Northside-Columbus swept Denmark (7-6, 11-2) in the Class AAAA finals at Rome’s State Mutual Stadium on Tuesday to take home the program’s first-ever state title. The Patriots scored two clutch runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to win a 7-6 back-and-forth battle with Denmark in Game 1. Jack Krum tripled in the top of the first inning and was driven home on a JJ Corr single that put Denmark up 1-0. Northside-Columbus eventually tied it up 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning on a Connor O’Neal’s single that scored Will Bryant from second base.
Denmark put up four runs in the top of the third inning and appeared to be in control, but Northside-Columbus answered with a four-run effort of its own in the bottom of the fourth that evened it back up 5-5.
Nic Ferrer’s two-out RBI single put Denmark back up 6-5 heading in the top of the fifth inning. Pitcher Drew Clare got the Danes out of a jam when he took the mound in the bottom of the sixth to keep Denmark in front by a run heading into the seventh. The Danes loaded the bases, but came up empty in the top of the frame and would pay for not adding insurance. Smaran Ramanathan replaced Clare at the mound, who had gotten an out on his first pitch of the inning before allowing a double. Ramanathan hit the first batter he faced and then gave up a single to load the bases. Northside tied it up 6-6 on a sacrifice fly and then Patriots’ freshman Justin Veloz hit a pop-up into left field that was dropped and Mack Williams crossed the plate for the walk-off win.
Pike County swept Pace Academy (5-4, 7-4) at Macon’s Luther Williams Field to win its first state championship in program history. The Pirates trailed Pace Academy early in Game 1. Pace Academy’s Andrew Jenkins blasted a 2-run homer in the top of the first inning to give the Knights a 2-0 edge. Zack Hampton’s RBI single cut it to 2-1 in the bottom of the second inning, but Pace Academy added another run off Mitchell O’Berry’s RBI single in the top of the third. Pike County’s Coleman Boynton sparked an explosive 3-run effort in the bottom of the fourth inning with an RBI double; teammate Coleman Crow batted in a run on a fielder’s choice and then Noah Windhorst added an RBI single to put Pike County up 4-3. Jayden Thomas came through for Pace Academy with his RBI single in the top of the fifth and that 4-4 draw held until Pike County’s Gavin Duncan provided a pinch-hit walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Pirates a 5-4 win.
Pike County led Pace Academy 3-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh and also led 3-2 with one out left in Game 2, but the Knights erased the two-run deficit and tied it up on a pop fly that dropped into shallow right field in the reach of three converging Pirates jerseys to force extra innings. Pike County regained the lead by putting up four runs in the top of the eighth inning and closed out the series with a 7-4 defeat.
The Tattnall Square Trojans swept Savannah Christian convincingly (11-1, 11-0) to take home the program’s third state title in four seasons. The Raiders went up early in Game 1 following an RBI single from Jarrett Brown in the first inning. Pitcher Garrett Bradley managed to escape a based-loaded jam to keep the Trojans off the board in the bottom of the frame and then Tattnall’s bats came alive. An RBI double from senior Miles Morris in the bottom of the second inning tied the game at 1-1. The offensive action exploded in the fourth as the Trojans added six more runs off of a 2-RBI single from Carter Fink, four walked batters and three more hits. Two more runs were added in fifth and the Trojans brought the first game of a series to a close in the bottom of the sixth following a shot from junior Brooks Gorman into left field that forced the two-digit run rule.
In Game 2, Georgia Tech commit Dawson Brown took to the mound for Tattnall Square. The Trojans picked up where they left off scoring the go-ahead run in the top of the second inning after a pair of costly errors by the Raiders. Problems in the field continued to plague Savannah Christian as two more errors led to two unearned in the top of the fourth. Trailing 3-0, the Raiders managed to load the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning but stranded the runners and Tattnall Square plated eight more runs before completing the shutout and securing the title.
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