Welcome to Mizuno Performances of the Week for March 26, 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:
*Benedictine freshman Carter Holton struck out 13 batters on an 8-4 victory over Bryan County on Thursday. He allowed only one earned run and three hits over 5.2 innings. At the plate, Holton batted leadoff and was 3-for-4. Then on Saturday, Holton homered and scored three runs. In February, Holton pitched a six-inning perfect game against Swainsboro while striking out 17 of 18 batters.
*Burke County senior pitcher Bill Knight had 13 strikeouts in a 5-4 victory over Cross Creek last week. Knight (3-2, 2.26 ERA) has 53 strikeouts in 34 innings. Also a shortstop, Knight is hitting .476 (20-for-42) with six doubles.
*Cartersville catcher/pitcher Anthony Seigler hit .556 with two homes, a double, five RBI and four runs scored last week as his team went 3-0. Seigler’s on-base average was .636 and his slugging percentage 1.333. He also pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
*Fitzgerald senior Matthew Howell was 6-for-12 with three doubles and seven RBI in Fitzgerald’s three-game sweep of Early County last week.
*Decatur junior Hayden Flinn was 6-for-7 with a double, three stolen bases and four runs scored in his team’s three victories last week. Sophomore right-hander Jackson Hills finished the perfect week with a five-inning no-hitter with eight strikeouts in a 13-0 victory over Lithia Springs on Friday.
*East Jackson sophomore Halton Hardy pitched a four-hit shutout in a 2-0 victory over Hart County on Friday. Hardy, a righthander, threw 90 pitches, 72 for strikes. The win marked the first time that East Jackson has beaten Hart County.
*Etowah pitched consecutive shutouts against third-ranked Walton last week, winning 8-0 and 6-0 after dropping the opener 7-4 in a Class AAAAAAA series. Ethan Underwood (six innings), Nick Torres (five innings), Bryant Madden (two innings) and Brandon Harry (one inning) combined for 14 scoreless innings with 15 strikeouts and seven hits allowed.
*Pelham senior Ivey Russ was 2-for-2 with a walk, a double, three RBI and two runs scored in the Hornets’ 11-1 victory over Baconton Charter on Tuesday. Pelham junior Cale Whigham pitched a one-hitter with seven strikeouts. The game marked Pelham’s fifth straight victory and Baconton’s first loss in Region 1-A.
*Stephens County extended its winning streak to nine games last week with a three-game sweep of Oconee County in Region 8-AAAA. The last two wins came on walk-off hits. On Thursday, the Indians trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, with two outs and no baserunners, but ultimately won 4-3 on Dawson Dean’s infield hit that scored Eli Wenger. On Friday, Stephens County trailed 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh and came up with four runs to win. Chaz Bridges singled to center to score Griff Pruitt for the game-winner. Stephens County is 17-1.
*Thomas County Central senior shortstop Jackson NeSmith was 10-for-16 with a double, a triple and eight RBI last week in five games – all victories. Junior outfielder Nick Herndon was 6-for-13 with two triples and six RBI. The pitching staff led by juniors R.J. Delaney and Luke Benton posted a 1.16 ERA over 31 innings.
*Wayne County senior pitcher and third baseman J.T. Crosby threw a five-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts and was 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run and a double in 10-0 victory over South Effingham last week.
*Veterans junior leadoff hitter and left fielder Jacob Pierce was 6-for-7 with two walks, two doubles, a home run and six runs scored in a doubleheader sweep of McIntosh on Saturday.
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