May 16, 2021

Braves down Trojans ahead of Region 5-AA opener

2021 Braves Varsity Baseball (Photo: Penny Hood/HCHS)

(Franklin, GA) — The Braves knocked off visiting Lamar County 10-2 Saturday afternoon at Alford Field in a final tune-up for Region 5-AA play which begins this week versus rival Callaway.

Starting pitcher Aidan Boyd notched his team-high third win of the season following five shutout innings where he allowed just five hits and struck out eight with zero walks.

The junior hurler has been a cornerstone in the rotation this season for the Braves allowing one or fewer runs in four of his six starts.

At the plate Isaiah “Ike” O’Neal led the way with three hits, three RBIs and two stolen bases and the right fielder also made the defensive play of the game on an acrobatic catch in the early innings.

Chance Brown, Drew Cornelius, and Blayne Barlow also had two hit performances in the 8-run win.

Also driving home runs in the game were Noah Cantrell, Tyler Lasseter, Matthew Raines, and Blake Oldham.

Oldham, a freshman catcher, drove home his run in his first varsity at bat of his career. He earned his way into some varsity time with a .343 average this season for the Braves junior varsity squad.

Senior Leroy Marsh had yet another productive day scoring two runs and stealing a base after drawing a pair of walks. Marsh and Cornelius lead the Braves in hitting this season with .349 batting averages.

The Braves (8-6, 0-0) will open 5-AA action Tuesday at Callaway (10-4, 2-1) before returning to Alford Field Friday to wrap up the 3-game region series versus the Cavs back at Alford Field.

The Cavs won two of three from Temple last week to open their Region 5-AA slate while Bremen (9-4, 3-0) swept Haralson County (3-8, 0-3).

In last week’s Score Atlanta/AJC Class AA Poll Callaway was ranked at No. 3, Bremen at No. 4, and the Braves at No. 8 so each region game and each series will be crucial in determining not only the regular season Region 5-AA Champion but state playoff positioning for the postseason whish begins on April 28.

The JV Braves (5-4-2) also earned a nice win Saturday downing the Trojans 11-1 in five innings prior to the varsity game.

Jacob Watts earned the win after tossing the complete game and allowing just one unearned run and striking out eight.

Chris Pruitt led the offense with three hits while Carter Coleman and Oldham each tallied two hits.

Coleman leads the JV Braves in hitting at .444 just ahead of Pruitt who also sports a solid .433 average. Will Alford and Coleman have each driven home seven runs to top the RBI leaderboard for the JV.

Watts’ strong outing was the second straight by a Brave JV hurler. Freshman Sammy Holliday tossed a no-hitter to defeat Callaway 6-0 last Monday in the nightcap of a home doubleheader. Holliday walked just two and struck out eight over five innings.

The JV Braves host Villa Rica at 5:30 PM today at Alford Field.

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