JUSTIN WHITEHEAD

Banks County's Justin Whitehead takes a lead off first base during earlier action this season for the Leopards. Banks County swept Clarke Central and Alcovy Feb. 22 at Diamond Day at Clarke Central. 

The Banks County baseball team's young season continued to see great signs ahead of region play with two stellar games on Saturday (Feb. 22). 

On Diamond Day at Clarke Central, the Leopards defeated the host school 5-3 and dismantled Alcovy 16-2 in six innings. 

After playing Athens Academy (Feb. 25), the Leopards open region play Feb. 28 with a doubleheader at Union County. 

Banks Co. 16, Alcovy 2: Tripp Williams led the Leopards with four hits and four RBIs. The Leopards totaled 16 hits in the win. 

Justin Whitehead had three hits and one RBI. Caden Cotton had two hits and two RBIs as did Ty Burchett. Braxton Simpson, Nolan Hill, Parker Hobson, Jonathan Moon and Clay Angel had one hit apiece. 

The Leopards opened the game with three runs out of the gate. After the opening two batters, Burchett and Whitehead, reached base, Williams followed with a single to plate Burchett for the first run of the game. 

Three batters later, Hill followed with a 1-out single to plate Whitehead and push the score to 2-0. The third run came during Moon's at-bat. The second pitch he saw turned into a passed ball and Williams made it home. 

Alcovy responded with two runs in the bottom of the first thanks to an RBI double from Raquis Holmes. His hit plated Lamar Williams and Chandler Hicks. 

The rest of the game belonged to Banks County. In the third, the Leopards added two runs. Simpson tagged up and scored when Hill lined out to left field. Two batters later, Kobe Westmoreland scored when Moon singled to center field. 

Three more runs followed in the fourth. Williams cleared the bases with a triple (Burchett, Whitehead scores). Williams then made it home during Simpson's at-bat on a passed ball. The score was 8-2. 

Banks County's lead went to 10-2 in the fifth when a Burchett double plated Wyatt Whitfield and a Whitehead grounder allowed Burchett to score due to an Alcovy error. 

The final six runs came in the sixth. With the bases loaded and no outs, Hobson was hit by a pitch, which plated Westmoreland to set the score at 11-2. A Burchett walk followed and Angel walked across home plate to push the score to 12-2. 

Two batters later, Williams singled to right field and got moon home to push the lead to 13-2. Simpson followed with an RBI groundout (Hobson scores) and the lead was 14-2. 

The final two runs came off the bat of Cotton. he doubled to left field, scoring Burchett and Williams to set the final score at 16-2. 

On the mound, Cotton pitched four innings and recorded six strikeouts. Burchett pitched two innings, recording three strikeouts. 

Banks Co. 5, Clarke Central 3: The Leopards led 4-0 after two innings and held on late to secure the win. Both teams recorded nine hits apiece.

Whitehead led the team with two hits and one RBI. Burchett added two hits. Five players had one hit apiece. 

On the mound, Hill, Dylan Greenway and Burchett combined to record 11 strikeouts (Hill 5, Greenway 4, Burchett 2).

After a scoreless first inning, the Leopards pounced in the second, scoring four runs. Cotton scored the first run during Angel's at-bat. With two outs, Whitehead singled and plated Whitfield to push the lead to 2-0. The final two runs came later in the inning. 

Clarke Central cut the Leopards' lead to 4-3 in the fourth thanks to back-to-back doubles. 

The securing run for Banks County came off the bat of Simpson in the sixth. Simpson got a 2-out single and plated Burchett to set the final at 5-3. 

Franklin Co. 6, Banks Co. 5 (Feb. 19): The Leopards led 5-1 after four innings. The Lions, though, scored four runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to get the 1-run win. 

Angel finished with one hit and three RBIs. Whitehead and Hill finished with two hits apiece. 

After Franklin County scored one run in the top of the first, Banks County responded for one in the bottom half of the inning. Burchett scored on Whitehead's sacrifice fly to center field. 

After no scoring, the Leopards got back on the board in the fourth and took the lead 2-1 when Moon doubled to plate Simpson. Angel followed with a 3-run homer to left field to push the lead to 5-1. 

The Lions tied the game in the top of the sixth thanks to back-to-back singles and a double. They got the go-ahead run in the seventh on a single to right field. 

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