All season long, Northwest Whitfield High School sophomore pitcher Seth Pierce has rarely been touched up by opposing batters.
That is bad news for the rest of the Subregion 7B-4A teams and was especially hard on the Southeast Whitfield lineup on Tuesday.
Pierce was perfect through 3 2/3 innings, had eight strikeouts in just five innings of work, and gave up just one hit as the Bruins rolled over the Raiders 15-0 at Southeast. The game was the first of a three-game set between the two schools this week. Thursday’s game at Northwest has been rescheduled for 5:30 p.m. today because of the forecast of showers on Thursday. The two teams are scheduled to play the third game of the series on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Southeast.
While Pierce was befuddling Southeast’s hitters, the Bruins had no problems piling up hits and runs. Lead-ing 5-0 after three innings, Northwest exploded for nine runs in the fourth — eight coming with two outs — as South-east (4-10, 1-6) couldn’t dam the flood. The Bruins (12-3, 7-0) finished with 14 hits overall.
“The bats were in play today and got hot,” Northwest coach Todd Middleton said. “There in the fourth inning, no one wanted to make an out. It was good to see. We had been stalling a little bit with runners in scoring position and it was good to see how we piled the hits on today.”
Edwin Hernandez started the on-slaught with a three-run homer in the first that was part of a 2-for-3 day at the plate.
Andy Whisenant was 2-for-3 with a two-run double, A.J. Orozco was 2-for-3 with an RBI double and Pierce was 2-for-2 with a double. Diego Peralta also drove in a run with a double, and Brady Middleton and Aaron Ball each drove in a run as well.
Southeast’s Blake Foster was the only player to get a hit off of Pierce, breaking up the perfect game with two outs in the fourth.
“He is pretty sharp right now,” Middleton said of his ace. “He gives us that confidence, and it is a good way to start off a series. All of our pitchers have done a great job and have given us a chance to win in every game. Now the offense can give them a little confidence and take some of the pressure off of them.”
• Dalton 13-4, LaFayette 7-1: Dalton swept a doubleheader on the road to improve to 9-6 overall and 8-0 in Sub-region 7B-4A play.
In the first game, Charlie Martin went 3-for-6 with two RBIs for the Cats, while Dakota Tankersly was 3-for-5 with four RBIs. Michael O’Brien was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Matt Wells went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
O’Brien pitched three innings for Dalton, allowed four earned runs and struck out three. Omar Lara pitched four scoreless innings in relief, allowing three hits and striking out four.
In the second game, Martin was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Brandon Dale added three RBIs and Will Erwin drove in a pair. Dale pitched five innings, allowing one earned run while striking out six. Jake Roberts pitched two innings and struck out four.
• Coahulla Creek 5, Adairsville 3 (15 innings): The Colts (6-9, 3-3 Region 5-3A) scored twice in the top of the 15th inning to win their third in four games.
Coahulla Creek loaded the bases in the last inning, and a grounder to third resulted in a play at home plate.
“The ball hit the runner and bounced away,” Colts coach Mi-chael Bolen said, “and two runs scored.”
Braiden Jacobs was 4-for-7 with two RBIs and a run scored for Coahulla Creek. Scout Plott was 2-for-6 with a run scored. Blake Phillips was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
Jacobs pitched eight innings, allowing three runs off eight hits while striking out three. Zack Glines pitched seven shutout innings in relief, allowing four hits while striking out six. He earned the win.
“Through 15 innings, our pitchers threw just 168 pitches,” Bolen said. “They were around the zone and threw strikes. We only made one error in 15 innings.”
Coahulla Creek scored three runs in the first inning, and Adairsville scored two in the fifth and one in the seventh.
“We are playing spurts of better baseball from the defensive and pitching standpoint,” Bolen said. “We’re still waiting on the bats to fully kick in.
“We’ve been battle tested this year. The guys are growing up, but they’re having to.”
• Christian Heritage 3, St. Francis 2 (eight innings): Michael McKinney drove in the winning run in the top of the eighth and also pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball in relief to get the win for the Lions.
Ian Robbins led off the eighth by drawing a walk, stole second and moved to third on a groundout. McKinney then delivered a single to put Christian Heritage up for good. In relief, McKinney gave up just one hit. It was a solid combo performance between him and Spencer Robbins on the mound. Spencer Robbins pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up just two hits and the two earned runs. However, they got little support from the offense as the Lions managed just six hits.
“We have been pitching the ball well and playing great defense, but we need our bats to heat up with the warm weather,” CHS coach Noah Stokes said. “It was a good game, and good to get on the right side of a one-run game. It was a big win for us.”
Ian Robbins and Nich Bartley each had two hits for the Lions (8-7, 5-4 Region 6-A).
• Coosa 15, Murray County 1: The Indians (0-11) got doubles from Nick Stiles and Josh Jacobson, but Coosa was too much in the five-inning, run rule shortened contest.
• Baylor School 3, Northwest 2: In a battle of state-ranked teams that crossed state lines, the best of Tennessee defended its home turf.
Baylor, the top-ranked school in Tennessee, scored a pair of late goals in rapid succession in the second half to erase a 2-1 halftime lead for Northwest, currently ranked No. 4 in the state according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitu-tion.
Giovanni Aguero and Christian Perez each scored first-half goals with both coming off of assists from David Perez.
Northwest (9-3) led 2-1 with 10 minutes left in the game when Baylor scored the tying and winning goals in the span of two minutes.
• Northwest JV 1, Baylor School 0: David Paz scored the lone goal off of an assist from Luis Valazquez in the first half, and the Bruins defense held to take the win.
Rigo Martinez recorded his sixth shutout in a row in goal for Northwest (6-1).
• After finishing the first day of the North Georgia High School Classic in Dahlonega in fifth place, Northwest Whitfield improved its score in the final round at Achasta Golf Course.
The only problem was everyone in front of Northwest improved as well. The Bruins shaved 20 strokes off their opening-round total of 338, but still finished in fifth with a combined total of 656.
Gainesville, which started the day in second behind South Carolina’s Easley, won the tournament with a 590.
“We are getting better, slowly but surely with the region tournament coming up,” coach Jim McGrew said.
The Region 7-4A tournament is three weeks away.
Sam Speights led the Bruins on Tuesday with a 3-over-par 75, while Ethan Hayes (78), Silas Ledford (81) and Chad Flanders (84) also scored for Northwest.