Hillgrove rallies late to beat McEachern
by Carlton D. White
April 06, 2014 04:00 AM | 2125 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
POWDER SPRINGS — Hillgrove got the clutch at-bats and solid pitching it needed to down host McEachern 3-2 in a Region 4AAAAAA game.

Hillgrove took the lead in the top of the seventh. John Devine drew a two-out walk, reached second on a wild pitch and scored on Tristan DeLozier’s RBI single.

Hawks’ relief pitchers Nate Richardson, Jacob Nix and Cade Douglas combined to throw three shutout innings to close the game.

The victory was a big one for Hillgrove which hosted region leader McEachern earlier in the day and beat the Indians 4-0. The Hawks entered the series with three region losses and needed at least a split to stay in the hunt for a state playoff berth.

The sweep was a better outcome.

“The kids knew we were on the brink in the region standings going into this series after losing twice to Kennesaw Mountain last week,” Hillgrove coach Dave Richardson said. “We could survive a split, but not a sweep. So to win both is big for us and we’re back in the swing of things.

“Give credit to McEachern. To lose earlier (Saturday) and get down quickly at the beginning of this game, they fought back and didn’t make it easy. We had great bullpen work and the big hit from DeLozier in the top of the seventh was huge for us. Our kids found the strike zone and played phenomenal defense this series.

“They’re our rival, and you want to play well against your rival.”

The Hawks (11-7, 5-3) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning behind Carter Landreth’s two-out, two-run home run.

McEachern (12-7-1, 7-3) rallied to tie with runs in the third and fourth innings.

Jared Walker led off the third with a double and scored on Trey Harris’ RBI groundout. In the third, consecutive singles from Jonathan Wells and Zach Smith and a double from CJ Windham allowed Wells to score.

Devine, who started and gave up two earned runs on four hits, was 1-for-2 with two runs for Hillgrove. Jacob Farmer was 1-for-3 with a double, while Landreth was 1-for-3 with the two-run homer. DeLozier was 1-for-4 with a RBI.

Walker gave up three earned runs on four hits with seven strikeouts in a complete game effort. He also had a double. Wells was 2-for-2 with two stolen bases. Windham and Harris each had a RBI double. Smith was 1-for-3.

“We came out passive offensively, but had a good effort from the mound,” McEachern coach Dan Torrenti said. “Our approach got better in this second game, but they had the big swings and we didn’t. Night in and night out, there’s great baseball in this region.”

n Hillgrove 4, McEachern 0: Hillgrove scored three times in the fifth and once in the sixth to pull away for a Region 4AAAAAA victory at home Saturday.

Seven batters came to the plate in the fifth for the Hawks. DeLozier had a two-out RBI double. Alex Nuovo singled in a run and Landreth had a RBI double. Channing Painton also had a RBI double in the contest.

DeLozier and Jacob Farmer each went 2-for-3 for the Hawks, who had nine hits.

Jake Watkins (4-0) pitched a complete game shutout, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out four.

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