July 16, 2019

Braves sweep Jordan Red Jackets in region play

(Franklin, GA) — After dropping the first six Region 5-AA games of the season, the Braves varsity baseball team got back on track with a three game sweep of the Jordan Red Jackets.

All three contests ended via run rule beginning with a 12-2 Braves win on the road Tuesday in Columbus.

The Braves scored five runs in both the second and sixth innings while starting pitcher limited the Jackets to just two runs (one earned) in the bottom half of the third inning.

Junior Tray Owens picked up his second win of the season after tossing five innings and giving up five hits and two walks. Owens struck out two Jackets. Kellon Rollings tossed one scoreless inning in relief with one strikeout.

Leading the way for the offense were Owens and Mason Rollings with three hits apiece. Owens blasted his third homer of the season and drove in three. Mason Rollings went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI’s.

Dale Thornhill also had two hits and Jake Harrod had a nice game with a walk, base hit and three RBI’s.

In a doubleheader sweep at Alford Field Friday, the Braves relied on strong outings from both starting pitchers.

In a game one 11-1 victory, Dale Thornhill allowed just four hits and a walk in six innings pitched with nine strikeouts to earn his second win of the season. He allowed just a single earned run.

The Braves had a strong game at the plate with 12 hits as a team including five different players with multiple hits.

Kellon Rollings had three hits and scored twice, Leroy Marsh went 2-for-3 with two hits, two walks, three runs, and three runs batted in, and Tray Owens launched his second homer of the week while driving home two. Caden Raines had two hits and two RBI’s while Hayden McCosh had two hits, a walk, and two runs scored.

In the nightcap, it was the freshman Kellon Rollings who starred in a 15-0 blowout win as he tossed three innings of no-hit baseball to pick up his second win. Rollings was perfect with the exception of one hit batter which he picked off of first base in the second inning.

Mason Rollings leads the Braves with a .425 batting average this season (Photo: Jeff Napier)

At the plate it was DH Hayden McCosh with another strong performance. McCosh was 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored, and four RBI’s.

Owens and Marsh each had two hits and Tanner Collins went 2-for-2 with three runs scored.

Mason Rollings was 2-for-2 with a double and two batted in and his brother Kellon also drove home two in the game that only lasted three innings due to the run rule.

For the season, Mason Rollings is leading the Braves with a .425 average with Owens also atop the .400 mark at .404.

Owens leads the team in homer with four and is tied for the team lead in RBI’s with Tanner Collins at 16.

Raines and Marsh each have eight steals to top the leader board on the base paths.

Head coach Trent Bianco says the team is looking forward and not backward after the tough 0-6 start in region play.

“The thing is you’ve just got to take it one day at a time whether it’s a game or practice,” says Bianco this week. “I honestly think our entire season would be different if we could have beat Bremen that first extra inning game but it is what is and credit to our guys for continuing to work hard and taking it day-by-day.”

The coach says he has seen improvement in both defense and offense as well as from the pitching staff.

“Defensively, we’ve picked it up a lot which is good. We are doing the little things right which cost us early in the year. Offensively, Mason and Tray are both hitting above .400 and Leroy has been a boost for us in the lead-off spot,” Bianco said. “It was also nice to see Kellon bounce back from a rocky outing against Lamar. It’s good to see a freshman able to do that — his three innings of no hit ball was big for us Friday.”

The Braves (6-10, 3-6) will return to Region 5-AA action this week as they battle the Temple Tigers. The Braves travel to Temple Tuesday afternoon (5:30 PM) and will host a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 4:30 PM.

The Braves also host Glenwood Academy on Wednesday at Alford Field with the first pitch at 5:30 PM.

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