April 23, 2021

Newly-ranked Braves upend Red Devils

(Franklin, GA) — The HCHS varsity baseball team improved to 6-2 on the season Wednesday with a 9-2 home win over non-region rival Bowdon.

The Braves tallied eight hits offensively and scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth to upend the Red Devils.

Chance Brown, Isaiah O’Neal, and Tyler Lasseter each had two hits to lead the offense while lead-off hitter Leroy Marsh had a hit and reached base three times via bases on balls.

Junior Brave Noah Cantrell (Photo: Keith Cornelius)

Four Brave pitchers combined to toss a six-hitter while allowing just one earned run and walking just two.

Aidan Boyd recorded his second win of the season in as many starts going three innings before Connell White came on to pitch two innings in relief.

Leroy Marsh and Noah Cantrell each tossed a scoreless inning and struck out one to close out the game.

Cantrell has been a go-to reliever for Coach Bianco with the junior already logging 11 innings of work in five appearances with six strikeouts, only one walk, and an ERA of 3.27.

O’Neal is off to a hot start hitting .500 with five runs scored through his first three games since returning from basketball.

The senior tandem of Marsh and Drew Cornelius are each hitting over .400 for the season while Lasseter and Bo Langley are each hitting above the .300 mark.

Cornelius leads the team with seven runs batted in while Marsh has the team-high in doubles with five and runs scored with 10.

The solid play of the team over the first eight games of the season has many around the state taking notice as the Braves earned a No. 10 ranking in this week’s AJC/ScoreAtlanta poll — joining fellow 5-AA teams No. 3 Callaway, No. 4 Bremen, and No. 7 Haralson County.

The team will have the opportunity to make even more noise statewide with two enormous Class AA match-ups this weekend in South Georgia.

The Braves will face No. 8 ranked and defending 2019 Class AA Champion Jeff Davis Friday at 6:00 PM in Hazelhurst before bouncing right back Saturday at noon to face the currently No. 1 ranked Vidalia Indians at Vidalia High School.

Interestingly, No. 3 Callaway will play the reverse schedule playing at Vidalia Friday evening and at Jeff Davis Saturday at noon.

Vidalia and Jeff Davis each come from Region 2-AA setting up quite a weekend of baseball at the two schools that are roughly 30 miles apart.

“Jeff Davis has been the measuring stick in Class AA baseball for the last three years and Vidalia has returned every player from last year’s team and they are ranked No. 1 for a reason,” says Coach Trent Bianco.

“I know our guys and they are going to go out there and compete — I am just excited for this opportunity see where we’re at.”

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