Semifinal recaps: Walton, Pope in AAAAAA final

Here are recaps of Monday's semifinal series.

So it's Walton vs. Pope in the Class AAAAAA final. The schools are 3.8 miles apart in East Cobb.

Lovett won an 11-inning game against Greater Atlanta Christian to force a Game 3. Lovett trailed 2-1, then scored two runs to win it. Both starting pitchers went the distance.

Details below.

Class AAAAAA

Walton pitches pair of shutouts at Norcross

Zac Kristofak and Chris Hummell pitched shutouts in Walton’s 2-0, 3-0 sweep of Norcross. Kristofak’s shutout was a three-hitter. Hummell’s was a four-hitter. In the opener, Walton scored runs in second and third innings on singles by Jason Rooks and Ben Spencer. In Game 2, Spencer’s two-run single to center made the score 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Pope sweeps Harrison with late rallies

Pope swept Harrison 7-6 and 8-1 and set up an all-East Cobb state championship series with Walton. Wynne Pope won the opener in eight innings on a walk-off single by Michael Wynne. Pope had tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on Parker Orr’s bloop single that scored Buddy Floyd, who had doubled. In Game 2, Pope scored five runs in the sixth inning with the help of a three-run homer by Mason Meadows and a solo shot by Ethan Lawson. Pope and Walton split their regular-season meetings. Pope finished first, and Walton second, in Region 5-AAAAAA. Pope has won state titles in 2009 and 2013. Walton has won titles in 1992 and 2007.

Class AAAAA

Scott’s pitching forced Game 3 in Houston County-Gainesville series

Collier Scott scattered seven hits, struck out seven and kept Gainesville alive in the Red Elephants’ 2-1 victory over Houston County in Game 2 of their semifinal series at Houston County. Fredrick Cardona was 2-for-2 with a double. Sam Carpenter also had an RBI double. Houston County won the opener 9-4, cruising after a five-run second inning. Blake Dawson was 2-for-5 with two doubles and three runs scored. Austin Langford was 2-for-4.

Loganville, South Effingham split

In the opener, a 5-4 Loganville victory, Morgan Copeland hit a grand slam in the fourth inning for a 5-2 lead. Tim Elliott pitched a four-hitter and stranded the tying run at third base in the seventh inning. South Effingham won 5-1 in Game 2. Austin Thompson was 3-for-5, and Tyler Pullum and Garrett Hughes had two hits apiece. South Effingham had 10 hits, all singles. Davis Hare pitched a four-hitter and allowed an unearned run.

Class AAAA

Lindow pitches 2-hitter in Locust Grove sweep

Locust Grove swept Veterans 2-0 and 8-7, winning the opener on Ethan Lindow’s two-hitter and taking Game 2 by scoring the winning run by error in the seventh inning. In the opener, Lindow struck out eight and walked only two. Locust Grove scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. In Game 2, Locust Grove scored the winning run on an error in the top of the seventh after a pair of infield hits, one a bunt. The misplay scored Trevor Sellers, who led off with a single to short.  Joah Curry and Clay Shearhouse were each 3-for-4 for Locust Grove, which had 14 hits. Gavin Lee and Odlandier Rodriguez also had two hits apiece.

Tech, UGA signees power Buford into finals

Buford, the defending champion, swept Eastside of Covington 7-3 and 6-4. Nick Willhite, a Georgia Tech signee, hit a three-run triple to break a 3-3 tie in the fourth inning of the opener. Justin Glover, a Georgia signee, pitched a complete game, the final four innings scoreless. In Game 2, Glover hit a three-run double in the third inning for a 3-0 lead. Griffin Jolliff, a Georgia Tech signee, struck out 10 and pitched five scoreless innings before Eastside chased him in the sixth with a pair of runs. For more, read the Gwinnett Daily Post's account of the game.

Class AAA

Jackson County extends Blessed Trinity with eighth-inning win

Zane Corley beat an infield throw home in the bottom of the eighth inning for the winning run in Jackson County’s 2-1 victory over No. 1-ranked Blessed Trinity to force Game 3. It was only the second loss of the season for Blessed Trinity, which is ranked No. 7 nationally by MaxPreps. Corley had scored the tying run in the sixth on a fielder’s choice. He reached both times on singles for two of Jackson County’s four hits off John Michael Bertrand, who struck out eight. Blessed Trinity won the opener 13-1 in a five-inning run-rule game. Colin Davis was 3-for-3 with a triple, a home run and four RBI. Conor Davis homered. David Dunn was 2-for-3. Hayden Lehman allowed seven hits but no earned runs over the five innings.

Westminster takes two from Cedartown

Westminster beat Cedartown 13-7 and 6-4. In the opener, a 13-7 win, Kenneth Hartzfeld, Ryan Miller, Shota Yasuda and Peter York had two hits apiece, and Ethan Price hit a three-run homer. In Game 2, Westminster won 6-4, coming from down 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning and scoring the winning run on Cedartown’s only error of the game. Will Benson was 2-for-3 with a double and a home run. Rankin Woley homered and pitched the final inning, getting two strikeouts. Starter Blake Huber struck out 10 in six innings.

Class AA

Lovett forces Game 3 with dramatic 11th-inning comeback

Lovett scored two runs in the bottom of the 11th inning to beat Greater Atlanta Christian 3-2 in Game 2, forcing a third game today. Lovett's rally came after GAC retired the first two batters of the inning. Aaron Schunk homered to left field to tie the game 2-2 Brady Tindal singled to center and stole second. After an intentional walk, David Easterling doubled to center field, scoring the Tindall for the winning run. Lovett's Sam Pritchard pitched an 11-inning complete game. He allowed seven hits and only one earned run in his 121 pitches. GAC had scored a run off Pritchard in the top of the 11th for a 2-1 lead. GAC's Gabe Davenport also pitched a complete game. He allowed 11 hits and threw 149 pitches. GAC won the opener 8-0. Andrew Schultz pitched a three-hitter and struck out eight. He also homered and was 2-for-3 with four RBI at the plate. Erik Smith was 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI.  Harrison Sloan was 2-for-3 with a double.

Wesleyan, Holy Innocents’ to play Game 3

Wesleyan and Holy Innocents’, rivals from Region 6-AA, split. Holy Innocents’ won the opener 2-1 as Hugh Chapman pitched a six-hitter. Christian Ketchup hit a home run for Holy Innocents’ freshman Guillermo Grainer was 2-for-3 (and 5-for-7 on the day). On Game 2, an 8-1 Wesleyan victory, Wesleyan had a seven-run fourth inning. Ryan Weed and Colin Hall homered. Hall, Cole Mannion, Mikey Olson and Alex Thompson had two hits apiece. Andy Archer allowed six hits and struck out six.