 meters) all won their events.
Jefferson picked up a boys' win and a close second for the girls last week against Commerce and Oglethorpe. Jefferson's boys bested the Patriots by a 73-67 margin, with Commerce scoring 23. The Lady Dragons' 52 was second to Oglethope's 62. Commerce finished with 38 points.
Johnson led the way for the Lady Dragons, with a personal-best, first-place time of 53.72 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles, and as one leg of the first-place 1600-meter relay team that set a new personal best. Johnson was also second in the 100-meter hurdles.
Sunny Bush scored team points with a personal-best winning discus throw of 88'9". Lindsey (3200 meters) and Green (high jump) also won events. Boring added a personal best at 400 meters with a time of 68.08, good for fourth place. Boring's 400-meter time in the relay (67.6) was even better.
Jacob Cole was the big man for the boys, earning first place at 200 and 400 meters. Cole was also a member of the first-place 1600-meter relay team, and the second-place 400-meter relay team that ran a season-best 45.07.
Young, also a member of both relay teams, took first in the high jump and second in the long jump. Kelly had a pair of first-place finishes, in the 3200 meters and 1600 meters. Brian Cole was second in both races, with a personal-best time of 5:10.2 in the 1600.
Steve Green was first in the triple jump, second in the high jump and third in the pole vault. Also winning events for Jefferson were D. Boring (800 meters) and Chris Gooch (300-meter hurdles). Boring and Hunter Garner were both on the first-place 1600-meter relay team, and Gooch and Garner ran with the second-place 400-meter team.
JMS TEAMS WIN
Jefferson Middle School track teams beat Franklin County and Russell Middle last week.
Travis Reed, Daniel Pelham, Forrest Garner, Courtney Wiley and Tierre Shields won events for the boys, as did the 4X100 and 4X400 relay teams. For the girls, Brooke Coley, Genada Keith and Caquea Sewell (three events) won events. Both girls' relay teams also finished first.


Can Panthers make state?
The Jackson County Panthers take a 10-2 overall boys' tennis record into this week's region 8-AAA tournament, as the tournament's third seed from the north subregion. The tournament is being held at Oconee County Wednesday and Thursday.
The Panthers finished in a three-way tie for first place in the regular-season standings, with Madison County and West Hall. Madison County won the first seed via drawing, and West Hall was awarded the second.
"It worked out ok," said Jackson County head coach Jimmy Williams. "At least we were able to stay away from Oconee County." The Panthers and Warriors would meet in the region finals, if both were to make it that far. The top two teams from the region will advance to the state level.
"We've got a very tough match with North Gwinnett first," Williams said, "but it's winnable if we play well." If Jackson County can manage a win, they will likely face Madison County in the semifinals. A win there would earn a state berth.
In their season finale last week, Jackson County's boys took a 4-1 decision over Jefferson. Winning singles matches for the Panthers were C.J. Weaver and Stephen Rosser. Tommy Siphavong and Will Kunce teamed for a doubles victory, as did Randy Siphavong and Bobby Yang.
The Lady Panthers struggled to a 5-0 loss.
"The girls lost, but they played well at singles," Williams said.
In last weekend's region singles tournament, only C.J. Weaver managed to get out of the first round. Weaver won two matches before losing in round three.


Parr finishes at home
She saved the best for last.
Jackson County's Carly Parr ran her best time of the season Tuesday in the 3200-meter run, in her final appearance at home. The time of 12:21 is the closest Parr has come so far to her state championship performance of 11:46 last year, and just 14 seconds shy of her region championship mark. The girls' region 8-AAA meet will be held Saturday and Monday, at North Gwinnett. The boys will follow next weekend, at Jackson County.
"Carly's running more consistent now than she ever has going into the region meet," said head coach Steve Collins. "She's running real well right now." Parr also won Tuesday's 1600-meter race. Her performance led the Lady Panthers to wins over West Hall and North Hall, capping their season at 8-7.
Melissa Lerette and Carrie Hammond provided a 1-2 punch at shot, and Sara Freeland combined with Julie Griffith to do the same in the 800-meter race. The Lady Panthers finished first in both relays, and Crystal Yonce added another top mark in the high jump.
The Lady Panthers set three school records at Saturday's Jefferson Relays, in the 4X200, 4X400 and 4X800 relays.
The boys' team finished their season at 12-2-1, also winning Tuesday. Chuck Kubiak and Will Puckett finished first and second in the discus. Tim Birdette continued to perform well in the high jump, winning that event and the 200-meter dash. Chris Kubiak crossed the line first in the 300-meter hurdles, and the 4X100 relay team also grabbed the top spot.
Both the 4X200 and distance medley relay teams set new school marks at the Jefferson Relays.
Collins credited assistants Robin Potter, Philip Shiflet and Brent Mikel with having the team in excellent shape and health at the right time.
"We've got one or two little nagging hurts, but we're going to be about as healthy as we can be."


Madison Co. Major League highlights
Highlights from the past week of Madison County Major League action are as follows:
A'S DOWN DEVIL RAYS 5-3
The TyCobb Healthcare A's downed the Huddle House Devil Rays 5-3 Saturday in Madison County Little League action. The A's pitcher, Caleb Williams, struck out 14 batters in six innings, holding off a sixth-inning, bases-loaded rally by the Devil Rays to win the game.
The Devil Rays struck first, scoring two runs off hits to right field by Michael Freeman and Anthony Moody in the top of the first inning. The A's answered in the bottom of the first with two runs off singles by D.J. Cronic, Kevin Fields and Williams, who had an RBI. Carter Whiten also had a sacrifice RBI.
The A's moved one run ahead of the Devil Rays with Shaun Gerrett stealing home after being walked and sacrificed around the diamond to lead off the bottom of the third. Williams continued to hold the Devil Rays in the fourth by striking out the side. The Devil Rays scored another run in the top of the fifth off a Moody RBI single to tie the game, 3-3.
The A's answered off a key hit from Fields, who knocked in Wes McGaha and Gerrett for two runs to take the lead 5-3. Williams struck out the first two batters of the sixth inning before giving up a walk and two hits, one each to Nick Tarver and Michael Freeman, loading the bases for the Devil Rays. With two outs and the bases full, Williams struck out the Devil Rays' number two batter to give the A's the win.
Matthew Freeman pitched for the Devil Rays, giving up four walks, three hits and five runs in five innings, while striking out seven batters.
INDIANS TIE PIRATES
The Twin "W" Grading and Hauling Indians tied the Bread Basket Pirates 7-7 in a seven-inning contest Saturday.
Kenny Reynolds pitched six innings for the Indians, giving up eight hits, seven runs and five walks, while striking out nine. Matthew Smith gave up two hits and a walk, while fanning two batters in one inning. The Indians' Mitchell Lee led the team with three singles and two runs scored. Steven Bellew had a single, triple and a run scored.
Keith Kincaid pitched six innings for the Pirates, giving up 11 hits, seven runs and six walks, while striking out two. Clay Wilson gave up one hit and two walks, while fanning one in one inning. The Pirates Kyler Dennis and Keith Kincaid had singles each. Garrett Hochstetler had a double and Wilson had a single and a double.
PHILLIES TIE METS
The Strick Non-woven Phillies tied the Modern Body Mets Saturday 1-1 in extra innings.
Josh Strickland pitched six innings for the Phillies, giving up five hits and one run, while striking out 14. Adam Crowe pitched one inning in relief, facing three batters and striking out two, while walking one. Crowe scored the lone run on an RBI by Timothy Childers. Strickland, playing catcher in the final inning, tagged out a runner trying to steal home on a passed pitch to end the game. Crowe had two singles and Adam Wiley had a double.
Brad Osborne pitched three innings for the Mets, striking out six and allowing one hit. Clint Lowe also pitched three innings, striking out three and allowing three hits. Matt Hix pitched one inning, striking out one batter. Hix scored the lone Mets' run of the game on an RBI by Lowe, who had a double and a single. Hix had two singles.
LUMBERJACKS TOP
BRAVES 19-9

The Armour Plumbing Lumberjacks defeated the American Pest Control Braves 19-9 Friday.
Jack Alford struck out two in one inning pitching for the Lumberjacks. Joshua Swaim struck out four, while giving up nine runs in three innings. Chaz Perry, Alford and R.J. Klingler were the leading hitters for the Lumberjacks.
The Braves' leading hitter was Mitch Pike. Other hits came from Dustin Temple, Williams Jones, Jared Chambers and Kevin Dean. Dean and Zach Seymour pitched for the Braves.
DEVIL RAYS DOWN
PHILLIES 11-6

The Huddle House Devil Rays topped the Strick Non-woven Phillies 11-6 Friday.
Anthony Moody pitched five innings for the Devil Rays, allowing six runs on four hits and four walks, while striking out 10. Leading Devil Ray hitters were Moody, Stephen Cox and Jake Fields.
Timothy Childers pitched four innings for the Phillies, allowing 11 runs on four hits, while striking out six. Childers, Andrew Brannon, Josh Strickland and Michael Stanley each had a hit for the Phillies.
A'S DEFEAT ASTROS 6-3
The TyCobb Healthcare A's defeated the Bank of Danielsville Astros 6-3 Thursday.
Kevin Fields pitched six innings for the A's, allowing three runs on two hits and six walks, while striking out 12. Caleb Williams had three hits and three-game-winning RBIs. A's runs were scored by Fields, D.J. Cronic, Wes McGaha and Bryce Whitley.
Gabe Lewis pitched two innings for the Astros, allowing three runs on no hits and two walks, while striking out three. Justin Cape gave up three runs on four hits and two walks, while fanning eight in four innings.
INDIANS DOWN RANGERS 8-4
The Twin "W" Grading and Hauling Indians downed Zeb's Rangers 8-4 Thursday.
Mitchell Lee pitched four innings for the Indians, giving up one run on three hits and a walk, while striking out four. Matthew Smith pitched three innings, allowing three runs and four hits and a walk, while striking out three. The Indians' leading hitters were T.J. Tyner, who had two singles and double; and Justin Pursley, who had two singles and a triple.
Zeb Osley pitched three innings for the Rangers, allowing six runs, while striking out four. Chris Ford also pitched three innings, giving up two runs and striking out four. Osley, Ben Jeffers and Jason Wynn led the Rangers at the plate.
MARINERS EDGE PIRATES 3-1
Led by a stellar pitching performance by Kirk Patterson, the Utility Pipeline Services Mariners beat the Bread Basket Pirates 3-1 April 11.
Patterson pitched a no-hitter in the contest, walking five batters and striking out 14 in six innings. Cody Martin was the Mariners' leading hitter. Martin, Tyler Hill and Dennis Chandler scored for the Mariners.
The Pirates' lone run was scored by Kyler Dennis. Clay Wilson pitched four innings for the Pirates, giving up one run on three hits and a walk, while striking out two. Keith Kincaid gave up two runs and struck out one in one inning.
METS DEFEAT EXPOS 7-6
The Modern Body Mets defeated the Jackson EMC Expos 7-6 Tuesday. The Mets' Brad Osborne gave up one hit and zero runs, while striking out five in three innings. Clint Lowe fanned seven batters, while giving up six runs in three innings. Lowe led the Mets at the plate with two singles. Matt Hix, Josh Hix and Osborne each had a hit for the Mets.
Jonathan Jordan pitched six innings for the Expos, giving up seven runs, while striking out 11 in six innings. Jamey Rice had two extra base hits for the Expos.
RANGERS DOWN
LUMBERJACKS 6-4

Zeb's Rangers downed Armour Plumbing and Well Lumberjacks 6-4 Saturday.
Ben Jeffers was the winning pitcher for the Rangers, allowing four runs on one hit and five walks, while striking out 11. Jeffers, Jason Wynn and Tyler Berryman led the Rangers at the plate.
Chaz Perry pitched six innings for the Lumberjacks, giving up six runs, three hits and five walks, while striking out nine. Joshua Swaim was the leading hitter for the Lumberjacks.
MARINERS TOP BRAVES 12-5
The Utility Pipeline Services Mariners topped the American Pest Control Braves 12-5 Saturday.
The Mariners' J.J. McCay struck out 15 batters in five innings, allowing five runs on two hits and six walks. Cody Martin led the Mariners with a 4-for-4 performance. Kirk Patterson had a triple.
Mitch Pike pitched for the Braves, giving up 12 runs, while striking out seven in five innings. Pike had a double and Kevin Dean had a triple for the Braves.
EXPOS BEAT ASTROS 16-0
The Jackson EMC Expos beat the Bank of Danielsville Astros 16-0 Saturday.
Chad Boswell picked up the win for the Expos, giving up no runs on three hits and three walks, while striking out eight in four innings. Jamey Rice powered the Expos with the first homerun of the season in Madison County Little League. Boswell was 4-for-4 with a single, two doubles and a triple.
Ben McCain, Gabe Lewis and Chad Griffeth pitched for the Astros. Lewis, McCain and Nick May led the Astros at the plate.


Soccer boys conclude third consecutive winning season
BY ZACH MITCHAM
The Madison County boys' soccer team concluded its third consecutive winning season last week, ending the year with a 6-5-1 record.
The team's postseason hopes were broken last Tuesday with a 3-2 road loss to Central Gwinnett. Madison County ended the year with a 3-0 setback at Dacula Friday.
Raider coach Sam Rafal, who has announced that this was his last year coaching the team, said the final loss was tough, but he said it was a good chance to express emotions.
"It was an emotional ending for us," said Rafal. "But if anything good is to be said, it allowed us to see our emotions more fully. I was able to tell the players how important they've been to me, and they were able to let each other, and me, how important this season has been for them. That's not always easy for a bunch of macho guys."
VERSUS CENTRAL GWINNETT
Central Gwinnett came into the game needing a win to clinch a playoff berth. The Black Knights got the victory, but it was far from easy and Rafal noted that the team did not celebrate after the game as could be expected.
"I think we earned their respect," said Rafal. "...I've never seen a team not celebrate going to the playoffs. When the game was over, they looked defeated. They put their heads down. I think we took some of the heart out of them."
Manny Trujillo certainly caused fits for the Central Gwinnett squad, scoring the final two goals of his remarkable high school career and the final two goals of the 2000 Raider season. Alan Alvarez and Donnie Hatcher provided the assists for Trujillo.
With the score tied at one with the first half drawing to a close, Central Gwinnett scored a goal as time elapsed, carrying a 2-1 lead into intermission.
But Madison County responded with a goal within the first minute of the second half. Central Gwinnett later took a 3-2 lead, but Madison County nearly tied the game with only a couple of minutes to go.
Keeping the Raiders close was keeper Joe Zorbanos, who made 28 saves on the evening, including many "spectacular, last-second reactions," Rafal said.
"He played the best game I've ever seen a high school keeper play," said Rafal of Zorbanos. "Because of him we were there at the end."
VERSUS DACULA
Dacula lived up to its reputation of being a physical, athletic team in Madison County's season-ending loss.
"It was one of those deals where they were bigger, faster, stronger and had more club experience than us," said Rafal of Dacula.
Dacula scored all three goals in the second half, sneaking one uncovered or unmarked player up from the backfield to score each goal.


Lady Raiders capture region doubles crown for third straight year
BY ZACH MITCHAM
There were different players on the doubles court for Madison County this year, but the result was the same - a first-place showing.
The girls' doubles team of Christy Thomas and Elizabeth Turner won the Region 8-AAA doubles crown at Oconee County Saturday. The title has belonged to the Lady Raiders for the past three seasons. Renee Mathews and Stacie Beard won the championship the two previous seasons.
Raider coach Cliff Craig said he was pleased with the play of Thomas and Turner, as well as both Madison County boys' and girls' squads.
"They play well together," said Craig of the new doubles champions. "They're aggressive at the net and they don't let things bother them. They're very poised on the court."
The duo earned the title by downing a North Gwinnett squad in the first round 6-2, 7-6 (7-2). They then topped their Oconee County opponents 6-2, 6-3, before winning the championship against a West Hall twosome 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
While the doubles team took the only region title for Madison County in the individual and doubles tennis tournaments at Oconee County, several Madison County netters fared well. Mathews reached the girls' semifinals, losing to the eventual tournament champion. Kenny Powers played "his best match of the season," according to Craig, downing North Gwinnett's number one seed in the first round of the singles tournament. Powers won that match 6-1, 6-3, before losing to Jackson County's number one player in the next round.
Madison County's top boys' seed Chris Clark advanced to the semifinals, downing number two seeds from Central Gwinnett and North Gwinnett, but he was knocked from the tournament by Stephens County's Brian Edmonds, one of the state's top high school players and this year's boys' region champion.
In boys' doubles action, Madison County suffered an unlucky draw when one Raider team knocked out another in the semifinals. Cole Tonge and Drew Perry defeated their Oconee opponents 6-3, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, before downing their teammates Jeffrey Nichols and Nathan Myers 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the semifinals. Nichols and Myers had defeated a Newton team to advance to the semifinals. In the finals, Perry and Tonge were defeated by a North Gwinnett squad 2-6, 2-6.
Craig's teams will now begin the region team tournament. He said his squads are in good shape for the contests.
"They're peaking at the right time," he said. "We're playing the best we have all season right now. That bodes well for us in the team tournament."
The boys, who claimed a share of the sub-region title this year - their second straight sub-region title - were scheduled to open the tournament today (Wednesday) at 3 p.m. at Oconee County versus the winner of the Dacula/Stephens County match. Should the squad advance to the semifinals, they will play at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in Watkinsville and take the courts at 1 p.m. later that day in the same locale.
The girls' team will open the tournament today at 4 p.m. at Oconee County versus the winner of the Jackson County/Oconee County match. The girls' semifinals will be played at 9 a.m. Thursday, and the finals at 12:30 p.m. later that day in Watkinsville.






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