November 27, 2020

State Playoff Preview: Braves Host Private School in Round One

(Franklin) — The Heard County Braves will host the Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School Golden Bears this weekend in a best-of-three series in the first round of the GHSA Class AA State Baseball Playoffs.

The series will begin with a doubleheader on Friday at 3:00 p.m. with each team needing two wins to advance to the second round.

If the teams split the doubleheader on Friday they will play a third and deciding rubber “if” game at high noon on Saturday.

Head coach Trent Bianco and the Braves hope the momentum of last week’s first region championship in the last 30 years will carry over into the state playoffs.

Fans are encouraged to show up early for the games to secure a good seat. See the preview below for more information.

All of this weekend’s games will be played at Alford Field at HHS. The winner of the series will take on the winner of the this weekend’s Dublin and Lamar County series on May 6-7.

Holy Innocents’ Golden Bears  @ Heard Co. Braves 

1597059_793856287377150_777501063357607016_oWHEN: Friday Doubleheader (1st Pitch @ 3:00 p.m.)/ If game Saturday (1st Pitch @ 12 Noon)

WHERE: Alford Field at Heard County High School, 545 Main Street, Franklin, GA

RECORDS: Golden Bears (14-9, 8-6 in Region 6-AA), Braves (15-8, 13-2 in Region 5-AA)

HEAD COACHES: Golden Bears – Dan Healy (6th season with the Bears), Braves – Trent Bianco (2nd season with the Braves)

SEEDINGS: The Golden Bears enter round one of the state playoffs as the #4 seed in Region 6-AA, easily the strongest region in the state – The Braves come in as the 5-AA #1 seed after winning their first region title since 1985

RANKINGS: Golden Bears (Unranked by the AJC and Score Atlanta), Braves (Unranked by the AJC and ranked #6 by Score Atlanta)

AVERAGE SCORING MARGIN IN 2015: Golden Bears W 7-3, Braves W 9-5

COLORS: Golden Bears (Crimson/Gold), Braves (Maroon/Gray)

SENIORS: Golden Bears 7, Braves 2

THE WINNER: The winner will face the winner between Lamar County (#3 seed in Region 4-AA) and Dublin (#2 seed in Region 3-AA) 

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: The Golden Bears won their only GHSA Baseball State Championship in 2007 when they defeated Calhoun in three games to win the Class AA. The Braves best finish was a loss to Calhoun County in three games in the Class A State Title series in 1985.

ADMISSION: $7 per day as determined by the GHSA

THE SCHOOLS: Begun as a small, parish pre-school in 1959, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School has grown into one of the largest independent schools in Metro Atlanta, as well as one of the largest Episcopal schools in the United States.

A fully accredited, college-preparatory day school for 3-year-old through 12th-grade boys and girls, HIES occupies 49 acres, with separate Primary, Lower, Middle, and Upper School facilities, a fine arts building, two modern gymnasiums, and sprawling athletic fields and facilities.

Although Heard County is a small,one traffic-light rural community, its public school system has gone through some impressive changes over the years including Heard County High School.

There were not many roads or cars in the early 1900s, so schools had to be within walking distance in order for children to attend school. Consequently, the Heard County School System, at one point, consisted of over forty schools scattered throughout the county.

The county contained two high schools until 1954. One was located in Centralhatchee and the other was located in Franklin, where the only high school in Heard County remains today.

HOT HANDS: In a 13-2 Golden Bears win over B.E.S.T. Academy last Thursday, Joe Charron was 2-for-3 with six RBI and two homers – one of them a grand slam. Hugh Chapman also had two hits and Cole Hanks got the win, striking out 10 and allowing only a hit.

For the Braves, sophomore Lee Kay shut down Bowdon from the mound Friday night pitching five innings and allowing only one hit while striking out nine batters. Kay also was 4-for-4 at the plate with two doubles, a home run and three RBI’s.

Other hot hitters of late for the Braves include junior Chandler Polk, sophomore Ethan Brant, and senior Zack Stephens.

Keagan Spradlin has been the workhorse starting pitcher for Coach Bianco all season tossing a lot of innings while picking up several key wins.

WEATHER: Sunny Skies with Highs in the Mid to Upper 70’s on Friday and Saturday

CONCESSIONS: The Braves concessions are is located right behind the visitor’s dugout near first base an offers an assortment of grilled burgers, hot dogs, and other refreshments.

RESTROOMS: Public bathrooms for both men and women are located though the gym door nearest the right field line.

PARKING: Parking is free in the main school parking lot near the baseball field.



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