The Apalachee baseball team continued a dominant week of play Monday, March 8, throttling Rockdale County 10-0 in five innings at home for its fifth straight victory.
Since losing a pair of close low-scoring games at Oconee County on Feb. 27 to Lakeside, Atlanta and Oconee and dropping below .500, the Wildcats (7-3) have taken off with five wins in less than a week.
APALACHEE 10, ROCKDALE CO. 0
Apalachee pitchers Manning West and Ashton Sapp combined for a no-hitter in the run rule-shortened game Monday, as West struck out the side in the top of the first inning and then gave way to Sapp, who worked four scoreless innings and fanned eight batters while allowing just two hits.
The Wildcats staked their pitchers out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Traver Park laced an RBI single and later scored on a steal of home. They added four more in the second when Colin Hedges scored on an error and Judah Powell reached on a bases-loaded error that brought three runs in.
Evan Manotas and Powell added on to the lead with RBI groundouts in the fourth, and Hedges contributed an RBI single in the fifth and scored the final run on a balk to end it.
APALCHEE 15, Rutland 0 (3 INNINGS); APALCHEE 9, RUTLAND 1
The Wildcats manhandled the Hurricanes over the span of 10 innings at home Saturday, March 6, as Apalachee pitchers allowed just two hits on the day.
The Wildcats plated seven runs each in the first and second innings of the first game and tacked on one more in the third.
Powell went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs and worked three scoreless and hitless innings on the mound, walking one and striking out five. Jordan Wilson went 2-for-2 with three RBIs; Colby Sikes drove in two runs; and West had a double and an RBI.
The Wildcats broke open a close second game with a five-run fourth inning en route to another easy victory. Manotas went 2-for-3 with an RBI and pitched the first four innings to earn the win. He allowed one run on two hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Rylan Smaltz pitched two scoreless frames, and Jesse Greenway closed out the game in the seventh.
APALACHEE 15, MONROE AREA 5
The Wildcats trailed 4-1 at Monroe Area on Thursday, March 4, before flipping the game around with a four-run fifth and then exploding for 10 in the sixth on their way to a 15-5, run rule-shortened victory.
Sikes went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while Hedges also had two hits on the day. Sapp had a double and two RBIs, and Powell and Wilson drove in a pair of runs apiece.
Smaltz was credited with the win in relief of Park, while Sapp and Landon Jones both worked scoreless innings after the Wildcats grabbed the lead.
APALACHEE 7, PRINCE AVENUE CHRISTIAN 2
In their win at Prince Avenue Christian on March 3, the Wildcats struck for six runs in the top of the fourth inning, including a go-ahead grand slam by Powell, a freshman first baseman who has been one of a few key young starters in the Apalachee lineup this spring. Powell’s blast followed a squeeze bunt by Hedges and RBI single by Sikes that tied the game.
West earned the win for Apalachee, allowing two runs on three hits with two walks and six strikeouts in four innings. Greenway and Wilson combined for three scoreless innings in relief.
Apalachee was scheduled to continue its home stand Wednesday against Newton and will host Monroe Area in a makeup game 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 12, before opening GHSA Region 8-AAAAA play Monday, March 15, at Jackson County.