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See the left panel for the final lacrosse rankings and read previews of this weekend's baseball finals by Ricky Dimon and Craig Sager II. 

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With what school did Carrollton baseball head coach Ryan Zaideman reach the state championship twice as an assistant?
Today's answer can  
be found in the newsletter!
Wednesday's Answer: 
GAC's Ben Childers pitched a complete-game shutout Tuesday night without a single strikeout.






1. Roswell

2. Lambert

3. Milton

4. Walton

5. Harrison

6. Centennial

7. John's Creek

8. Peachtree Ridge

9. Chattahoochee

10. North Gwinnett


1. Northview

2. Lovett

3. Westminster

4. Decatur

5. Blessed Trinity

6. Pope

7. Marist

8. Greater Atlanta Christian

9. Allatoona

10. St. Pius X


1. Milton

2. Walton

3. Lassiter

4. Hooch

5. Centennial

6. Harrison

7. West Forsyth

8. Etowah

9. Mill Creek

10. Collins Hill


1. Kell

2. Westminster

3. Cambridge

4. St. Pius X

5. Blessed Trinity

6. McIntosh

7. Pope

8. Northview

9. Starr's Mill

10. Holy Innocents'



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Thursday, May 22, 2014


Check out this week's publication!



By Craig Sager II
State's final five championship series set


There have been 418 postseason baseball games played across the state this month. One hundred sixty teams in Class AA-AAAAAA earned trips to the playoffs and just 10 are left standing. We have witnessed another competitive school year within Georgia's high school athletics and it is time to crown the final five GHSA state champions of the 2013-2014 year.


NO. 1 VS. NO. 2 ...


In Class AAAAAA, top-ranked Lambert has made it to the state championship with an astonishing 34-1 record. The Longhorns only loss of the season came on May 6 in a 6-5

Georgia Bennett Photography

defeat to Mill Creek in the quarterfinals. The explosive bats and deep pitching handled business in Game 3 and Lambert bounced back with a 7-3 victory. Lambert opened its doors as a school in 2009 and the young Forsyth program is searching for its first baseball state championship.


Jake Chickowski, Tucker Maxwell and Eric Furphy lead the Longhorns at the plate and starting pitcher Dylan Biumi and closer Turner Scruggs are automatic on the mound. Defending Class AAAAAA state champion Milton added a third title to its shelf last season (1955, 2004) and like its championship team from a year ago, has caught fire in the playoffs. The No. 2 Eagles swept their way past North Gwinnett, Grayson, Kennesaw Mountain and Johns Creek while averaging 6.4 runs offensively and surrendering just 2.3 runs per game.


Senior Ryan Gridley sparks the Milton offense and is batting .462 this postseason with 11 scored runs. Milton's Matt Geiger is 4-0 in his four postseason starts and has allowed just four earned runs in 22.1 innings pitched. Ace Alex Schnell has been red hot as well, allowing just one earned run in 25 innings pitched this postseason.




In Class AAAAA, finalist Whitewater survived two Game 3s this postseason while Houston County punched its ticket in the championship with a 7-4 Game 3 win at Gainesville. This is the only state championship matchup this year that has two opponents both searching for their first-ever state titles.


Houston County is led by Georgia Tech signee Blake Jackson, who came up to bat with his team trailing by one run in the sixth inning of their semifinals Game 3 with Gainesville. Jackson patiently worked the count to 3-2 and then roped a double off the left-field fence to drive home Nolan Wallace and Justin Jones. Jackson's heroics earned the Bears their first-ever trip to the state title. Jackson went 6-for-9 in the semifinals series and reached base 12 of 15 appearances.


Whitewater took an early 5-0 lead over Greenbrier in its semifinals Game 3 and held on as the Wolfpack cut the lead to 5-4.




In Class AAAA, Carrollton looks for its first state title in 52 years (1962) while finalist Crisp County aims to return to the podium for the first time in 53 seasons (1961). Crisp County survived three rubber games to get to the semifinals before sweeping Alexander 7-2 and 3-0 in the final four. Carrollton was forced to a third game by defending Class AAAA state champion Redan in the second round, but dominated the rubber match 12-0.


Two-year Carrollton head coach Ryan Zaideman served as an assistant at Bowdon before starting his coaching journey. Bowdon made two State Championships while Zaideman was at the school, but fell short in both appearances.


Carrollton houses a lot of athleticism in its lineup and senior Andrew Turner robbed a home run in the region championship game against LaGrange that made national headlines. Turner, who made 24 catches for 415 yards and five touchdowns this past football season as a wide receiver for Class AAAA state runner-up Carrollton, sprinted to the fence before leaping and tumbling over the padding for the game-saving catch that would give the Trojans the Region title and No. 1 seed out of Region 5.


Crisp County has only lost one road game all season and after battling three straight Game 3s hit its stride in the semifinals. Senior Taylor Walls pitched a complete game in the Cougars' 7-2 Game 1 victory and junior lefties Tyler Stewart and Logan Carter combined for a three-hit shutout in Crisp County's 3-0 clinching win in Game 2. 




By Ricky Dimon
Talent-rich Georgia on display this weekend



Georgia may be known as a football state (it certainly is in the fall), but springtime means baseball around these parts and we are about to find out again that high school athletic talent is prolific on more than just the gridiron. Roaming the championship diamonds on this Memorial Day weekend are a plethora of performers who have realistic dreams of taking their talents to the next level and beyond.




In Class AAAAAA, Milton has played its way through to the championship series without the loss of a single game during the state tournament. That cannot come as a surprise to anyone given the stacked roster of the Region 5 champions. They are led

Photo by Duane Farkas

by Dylan Cease, one of the top prospects in the entire country. An elbow injury, however, has reduced the senior right-hander off the mound and into a hitting role. It has also put his draft status in jeopardy, which Vanderbilt where Cease has signed to play college baseball-will not mind. 


Among the Eagles' other standouts are outfielder Dalton Ewing (signed with Clemson), Ryan Gridley (signed with Mississippi State) and pitcher Alex Schnell (signed with Clemson). Lambert will hope to answer with star sophomore Seth Beer. Heralded by several media outlets as the best in his class in Georgia Beer was dominant on the mound during the regular season, but has since been focusing on hitting. He is an outfielder first and foremost and heading into a semifinal sweep of Parkview, he was batting .646 in 2014 with nine home runs, 21 doubles, 55 RBIs and 46 runs scored to go along with an incredible .709 on-base percentage.  


The Longhorns managed to get past Parkview and Mac Marshall, a likely draft pick in either the late first round or the second round. Louisiana State University hopes Marshall decides not to sign with whatever team selects him. The senior southpaw went through the majority of the 2014 with a per- fect 0.00 ERA before being scored upon by Grayson in the regular-season finale, which the Panthers still won 4-3.

"It's not a worry, just a challenge for him,'' head coach Chan Brown told the Atlanta Journal Constitution prior to the Grayson game, referring to Marshall's streak. "He's one of the biggest competitors I've ever coached. He's competing against a team and among himself to keep it alive.... He's grown up a lot as a pitcher. He was thrown into the fire 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."

Perhaps no one is more coveted than Gainesvile's Michael Gettys, whose team lost Game 3 Tuesday to Houston County. Gettys, whose raw talent makes him a likely first-round pick in this summer's Major League Baseball draft, is headed to the University of Georgia if he does not sign a professional contract. 



By Craig Sager II
Three first-time champs top final poll






Roswell's No. 3 pre-playoff ranking was the Hornet's highest of the season before their 6-5 win over Lambert in the state championship on Saturday lifted them to this

Photo by David Weaver

year's No. 1 team. The Longhorns improved to No. 2 after reaching the finals and Milton dropped to No. 3 after entering the playoffs as the top-ranked team. Walton edges Harrison for No. 4 after reaching the semifinals and the Hoyas' second-round loss to Lambert.





Northview took over No. 1 after topping Lovett 8-7 on Saturday for the program's first state title. Lovett took over No. 2 and Westminster dropped from the pre-playoff No. 1 to No. 3 after an 8-5 exit to Lovett in the semifinals. No. 4 Decatur topped No. 5 Blessed Trinity 12-11 in overtime of the second round. Pope reentered the poll at No. 6 after topping Decatur 11-8 in the second round and advancing to the final four. Marist dropped to No. 7 after its 13-4 loss to Lovett in the second round and Greater Atlanta Christian dropped to No. 8 after its 11-4 second round exit to Westminster.






Milton protected its No. 1 status all season and held off Walton 16-13 on Saturday for the program's ninth state title. Walton jumped to No. 2 after making the finals and edging Lassiter 13-12 in OT in the semis. No. 1 Milton, No. 2 Walton and No. 3 Lassiter were undefeated (14-0) against teams outside of Area 2 this season. Chattahoochee stays at No. 4 and received a 14-12 loss to Lassiter in the quarterfinals. Centennial made the final four, but lost 18-5 to Milton in the semis. Collins Hill replaced Johns Creek for No. 10.





No. 1 Kell scored an 11-10 win in the final minutes over Westminster to claim its first state title. Westminster remains at No. 2 and Cambridge cracks the top 3 after an outstanding 16-4 season and a hard-fought 17-15 overtime loss to state runner-up Westminster. Blessed Trinity reached the final four before falling to top-ranked Kell 12-11 and jumped four spots to No. 4 in our final poll. St. Pius shocked Pope 13-10 in the quarterfinals and jumped to No. 5. McIntosh fell one goal short to No. 4 Blessed Trinity and sits at No. 7. No. 8 Northview advanced past Lakeside Evans in the first round, but was eliminated by Kell 18-12 in the second round. Starr's Mill and Holy Innocents' were sent packing in the first round and represent No. 9 and No. 10 in the poll, respectively.








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