NORTH FULTON/FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Blessed Trinity, Denmark and Fellowship Christian competed in the quarterfinals of the state tournament last week with all three teams competing in decisive Game 3’s.
Perennial state championship contender Blessed Trinity will take on Denmark, who have compiled an incredible playoff run in their inaugural season, in the Class 4A state semifinals May 14-15 after both teams advanced.
Fellowship Christian’s Game 3 against Wesleyan on May 9 was suspended in the second inning by weather. The Paladins ultimately dropped the do-or-die contest.
Blessed Trinity downs Woodward in three games (7-2, 1-3, 2-1): Blessed Trinity reached the state semifinals for the seventh straight season by downing Woodward Academy in a Game 3 nail-biter.
The Titans held a 2-0 lead behind a passed ball score and an RBI double from Steele Chambers before Woodward plated a runner in the top of the sixth.
Down to their last three outs, Woodward put two runners on with two outs on an error and a walk. However, reliever Dominick Marcoccio earned a vital strikeout to end Woodward’s threat and send BT to the semis.
The Game 3 pitcher’s duel went to Joseph Chambers who earned the start for the Titans and allowed just two hits in 5.1 innings. Marcoccio allowed no hits in 1.2 innings. BT was held to just three hits in the game.
Game 3 flipped the script on the second game of the May 8 doubleheader.
Blessed Trinity trailed 3-1 in the top the seventh with two outs but looked poised for a comeback by loading the bases with two hits and a walk. However, a strikeout ended BT’s chances and forced the decisive Game 3.
Both teams combined for just seven hits in Game 2. All three of Woodward’s hits came in the second inning with the War Eagles plating three runs. BT struck first with a lead-off triple from CJ Abrams in on the second pitch of Game 2. Abrams scored a ground ball from Steele Chambers.
Eric Moore got the start for BT in Game 1 and pitched a complete game allowing just four hits and two earned runs with seven strikeouts.
Blessed Trinity led 3-1 after three innings but Woodward cut the margin to in half with a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth. Blessed Trinity responded in the seventh with a two-out rally to score four runs.
Ryan Davis walked with the bases loaded, Jake Smith hit an RBI single and Trey Baker drove in two runs with a double to put BT up 7-2 to secure the win.
Denmark takes Game 3 over West Laurens to advance (9-1, 6-10, 7-2): After nearly missing out on the playoffs, Denmark’s incredible inaugural season continued May 9 with the Danes dropping West Laurens in a do-or-die Game 3.
Denmark trailed 2-0 after four innings in Game 3 but tied it in the fifth with a two-run single from Matthew Cassandra.
The Danes then piled on runs in the bottom of the sixth, scoring four runs with two outs.
With the bases loaded on a hit and two walks, Gray Wilson drove in two runs with a single, Jack Kream hit a two-RBI triple and Jaxson Corr added an RBI single to put the Danes up 7-2.
Matthew Cassandra completed his complete game performance on the mound in the top of the seventh to send the Danes to the semifinals in their first season. Cassandra allowed five hits and two earned runs with five strikeouts to earn the win.
Denmark took Game 1 with a late offensive charge and a complete game performance from pitcher Dalton Hansard to take a 9-1 win.
Denmark led 2-1 entering the sixth inning but found separation with RBIs from Cassandra, Corr and Carson Russell to lead 6-1. The Danes added three runs in the seventh with Cassandra and Russell batting in two more runners and a run on a passed ball.
Hansard kept West Laurens’ bats at bay throughout the contest allowing five hits and one earned run with five strikeouts and four walks.
Game 2 featured more late-game runs, but the Danes wound up on the wrong end of the offensive flurry.
The Raiders used a single, walk and two Denmark errors to plate three runners in the top of the sixth to lead 6-1.
However, the Danes tied the game with RBIs from Corr and Drew Clare before the Raiders threw three straight bases-loaded walks.
The contest went to extra innings after both teams were held scoreless in the seventh.
Denmark’s fifth error of the game was costly with the Raiders scoring four runs on two hits with two outs. The Danes put a runner on in the bottom of the eight but failed to score.
Fellowship Christian falls to Wesleyan in Game 3 (5-4, 4-6, 20-6): Fellowship Christian’s season ended May 10 with the Paladins dropping their decisive Game 3 to Wesleyan. The decisive game was suspended May 9 with the game tied 2-2 in the second inning.
Fellowship took a 4-2 lead when play resumed, but Wesleyan piled on 19 hits at 15 earned runs in the contest.
Wesleyan used five hits, four walks and an error to score nine runs in the top of the sixth inning to secure the run-rule shortened contest.
Game 3 was set up with Fellowship and Wesleyan swapping walk-off wins in their May 8 doubleheader.
Fellowship jumped out to a quick lead in Game 1 with Cameron Gill hitting a home run. Cody Tapley also homered early, hitting a two-run shot to extend Fellowship’s lead to 3-0.
Isaac Bouton drove in a run in the fourth with a double before Wesleyan began its comeback. The Wolves cut the margin to 4-3 in the fifth inning with four hits and two walks.
Down to their last three outs, the Wolves opened the bottom of the seventh with a triple and tied the game with a one-out double.
Wesleyan hit a lead-off single in the eight and took the walk-off win with an RBI single.
After squandering a lead in Game 1, Fellowship erased a three-run deficit and hit a walk-off home run to keep its season alive.
The Paladins trailed 4-1 after three innings but tied the game with a solo home run from Preston Joye in the bottom of the sixth.
Joye earned the start for the Paladins on the mound and earned two strikeouts in the top of the seventh to set up Fellowship in the bottom of the frame.
Luke Schmidt hit a lead-off single and Cody Tapley hit a two-run home run to secure the dramatic win.
Joye threw a complete game allowing seven hits and four earned runs with four strikeouts.
Bouton batted 2-3 with a double and a home run and Cameron Gill went 3-4.
Fellowship compiled a 24-10 overall this season.