The Newnan Times-Herald


Area baseball in good shape

  • By Jeff Armstrong
  • |
  • Mar. 15, 2017 - 6:11 AM

Local prep baseball teams East Coweta, Newnan and Northgate are halfway through their seasons, and all three are at the top of their respective region standings.

Mother Nature brought cold temperatures with her this week, which wreaked havoc with Tuesday’s matchups. Baseball games slated for Tuesday evening will now take place on Thursday evening.

In Region 2-AAAAAAA, East Coweta (11-3 overall, 4-0 region) is in a first-place tie with Wheeler High (5-7, 4-0) while Newnan is in second place at 9-7, 3-1.

A rough seventh inning against the Westlake Lions last Thursday cost the Cougars of Newnan the chance for a four-way tie for first in the region. Newnan held a 4-3 lead over Westlake in the bottom of the seventh, but Lions player Ishmael Martin smacked a bases-loaded single that scored two for the 5-4 win, spoiling the Cougars’ undefeated region record.

The Cougars bounced back in a big way the next evening, trouncing the visiting Lions 10-0 in five innings at Joe Pope Field. Leading 5-0 after two innings, Newnan erupted for five runs in the third for the 10-0 lead and the game was called after the fifth inning due to the mercy rule.

Newnan starts a big home-and-home series against Wheeler this week. The first game between the two teams will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Wheeler High, and the second game will take place at 5:55 p.m. Friday at Joe Pope Field.

After an 0-2 start, the Indians of East Coweta have won 11 of their last 12 games to vault into first place. LaGrange High stopped EC’s 10-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory on March 9, but the Indians rebounded to beat region foe Campbell High 12-1 March 10 to remain perfect in region play.

The Indians play a non-region game at 5:15 p.m. today against Heard County on a special day where they will honor 2-year-old Korbyn Daniel before the game. Daniel, the nephew of EC assistant baseball coach Tyler Ridgeway, is battling leukemia. There will be a few ceremonies prior to today’s game (around 5 p.m.) in honor of the EC effort to raise money for the Daniel family, called “Let’s Strike Out Leukemia.”

The Indians will host Westlake Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m., then travel to play Westlake again at 5:55 p.m. Friday in region action.

In Region 5-AAAAAA action, the Northgate Vikings followed their rough five-game losing streak with a two-game win streak to improve to 5-8 overall and 2-1 in the region.

Northgate sits in second place in the region standings, with Alexander (3-0 region), South Paulding (2-0) and Douglas County (1-0) all in a first-place tie.

The two straight Northgate wins were against region opponents Mays and Tri-Cities, and the Vikings outscored both teams 26-2. They beat Mays 9-2 on March 8 and trounced Tri-Cities 17-0 March 10 on the road.

In the 17-0 blowout, senior Patrick Pitzer smacked a 3-run homer and senior Caleb Upshaw had 3 RBIs. Connor Fortner also added two hits for the Vikes. The Vikings play at South Paulding at 5:55 p.m. today, followed by a rematch with Tri-Cities at 5:55 p.m. Thursday at Northgate and the rematch with South Paulding at 5:55 p.m. Friday, also at Northgate.