Welcome to Mizuno Performances of the Week for March 12, highlighting some of the state’s best and hottest baseball players. This weekly feature is compiled and written by Todd Holcomb. Coaches can email weekly nominations to Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the nominee’s positon and year in school.
Here are some top individual performers from the recent games throughout the state:
*Banks County senior shortstop/pitcher C.J. Thomas was 7-for-10 with two doubles, four stolen bases and four RBI last week. He also pitched a six-inning, two-hit shutout in a 10-0 victory Commerce. For the season, Thomas is hitting .457 with three doubles, one triple, one home run and 13 RBI. On the mound he is 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 20 innings.
*Blessed Trinity junior outfielder Steele Chambers was 9-for-19 with eight runs scored last week as the Titans, ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA, went 5-0 with victories over five state-ranked teams – St Pius, Brookwood, Buford, Parkview and Providence School of Jacksonville, Fla. Junior infielder/pitcher Jake Smith was 7-for-16 with five RBI. He pitched two scoreless innings and got a save.
*Clinch County junior first baseman Duncan Lutz was 8-for-12 with two doubles last week. Senior lefthander Michael Gilbreth pitched a three-hit shutout in a 2-0 victory over McIntosh County Academy. Junior lefthander Warren Stovall pitched a seven-inning no-hitter with 11 strikeouts – but lost a 2-1 decision to Telfair County.
*Discovery pitcher Jack Oesterle has been a bright spot on a 2-8 team. In a loss against Mountain View last week, the senior struck out six and allowed two runs. His season ERA is 2.83 with 14 strikeouts in 12.1 innings.
*East Jackson sophomore pitcher Cole Sealey pitched a four-hitter with no earned runs last week in an 8-1 victory over Monroe Area. He has not allowed an earned run in 18 innings in East Jackson’s 9-6 start. At the plate, Sealey is hitting .500 (18-for-36) with six doubles, two triples and a home run, which was a grand slam last week against Cedar Shoals.
*Evans senior catcher Patrick Daniel was 7-for-10 with two doubles and five RBI last week He’s hitting .444 (16-for-36) with three doubles, a triple and nine RBI. Teammate Joshua Lanham, a junior, also had a strong week. A third baseman and pitcher, Lanham was 4-for-7 with four walks at the plate and pitched seven innings without allowing an earned run. He’s allowed one earned run in 22.1 innings this season.
*Greater Atlanta Christin senior catcher/third baseman Carson Taylor was 5-for-10 with a double last week while junior shortstop Shane Lussier was 5-for-11 with two doubles and a triple. Taylor has signed with Virginia Tech. Lussier is committed to Wofford.
*Johnson County sophomore Dra Darrisaw was 7-for-10 with three doubles and seven runs scored in three victories last week. Darrisaw is hitting .600 (18-for-30) with five doubles and 17 runs scored in the Trojans’ 9-2 start.
*New Hampstead pitcher Jared McKinney stuck out 27 batters in victories over Liberty County and Towns County last week. McKinney fanned 13 against Liberty and 14 against Towns. For the season, McKinney is 6-1 with a 0.40 ERA. He has 72 strikeouts in 34.2 innings. He’s batting .346 (9-for-26). New Hampstead is 9-2.
*Newnan junior lefthander Jaxon O’Neal struck out 12 and allowed three hits with no walks in a 5-1, five-inning victory over Westlake last week. O’Neal is 2-0 with a 0.33 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 21 innings. Senior second baseman Lucas Mapp went 4-for-4 against Starr’s Mill and is batting .438.
*Parkview pitchers Branden Hays, Robert Bennett and Xander Stephens together pitched 23 innings, allowing two runs (only one earned), and struck out 31 in the Panthers’ 4-1 week. Parkview went 3-1 in the prestigious PG High School Showdown at LakePoint Sports in Emerson with victories over Broward Prep (Fla.), Cullman (Ala.) and Cartersville.
*South Gwinnett went 2-2 at the PG High School Showdown. The Comets’ top hitters were Corey Farrow (.385, four stolen bases), Cabera Weaver (.357, two triples, three stolen bases) and Marc Davis (.500, five runs scored). Farrow also pitched 4.2 innings with four strikeouts and one decision, a win.
*St. Francis junior Kyle Bork was 7-for-10 with five RBI last week. On Thursday, playing at CoolRay Field, Bork had a walk-off hit in extra innings that scored Brooks Mitchell to give St. Francis an 8-7 victory over Athens Academy.
*Stephens County junior righthander Davis Swenson is 2-0 with one save over his last three appearances during which he’s struck out 22 in 13.2 innings. For the season, he is 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 24 innings.
*Westover senior righthander Davis Spalinger allowed no earned runs and struck out 15 in eight innings last week. He has allowed no earned runs in 15.2 innings while striking out 25 this season. Teammate La’Borris Buchanan, a sophomore, extended his hitting streak to eight last week. He’s hitting .529 with 15 stolen bases and 15 runs scored.
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