May 16, 2021

Braves sweep Senior Night twin bill at Alford Field

(Franklin, GA) — The Heard County varsity baseball team scored a doubleheader sweep over Temple on Senior Night at Alford Field Friday.

The two wins gave the squad a second straight three game sweep over a Region 5-AA opponent and evened the team’s Region 5-AA record at 6-6 with an overall record of 9-11.

The Braves took game one 15-2 in five innings and game two 14-6 thanks to a barrage of offense that included 33 hits as a team on the day.

Leroy Marsh led the way from the top of the order going 4-for-4 with three doubles and four runs scored and two stolen bases. Marsh also went 2-for-3 in the nightcap and is swinging a scorching hot bat. Marsh has accounted for multiple hits in five of his last six games to raise his season batting average to .375.

Seniors Tanner Collins and Will Hammett celebrated Senior Night with a bang as each had a big performance. Collins went 4-for-8 in the sweep with a homer, a double, and two runs scored and four RBI’s. Hammett was 5-for-8 with a double, three RBI’s and four runs scored.

Mason Rollings continued his hot run at the plate with his third homer of the week (a grand slam in game two) to go along with five RBI’s. In the DH sweep, Mason was 4-for-6 with eight batted in. He leads the Braves in hitting with a stellar average of .462 and has driven home 21 runs with his 24 base hits this year.

Tray Owens raised his season average to .448 after going 4-for-6 Friday with a double, four RBI’s, and six runs scored. Other top performers at the plate included Caden Raines (4-for-6, 3 RBI’s) and Hayden McCosh (3-for-7, 2 RBI’s).

On the mound it was Dale Thornhill earning his third win of the season in game one after tossing five innings while allowing just one earned run and striking out five.

Senior Braves (L-R) Collin Wright, Will Hammett, and Tanner Collins being honored between games Friday (Photo: Heard County Braves Baseball on Facebook)

In game two, freshman Kellon Rollings got the start and went three innings before giving way to Leroy Marsh, Jake Harrod, and Tray Owens to close it out.

Owens went two innings and gave up no runs while striking out four and Harrod and Marsh each tossed an inning and gave up one earned run apiece. Kellon Rollings also picked up his third win of the season.

Injured senior Collin Wright started game two in the outfield before being pulled after an intentional ball. Wright has missed the entire season after undergoing knee surgery to repair a football injury incurred last fall. He was embraced by all of his teammates and cheered by fans as he left the field.

Coach Trent Bianco was pleased with the strong showing on a night that was about his three seniors.

“Each year Senior Night is never an easy time because you know the high school careers of your seniors are coming to a close. As coaches we always preach to our seniors that you should try and leave our program better than you found it and that wearing a jersey with “Braves” or “Heard County” across the chest has to mean something to you,” said Bianco.

“This group of seniors exemplifies what we want Braves to be. Show up everyday, work hard, and love your teammates. Collin, Will, and Tanner have continued to build on what other senior classes have done and are still carving out their own legacy in our program. I’m thankful for everything they’ve done for our program up to this point and I can’t wait to see where the rest of this year takes our team.”

The Braves will get take a break from the region slate this week with three non-region contests on tap. The team travels to Brookstone tomorrow (4:30 PM) and back to Columbus on Saturday to face Calvary Christian (4:30 PM). The team will host private power Lovett on Friday at Alford Field with a later 6:30 PM first pitch.

Next week, the team face arch rival Callaway in the final region series of the year that will also help determine final state playoff seedings. The Braves host the Cavs on Tuesday, April 9 at HCHS (5:30 PM) before traveling to Lagrange for a doubleheader on Friday, April 12 with a game one start at 4:30 PM.

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