King’s Ridge advances to championship series

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MCDONOUGH, Ga. – The King’s Ridge Tigers swept No. 1-ranked Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy 11-3 and 7-2 last week to advance to the finals of the state Class A private school baseball finals.

The Tigers, the No. 5 seed in the 16-team bracket, played a doubleheader at No. 2 Mount Paran Christian last Saturday, May 17, for the state title, with a third game if necessary scheduled for Monday.

Brandt Stallings drove in seven runs in the doubleheader against ELCA to power the Tigers (26-4), who also got strong pitching efforts from Connor Burns and Austin Higginbotham.

Stallings had three hits, two of them home runs, and four RBI in the opener. Burns contributed two hits and Cullen Monette and Grayson Byrd drove in two runs each. Stallings’ first homer helped lift the Tigers to a 3-0 lead before ELCA came to bat.

The Chargers rallied with three runs in the third to tie the game, but King’s Ridge responded with eight runs over the final four innings, finishing with 13 hits.

Burns pitched a complete game, allowing seven hits and two walks and striking out 12.

The Tigers had three two-run innings in the second game to take a 7-0 lead before the Chargers scored their only two runs in the sixth. Higginbotham also pitched a complete game, allowing five hits and striking out five.

Stallings drove in three runs for the Tigers. Lawson Hill connected for a two-run homer, and Monette and Slade Osborne added two hits each.

Eagle’s Landing was 28-1 coming into the semifinal series, winning 28 straight games after losing its season opener.

MH 05-21-14