Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Baseball: No. 1 Lambert sweeps ... Charlton County wins title ... Cartersville coach ejected ... Crisp makes history ... Series splits in AA ... Game 3 start times

No. 1-ranked Lambert (34-1) is moving to the Class AAAAAA finals after a sweep of Parkview on Monday in a series between nationally ranked teams.

J.D. Dutka (10-1) and Dylan Biumi (10-0) were Lambert’s winning pitchers in the 4-3 and 3-1 victories.

Dutka, a transfer from North Gwinnett, won a pitchers duel with Parkview’s Mac Marshall (9-1), an LSU signee, in the opener. Seth Beer hit a home run for Lambert. Jake Chickowski hit a two-run homer for a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning of the second game.

Lambert, a Forsyth County school that opened in 2009, is in the state finals for the first time. No team outside of Gwinnett, Fulton or Cobb counties has won a state title in the highest classification since Colquitt County in 2003. The last metro Atlanta team to win the highest class outside of those three counties was Newnan in 1991.

Lambert will play defending champion Milton on the championship series beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday. Milton swept Johns Creek 4-1 and 3-0.

Pitching carries Milton into finals

Milton got complete-game four-hitters from Matt Geiger and Alex Schnell in their 4-1 and 3-0 victories over Johns Creek. Geiger struck out six. Milton’s Alec Miller was 2-for-3 in both games and doubles. Stephen Curry was 3-for-3 in Game 2. Josh Saavedra was 2-for-3 in Game1.

Charlton County repeats as Class A public champ

Charlton County beat Gordon Lee 2-1 on Monday in the deciding Game 3 of the Class A public-school championship series. Charlton County repeated as champion. Scott Birchall hit a two-run double in the fifth inning against Gordon Lee freshman Chaney Rogers, who had allowed only one hit through four. Charlton County’s Richard Dasher allowed four hits in a complete-game victory. Charlton County finished 32-3. Gordon Lee, which made the 350-mile trip to Folkston on Saturday and Monday, was 26-8.

Cartersville’s coach ejected

Defending champion Cartersville (24-11) and Buford (30-4) split their Class AAA doubleheader in Buford on Monday, but the most interesting development was the ejection of Cartersville coach Stuart Chester for videotaping from the dugout during Game 2. Chester must serve a suspension and won’t be available for Tuesday’s Game 3.

Buford’s Jake Higginbotham (9-0), who is committed to Clemson, struck out 10 in Buford’s opening 4-0 victory.

Cartersville then won 7-2. Brent Arnold hit a three-run homer, and Clifton Dempsey hit a two-run double  off Buford’s Connor Bennett (signed with Georgia State) in support of Garrett Rudledge. Buford’s Joey Bart, a Georgia Tech-signed catcher, hit a two-run homer.

The winner will face Blessed Trinity in the final.

Blessed Trinity routs Hart County

Blessed Trinity won 13-5 and 10-2 over Hart County in the other AAA series. John Castro hit a grand slam, and Cody Roberts was 3-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI in the first game. Ryan Young was the winning pitcher. He struck out seven and walked none in five innings. In Game 2, Conor Davis and Castro hit their second home runs of the series. Jack Dunn was 2-for-3. Brad Spinner pitched a complete game and struck out 10.

Wesleyan-Benedictine split

Wesleyan’s Christopher Peden pitched a four-hit shutout in a 7-0 victory in Game 2 to keep his team alive in Savannah against Benedictine in a Class AA semifinal series. Trey Mannion hit two home runs, and Carter Hall (3-for-3) hit one for Wesleyan. Benedictine came from 6-3 down in the opener to win 9-6. Mike Huggins (3-for-4) hit a two-run homer in Benedictine’s four-run fourth. It was Huggins’ first home run of the season. Wesleyan and Benedictine will play the deciding game on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

GAC-Westminster split

Greater Atlanta Christian and Westminster split their AA double-header Monday and will finish up Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Westminster. GAC won the opener 5-1. Justin Lewis, a 6-foot-6 Kentucky signee, pitched a three-hitter and struck out eight. Westminster’s Hunter Davis had allowed only one run through five, but GAC touched him for four on five hits in the sixth. GAC’s Devin Daugherty, Jackson O’Brien and Ross Wood each had two hits. In the second game, Westminster rolled 12-4 after scoring six in the first. Jake Johnson, who has signed with Notre Dame, was 3-for-5 with four RBI and a home run. Westminster’s Nelson Douglas was 3-for-6 on the day – dropping his post-season average to .714.

No. 1 Gainesville avoids sweep

No. 1 Gainesville will play No. 2 Houston County in a Game 3 at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in Gainesville after Monday’s split in AAAAA. Gainesville, which entered with a 15-game winning streak, lost Game 1 and trailed 7-5 entering the fifth inning of Game 2 but got the 13-7 victory. Michael Curry hit two home runs and had four RBI in the double-header. Houston County’s Hunt Smith hit two of his team’s five home runs in the two games. Gainesville’s Michael Gettys, a Georgia signee, had 13 strikeouts in the opener but got the Game 1 loss.

Whitewater-Greenbrier split

In the other AAAAA series, Greenbrier’s Nick Sandlin (13-0) was the winner in a 3-2 victory in Game 1 but was pulled with an apparent injury in the seventh inning. Adam Sasser hit a three-run homer. Greenbrier couldn’t hold a 4-0 lead in Game 2 and lost 14-5. The teams will play at 5 p.m. in Game 3 on Tuesday. Greenbrier is 26-8. Whitewater is 30-6.

Crisp County makes history

In AAAA, Crisp County is in the state finals in baseball for the first time since 1961. Taylor Walls pitched a complete game in the 7-2 opening victory against Alexander. Stewart Tyler and Logan Carter pitched in a 3-0 shutout in Game 2. Carter got out of a bases-loaded jam with one out in the sixth inning.

Carrollton sweeps Veterans

Crisp County’s opponent will be Carrollton, which will be the home team in the finals. Carrollton swept Veterans 5-3 and 5-4 on Monday.  Will Hesterlele hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning for a 5-2 lead in Game 1. Same Turner was walked with the bases loaded for the winning run in Game 2.

Game 3: Schedule

AAAAA - Houston County at Gainesville, 5 p.m.

AAAAA - Whitewater at Greenbrier, 5 p.m.

AAA - Cartersville at Buford, 5:55 p.m.

AA - Wesleyan at Benedictine, 1:30 p.m.

AA - Greater Atlanta Christian at Westminster, 5:30 p.m.

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