North Cobb, Harrison ready for 4-AAAAA showdown

First-place North Cobb will play at defending Class AAAAA champion Harrison on Friday for the lead in Region 4-AAAAA. Entering Thursday play, North Cobb was 13-8 (8-1 in the region) and had won seven of its last eight games. That included a 5-1 win over Harrison on March 29, when Keith Pachmayer, Friday's starter, pitched a no-hitter.

North Cobb's leading hitters are outfielders Matt Fryman (.421) and C.J. Vincent (.400), who are first-year starters. Three-year starting shortstop Joey Cecere is perhaps the best all-around player. He has scored 26 runs and has a .562 on-base percentage.

Harrison (15-6, 7-2 before Thursday's game against Kennesaw Mountain) graduated its 2010 starting rotation but returned several key position players. Junior shortstop Matt Gonzalez, a star in the 2010 playoffs, is hitting .500 with nine home runs and 43 RBI. He also has three saves as a pitcher. Catcher Nick Galeotti is hitting .514. Georgia Tech signee Michael Hodorowski, perhaps the state's best defensive center fielder, is batting .333 with 16 stolen bases.

Woodward finishes 13-0 in 5-AAA

Woodward Academy (19-3, 13-0) won the regular season championship of Region 5-AAA this week with a 14-1 victory over St. Pius (14-8, 11-2), but the two private schools must play a three-game series beginning Wednesday to determine the No. 1 seed. Woodward got a grand slam from catcher Zach Blonder and a two-hitter from Ben Jernigan in the victory over St. Pius. Woodward has four players batting .475 or better in third baseman Morgan Bunting (.536), Connecticut football/baseball signee Andrew Adams (.520), sophomore left fielder Jonathan Pryor (.500) and Samford-signee Damon Waller (.475). Woodward, at No. 9, and No. 6 Allatoona of Cobb County are the only Class AAA metro teams in the coaches' poll, which ranks Spalding (20-1) of Griffin at No. 1.

Mill Creek can clinch 7-AAAAA

Mill Creek (16-6, 11-4) can become the first AAAAA team to clinch a No. 1 seed Friday with a victory at second-place Norcross (12-10, 8-6). Mill Creek knocked Duluth out of the race Wednesday with a 7-3 victory. Connor Kasten was 3-for-3 with two doubles and a home run and left-hander Chip Fleming pitched a one-hitter.

Milton leads 6-AAAAA

Milton, the defending champion in 6-AAAAA, has taken the region lead after crushing Centennial 12-2 last week and beating Alpharetta 4-3 in 10 innings this week. Eric Farrell, Mike Martin, Chris Aichinger and Scott Slippey each had two hits in the Centennial rout. Against Alpharetta, Milton came from 3-1 down in the seventh inning. Aichinger, who drove in the tying run in the seventh, scored the winning run in the 10th on Martin's double. The game was played on two fields over four days due to rain. The final two innings were at Milton, which had the more playable field.

Briefly ...

Old enemies Parkview (16-6, 11-1) and Brookwood (16-1-1, 10-2) will play at Brookwood on Monday in a game that could decide the No. 1 seed from Region 8-AAAAA. ... Brandon Dawson pitched a perfect game last week in Newnan's 9-0 victory over Newton. Newnan is 14-8 overall and 10-1 in Region 2-AAAAA with a showdown looming next Friday against Luella (17-5, 10-1). ... Jordan Tarver's quest for the triple crown in DeKalb County schools is looking good. The Stephenson senior is batting .595 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs. The next best numbers are .541 (Lithonia's D'Angelo Smith), five homers (Miller Grove's Jabari Gayle) and 26 RBIs (Columbia's Quinneton Osby). ... Chamblee's Patrick Eastham and Patrick Gaulden teamed up for a five-inning no-hitter of Tucker last week. ... Columbia's Thomas Frazier threw a five-inning no-hitter in a 16-1 victory over Stone Mountain.