From Staff Reports
As long as Southeast Whitfield High School’s baseball team continues to hit the ball and score runs the way it has so far this season, it really won’t matter what the defense does.
Coach Brad Lofton still likes how the Raiders’ fielding is improving.
Two days after scoring 42 runs in two games against Gordon Central and Murray County, the Raiders won their fifth straight — and sixth in the first seven games — with a 15-5 victory against Gilmer on Monday in Elijay.
“I told the guys that I expected us to start off pretty hot, and they have responded,” Lofton said. “They understand the opportunity we have. You want to have offensive production, and the pitchers have done a solid job. Defensively, we have some things that we will have to work on. We still have a long way to go, but we have a good chance to have a really, really solid season.”
Offensively, there’s little to complain about — the Raiders have scored 69 runs in the past four games.
Against Gilmer, Abram Stanley was 4-for-4 with a pair of hits after the Bobcats issued intentional walks to pitch around shortstop Blake Foster — who still had a pair of RBIs even though he only had two official at-bats.
Colter Faith was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. His two-run hit in the top of the fifth put the Raiders up 6-5, and the offense kept scoring.
Chase Jenkins was 2-for-4, and Rhett Harper finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Harper also got the win, pitching 3 2/3 innings of relief as he gave up one hit and struck out eight.
At one point, Southeast was down 5-2 despite the fact that starting pitcher Daniel Chavarria gave up just two hits in 3 1/3 innings. Only one of the five runs he gave up was earned as the Raiders were hurt by a pair of errors.
“We had adversity in our face there and just battled through it,” Lofton said. “We settled in and got back to playing good defense. We just have to cut back on the mistakes.”
• Gordon Lee 3, Christian Heritage 2: A two-out hit brought home the winning run for the Trojans in the bottom of the seventh and dropped Christian Heritage to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in Region 6-A.
The teams combined for just eight hits — Gordon Lee had five and Christian Heritage had three — but the Lions weren’t able to collect on solid efforts in the field and on the mound.
Spencer Robbins started for the Lions and allowed a pair of runs on five hits and two walks while striking out two in 5 1/3 innings. Trevor Brown took the loss after working the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing a run on a hit and a walk.
Gordon Lee took a 1-0 lead in the second, but Christian Heritage tied as Ian Robbins scored on a passed ball in the sixth. The Trojans went back up 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning, but Jake Stokes’ RBI double put Christian Heritage up 2-1 in the top of the seventh.
“We put the ball in play ... We had some ‘at ‘em’ balls.,” Lions coach Noah Stokes said. “We played good defense and pitched well, we were just a couple of plays short. Gordon Lee’s a tough team, but we’ve got to get on the right side of those going forward.”
• Pickens 15, North Murray 10: Lake Burris was 2-for-3 with three RBIs, including a two-run homer in the sixth, and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief as the Mountaineers (3-6) lost at home.
Brody Frazier was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the fourth as North Murray cut Pickens’ lead to 11-8, but the Dragons pushed across four in the fifth to put the game out of reach.
• Dalton boys 5, Heritage-Catoosa 0: The Catamounts remained undefeated to start the Sub-region 7B-4A slate with a sweep of Heritage.
Singles winners for Dalton (4-2, 2-0) were No. 1Jacob Johnson, 6-2, 6-4, No. 2 Shazman Ali, 7-5, 7-6 (9-7), and No. 3 Nathan Bryant, 6-3, 6-2. In doubles, wins came from No. 1 Nicholas Nelson and Ryan Harper, 6-2, 6-4, and No. 2 Sam Dyer and Thomas DeLay, 6-2, 6-1.
• Dalton girls 5, Heritage-Catoosa 0: The Lady Cats (4-2, 2-0 Sub-region 7B-4A) got singles wins from No. 1 Chandler Renz, 6-4, 6-4, No. 2 Anna Grace Wilson, 6-1, 6-0, and No. 3 Olivia Dinges, 6-2, 6-0. Doubles winners were No. 1 MacKenzie Creswell and Caroline Calfee, 6-4, 6-4, and No. 2 Shelby Fromm and Mary Margaret Snipes, 6-0, 6-0.
• Christian Heritage boys 5, North Murray 0: The Lions (2-2) swept the non-region match with North Murray at Lakeshore Park in Dalton. Singles winners for Christian Heritage were No. 1 Phillip McClure 6-0, 6-0, No. 2 Evan Townsend, 6-3, 6-0, and No. 3 Devin Sanders, 6-0, 6-0. Doubles wins came from No. 1 Brian Pierce and Samuel Pippin 6-0, 6-0, and No. 2 Keith Hardaway and Austin Lowe, 6-0, 6-0.
• Christian Heritage girls 5, North Murray 0: The Lady Lions earned their first team victory in four tries this season, getting singles wins from No. 1 Tegan McEntire, 6-0, 6-0, No. 2 Claudia Brumlow, 6-0, 6-0, and No. 3 Sarah Pippin, 6-0, 6-0. Doubles winners were No. 1 Kacie Griggs and Erin Grace White, 6-2, 6-2, and No. 2 Sydney White and Courtney Pirkle, 6-0, 6-0.
• Murray County girls 4, Northwest Whitfield 1: The Lady Indians remained undefeated with the non-region win over the visiting Lady Bruins.
Singles winners for Murray County (3-0) were No. 1 Greta Lazzarotto, 6-0, 6-1, No. 2 Gabbie Bordelon, 6-0, 6-0, and No. 3 Allison Jones, 6-1, 6-0. The No. 1 doubles team of Kailey Webb and Chloe Brown won 6-1, 7-5.
At No. 2 doubles, Megan Richards and Mary Kate Jones won 6-2, 6-0 for Northwest (0-1).
• Northwest boys 5, Murray County 0: The Bruins rolled in their season opener, getting singles wins from No. 1 Jacob Fredrickson, 6-3, 6-1, No. 2 Tristen Smith, 6-0, 6-0, and No. 3 Troy Poe, 6-0, 6-0. In doubles, winners were No. 1 Cody Bourff and Blake Frankenberger 6-2, 6-1, and No. 2 Santi Angel and James Zhong, 6-0, 6-3.
• Dalton junior varsity girls 3, Darlington 2: The Lady Cats got singles wins from No. 1 Eunice Alvarran, 8-5 in pro-set play, and No. 3 Alice Adams by forfeit. In doubles, No. 2 Mary Turner Renz and Caroline Mathis won 8-3.
• Darlington junior varsity boys 3, Dalton 2: No. 2 Josh McGowan won 8-3 in singles and No. 2 Riley Gunn and Jake Myers won 8-2 in doubles for Dalton (1-1).
• Coahulla Creek 7, Dalton 3: Robbie Stavrow and Ethan Whaley each went 2-for-4 with a double — Stavrow also drove in a run — and Hunter Cronan was solid in three innings of relief as the Colts (3-2) topped the Catamounts.
Spencer Hawkins and Brett Nelms each had a hit and drove in a run, while Clark Hatfield tripled, was hit by a pitch and scored both times he reached base.
Cronan, who also had a double, pitched the final three innings to earn the win. He allowed one run on four hits and a walk while striking out three. Hawkins started, exiting after allowing one run, one walk and one hit with three strikeouts in two innings.
A four-run fourth inning made the difference for Coahulla Creek.
Dalton statistics were not reported by The Daily Citizen’s deadline.
• Dalton boys 8, Coahulla Creek 0: Christian Valladares had a pair of goals for the Cats (6-0).
Other scorers for Dalton were Jose Boyzo, Luis Hernandez, Antonio Martinez, Ramses Mendoza, Ricky Ocampo and Cristian Saladana.
• Southeast boys 9, Murray County 0: Artemio Lopez, Alexis Rodriguez and Tito Sandate each scored two goals as the Raiders (2-0-1) rolled past the Indians.
Axl Arredondo, Christopher Guijon, and Noe Rodriguez also scored for Southeast.
• Southeast girls 4, North Murray 1: Tania Lopez had a pair o goals, and Erika Sayes had a goal and an assist for the Lady Raiders (1-0).
Alyssa Andrade also had a goal, while Destiny Garcia had an assist.