Baseball State Championship results from Truist Park

ajc.com

Woodstock is a state champion for the first time after beating Etowah 5-0, 4-0 in the Class 7A state championship series at Truist Park in Atlanta. The Wolverines were dominant on the way to victory and allowed Etowah just five hits and one run in both games.

Pitcher Brayden Davis led the Wolverines through the first game with a one-hit shutout. He pitched seven innings and faced 24 batters. Woodstock scored one run in the bottom of the fifth inning and four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the game out of reach.

“Brayden really just set the tone,” said Woodstock head coach Jeff Brown, who is in his sixth season leading the Wolverines. “He was able to get ahead and throw strike one with three different pitches: fastball, breaking ball and change up.”

Davis gave up one his in the seventh inning which spoiled the Game 1 no-hitter.

“I looked up at the big scoreboard about midway through the fourth inning and I thought ‘oh crap, he hasn’t given up a hit yet.’ But he was just out there. In it,” Brown said. “He’s been doing it all year.”

Shortstop Gabe Wuerth was 2-for-3 with one run, second baseman Michael Preiser was 2-for-2 with three RBIs. Third baseman Brooks McKenna and first baseman Mark May each had an RBI.

In Game 2, Woodstock wasted little time scoring three runs in the top of the first inning to take control and added a run in the top of the sixth inning for cushion.

“In our previous series, at least at home when we would come off that 30-minute low in between games, sometimes you just aren’t ready for the start of the second game,” Brown said. “It kind of all gets lost in the shuffle. But our guys were really locked in and able to jump on the fastball early and shoot a couple of gaps and get the pressure on them.”

Kameron Douglas, Logan Bryson, Luke Mabry and Preiser each had an RBIs in the victory. The Wolverines relied on quality pitching from Kevin Mauer – who pitched seven innings and allowed four hits – and impeccable defense to maintain the second-consecutive shutout and secure the championship.

Etowah was trying for the program’s second title (2017).

See results from the 6A championship game below.

Pope is a state champion for a fifth time after the Greyhounds beat Allatoona 10-0, 9-2 in the 6A championship series at Truist Park, home of the World Series champion Atlanta Braves Thursday.

“It was pretty cool to see that World Series celebration,” said Pope head coach Chris Turco said of playing in Truist Park. “We talked about it tonight, wouldn’t it be incredible to have the place rocking and rolling and packed out to play there. But it was cool to celebrate on that field.”

In the first game, quality pitching and uncharacteristically cold hitting from Allatoona allowed Pope an easy victory to open the series. The Greyhounds held Allatoona to just three hits and after entering the bottom of the third inning tied at 0, Pope scored five runs to take control. The Greyhounds added three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and a run in each of the next two innings to secure the victory.

“Our pitchers have just been locked in all year,” Turco said. “The coaches have done a great job and they were able to locate three pitches tonight that kept everyone off balance.”

In Game 2, Pope had 11 hits and scored a run in each of the first three innings while keeping Allatoona from crossing the plate. Pope scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning to take a 6-0 lead but the Buccaneers responded with a run in the bottom of the inning to score its first run of the series. Pope put the game out of reach with a three-run top of the sixth inning to give the Greyhounds a 9-1 lead.

For Turco, who took over the head coaching job this season after a 19-year stint as an assistant coach, it’s a solid start to his career.

“This senior class has been to four final fours and lost out in the title game in 2019 (to Heritage-Conyers in three games). Being just that one step away, they were able to pull through. This season we did a few different things in the fall and a bit more in the weight room. The kids were just committed to the entire 52-week process. It was unbelievable.”

Pope had previously won titles in 2009, 2013, 2017 and 2018.