Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Baseball: Parkview lefty takes 0.00 ERA into final regular-season start ... Allatoona pair dominates on mound ... GWA, Cross Creek ride hot streaks into Top 10

Parkview’s Mac Marshall can clinch a region championship and complete what is perhaps the best regular season for a pitcher in state history on Friday.

The senior lefthander and potential first-round draft pick has not allowed an earned run. He’s 7-0 with 56 strikeouts over 39.2 innings. He’s allowed only 15 hits. He allowed one unearned run in a 2-1 victory over Archer on March 7.

Marshall’s next start will be Friday against Grayson (16-8, 12-2), the second-place team in Region 8-AAAAA. Parkview leads at 20-3, 14-0.

Parkview coach Chan Brown said Marshall doesn’t seem to feel any pressure over the streak.

‘’It’s not a worry, just a challenge for him,’’ Brown said. “He’s one of the biggest competitors I’ve ever coached. He’s competing against a team and among himself to keep it alive.’’

Marshall’s success is not a surprise. Signed with LSU, Marshall is a widely known pro prospect. He could be Parkview’s third straight first-rounder and fourth overall behind Josh Hart (2013), Matt Olson (2012) and Jeff Francoeur (2002).

Brown said Marshall works at 89-92 mph and hits 93-95 ‘’every now and then.’’

‘’He’s grown up a lot as a pitcher,’’ Brown said. “He was thrown into the first as a ninth- and 10th-grader, pitching against the big boys. He’s figured it out. He’s not overthrowing and locating all three pitches for strikes.’’

In other baseball news …

Allatoona, the second-ranked team in Class AAAAA, has perhaps the best pair of pitchers in its classification. Cooper Murphy (7-0, 0.65 ERA) and Clarke Schmidt (6-2, 0.91) are seniors that have helped pave the way to a 22-2 record, 17-1 in Region 5, which is clinched. Murphy has struck out 52 in 54 innings and walked only five. Schmidt has signed with South Carolina. He has 77 strikeouts in 46 innings. If Allatoona gets in a third game in a playoff series, there is still hope. Sophomore Grayson Harbin is 6-0 with a 2.82 ERA. Allatoona’s leading hitter is a freshman, Kyle Jacobson (.426).

George Walton Academy (16-7, 12-3) has won 10 straight games and has a chance to get a close in on the lead in Region 8-A on Tuesday if the Bulldogs can beat eighth-ranked Hebron Christian Academy (17-7, 14-2). GWA is ranked No. 9. The leading hitter has been senior center fielder/pitcher Cale Brown at .427 (32-of-75) with seven doubles and 18 stolen bases. Brown also is the No. 1 pitcher. He’s 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA. Also strong at the plate and on the mound is junior first baseman Cade Sorrells (.352 as a hitter, 1.44 ERA as a pitcher, committed to Lipscomb). Junior outfielder Kevin Strohschein has seven of the team’s 13 home runs. He’s batting .385. Sophomore left fielder Denzel Coley is hitting .347 overall, .448 (13-for-29) during the winning streak. Kale Ledford, a freshman catcher, is batting .418 (28-for-67) with nine doubles. Sophomore Trey Johnson, who replaced a three-year starter at shortstop, and senior second baseman Jack Schlumpler have shored up the defense.

Cross Creek of Augusta (18-4, 9-1) has won 12 of its last 13 games and can clinch Region 3-AAAA with a victory Tuesday against South Effingham. The team is ranked No. 10. Five players are hitting over .400. They are Skylar James (.471, three home runs), junior Craig Waits (.453, 35 runs), senior Matthew Avret (.412), senior Tyler Darnall (.406, 10 extra-base hits) and freshman first baseman Luis Campusano (.404, six home runs). The team is hitting .371. Arnet and Darnell are the top ptichers. Arnet is 7-1 with a 1.35 ERA. Darnall is 3-2 with a 1.34 ERA. Darnall struck out 16 in a victory last week over Liberty County.

Montgomery County shortstop/pitcher Jonathan Rogers, a sophomore, is 13-for-18 with a double, two home runs and nine RBI over the past six games. For the season, he’s batting .537 (36-for-67) with 14 stolen bases. Also a pitcher, Rogers has 89 strikeouts in 64.2 innings. His ERA is 4.22 overall, but is 2.66 over the past three starts.

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