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Southwest DeKalb posted the most impressive results in a limited schedule of games played among local teams during spring break last week. Coach Tyrus Taylor's Panthers scored a crucial 2-1 decision over Martin Luther King Jr. April 12 to improve to 4-4-1 in Region 6AAAAA and stay alive in the race for one of the top six positions in the league.
The top six teams qualify for the region playoffs and retain a chance of qualifying for state. Southwest DeKalb also knocked off Centennial by a 6-3 margin April 11 in a 2-0 showing for the week that pushed its overall record to 11-7-1.
Lakeside registered a solid showing in a trip to Disney, FL over the break. Coach Bill Newsome's Vikings registered strong triumphs over Bolingbrook, IL (4-0) April 7 and (9-6) April 9 before falling to Osceola, FL (12-6) in the finale April 9 while going 2-1 in the Sunshine State and moving to 14-7 overall for the year.
Senior Tyler Povlsen turned in a stellar pitching performance for Lakeside in a 4-0 triumph over Bolingbrook, IL April 7. Povlsen went the full seven innings, striking out three and allowing only five hits and two walks. Senior Bodhi Dauphin led the Viking offensive charge in the contest, going 2-3 with one run scored and one stolen base. Senior Brad Earnest, Povlsen, senior Bobby Tippitt, junior Darius Sewell and junior Cameron Hearn also added one hit each to the attack.
Sophomore Jaret Barr picked up the pitching triumph for Lakeside in a 9-6 victory over Bolingbrook, IL April 9. Barr went the first five innings on the mound, giving up 10 hits and six earned runs while striking out three and allowing no walks. Freshman Nolan Wilson (1 IP; 1 HA; 3 BB) and sophomore Grant Gibbons (1 IP; 3 SO; Save) finished up the victory with two scoreless innings of relief. Junior Jonathan Cooper (1-3; 1 RS), Barr (1-3; 1 RBI; 1 2B), junior Will Cosby (1-3; 2 RS; 2 RBI; 1 3B), junior Joe Fiorenza (1-2; 1 RS; 2 RBI; 1 2B) and sophomore Parker Raymond (1-2; 1 RS; 1 RBI; 1 SB) led the offense with one hit each.
The Vikings then fell on the short end of a 12-6 decision to Osceola, FL April 9. Povlsen (2-3; 1 RS) and Dauphin (2-2; 1 RS; 1 RBI) registered two hits each to pace Lakeside's offense. Tippitt (1-2), Sewell (1-2; 1 RBI) and junior Michael Boden (1-1; 1 RBI) also finished with one hit each. Cosby took the pitching defeat, giving up 10 hits and six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched. Boden (1 IP; 5 RA; 3 ER; 4 H; 1 BB), Raymond (1/3 IP; 1 BB) and Tippitt (1 IP; 2 SO) also saw action on the mound in the contest.
Cedar Grove, Chamblee, Dunwoody, Redan and Tucker also posted undefeated records of 1-0 in their lone contest from last week.
Juniors Jalen Atterburry (2-4; 1 2B; 1SB) and Keshaun Clark (2-4; 1 RS; 1 RBI; 2 SB) paced an eight-hit offensive attack for Columbia in a tough 5-4 loss at Tucker April 12. Junior Justin Washington (1-3), junior Ronald McGhee (1-4; 1 RBI), senior William Belcher (1-3) and junior Jamal Devine (1-3; 1 RBI; 1 SB) tallied one hit each in the defeat. Junior Patrick Wright took the pitching loss for the Eagles, giving up the winning run with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
Columbia continued to roll as a team in Week 7, as coach Steve Dennis watched his Eagles whip Chamblee (10-1) March 31, South Atlanta (12-1) April 1, Lithonia (14-3) April 2 and Banneker (15-0) April 4 in a perfect 4-0 showing that improved their overall record to 17-3.
Coach Chan English's Dunwoody Wildcats also enjoyed a strong 3-0 showing last week, besting North Atlanta (5-3) April 1, Clarkston (19-0) April 2 and Martin Luther King Jr. (13-1) April 4 to improve to 8-9 overall.
Coach Pete Bartlewski's Druid Hills Red Devils knocked off Lovejoy (3-1) April 1 in their only game of the week to move over the .500 mark on the year at 9-8.
Junior Jake Lovvorn tossed a three-hitter and struck out nine over seven innings in Tucker's 8-2 victory over Martin Luther King Jr. April 2. Senior Malik White went 4-4 with two runs scored, two RBI and two doubles in Southwest DeKalb's 11-1 triumph over North Atlanta March 31.
Add another chapter to the lengthy list of historic victories for DeKalb County coaching legend Marvin Pruitt.
The veteran skipper reached his latest milestone moment in Redan's 14-0 blanking of Banneker Tuesday at Banneker.
In a memorable outing that happened to occur on April Fool's Day, the Raiders left little for doubt in helping Pruitt reach 500 victories as a head varsity coach.
The first DeKalb County coach to achieve 400 victories in the sport of baseball, Pruitt moved up to an even higher level while scaling to the halfway point of 1000.
Only boys' basketball icon Phil McCrary had previously met the impressive total of 500 victories as a head coach in DeKalb County.
Along with the 500 victories against 329 losses and six ties, Pruitt has also skippered Redan to a state championship, guided the Raiders to two other state Final Four berths in 2003 and 2010 and led Lakeside to the only state semifinal appearance in school history in his inaugural season as a head coach in 1983.
Pruitt has taken Redan to the state playoffs in 12 of his 13 seasons prior to this year. The Raiders missed out in 2009 as they went 13-13 in Pruitt's only non-winning season at the school (2001-2014). He is 281-116-3 including 2014 while at the helm of the Raiders' program.
He had winning records at Lakeside (71-34, 4 years, 1 playoff appearance) and Southwest DeKalb (53-28-1, 3 years, 1 playoff appearance).
Pruitt started the Stephenson program in 1997 and went 34-60-2 in four seasons. His only non-DeKalb coaching stint was at Rockdale County from 1987-1992 where he went 61-91 in six seasons.
His coaching career includes 31 years in the dugout since 1983 with the 1996 season being his only one to not coach.
Pruitt will also call it quits after this season as he guides his club towards another playoff appearance in 2014.
Week 6 Recap
Three teams posted perfect results in leading the way among local baseball entrants from last week. Coach Eric Hoxie's Arabia Mountain Rams remained undefeated in Region 6AAAAA, picking up impressive home triumphs over Tucker (8-4) March 24 and Dunwoody (8-2) March 26 to improve to 9-3-1 overall for the year. The victory over Dunwoody was the first in school history.
Coach Pierce Jackson's Lithonia Bulldogs also enjoyed a perfect 2-0 week, claiming Region 6AAAA triumphs over South Atlanta (6-4) March 24 and Stone Mountain (18-11) March 26 to move to 5-7 overall on the year.
Coach Marco Jackson's Stephenson Jaguars continued to roll, running their winning streak to 13 with a pair of Region 6AAAAA victories over Clarkston (18-1) March 24 and Martin Luther King Jr. (7-3) March 26. Stephenson improved to 14-2 overall and entered the state rankings for the first time in school history at No. 10 in the latest AAAAA poll.
Redan registered a pair of key Region 6AAAA decisions over Columbia (9-8) March 26 and Chamblee (8-2) March 27 while going 2-1 on the week and improving to 11-4 overall. The two wins pushed coach Marvin Pruitt's overall total to 499, just two short of the magical 500 number. Senior Corderias Dorsey struck out 12 over seven innings in Redan's 9-8 victory over Columbia March 26.
Senior Drew Henry added to the long line of no-hit performances by DeKalb County pitchers this spring in Chamblee's 15-0 blanking of Washington March 24. Henry struck out seven in four innings. Senior catcher Zac Maslia paced the Bulldog offense in the contest, going 3-3 with a triple and two RBI.
Sophomore Jack Bartlewski led the way for Druid Hills in a thrilling 7-6 victory over neighborhood rival Decatur March 27. Bartlewski finished with two hits and four RBI, including the walk-off winner in the eighth inning. Senior Emaeus Thomas added three hits to the Red Devil offensive charge. Sophomore Austin Ledet struck out eight over five innings of relief to pick up the victory.
Senior Tyler Povlsen turned in a stellar overall outing in Lakeside's 6-2 triumph over North Atlanta March 24. Povlsen went the full seven innings on the mound, striking out five and allowing only four hits, three walks and one earned run. He also belted a solo homer and scored two runs on the offensive end. Senior Bobby Tippett (2-3; 2 RBI) and junior Will Cosby (2-3; 2 RBI; 2 SB) paced the Lakeside offense in a 13-1 decision over Miller Grove March 27. Cosby also picked up the pitching triumph, striking out three and allowing five hits and one run over four innings.
Senior Tyronn Walker (2-4), junior Bakari Gayle (2-2; 3 RBI; 2 RS; 1 HR), senior DeAngelo Holt (2-3; 2 RBI), senior Antwan Thrash (2-2; 2 RS) and junior Aaron Hutcherson (2-4) collected two hits each in Martin Luther King Jr.'s 10-6 victory over Miller Grove March 24.
Freshman Qualo Davis struck out five in two innings to garner the pitching triumph in McNair's 18-7 victory over Towers March 26.
Sophomore Jullian Sewell (5 IP; 5 SO) and junior Jake Lovvorn (2 IP; 4 SO) combined to strike out nine in Tucker's 9-7 triumph over Lakeside March 26.
The Redan Raiders made their mark on high school baseball not only as a school, but for the DeKalb County School District and the Atlanta Metro area with their Class AAAA state championship series sweep of the Marist War Eagles at Marist on Monday.
The 11-0 and 4-3 wins to sweep the best-of-three title series gave a storied baseball program its first ever baseball state title, the 10th for DeKalb County Schools and the first ever for a team made up completely of African-Americans from metro Atlanta to win a Georgia High School Association baseball state title.
The Raiders make it look to be too easy in the opening game as junior lefty Corderius Dorsey pitched a complete game, two-hit, shutout in the 11-0 victory to take the series lead 1-0.
Dorsey worked out of a couple of jams early on then took advantage of an early 2-0 lead. A solo homer by Georgia signee Wesley Jones in the first inning made it 1-0 then Dorsey helped his own cause with a run scoring single in the top of the second.
Fifteen of the final 16 War Eagle batters to face Dorsey failed to reach base while the Raiders stepped on the gas in the sixth and seventh inning to blow the game open.
Dorsey who finished 5-0 in the state playoffs (half the Raiders' 10 wins on the way to the title) aided his own cause with a chopper over the infield with runners on second and third to push the lead to 4-0 heading into the final inning. Miles Fore capped a seven-run outburst in the top of the seventh with a two-run homer to deep center for the final of 11-0.
Trega Williams, the hero in a game one semifinal win over Troup County, was 2-4 at the plate with two doubles and 2 RBI to lead the Raiders followed by Dorsey (2-4, 3 RBI), James Nelson (2-5; 1 RBI), Brandon Baker (2-5; 2 RS), Miles Fore (2-4; 2 RS; 2 RBI; 1 HR) and Kendrick Elder (2-4; 1 RBI).
The history setting Game 2 victory did not come as easy, but the Raiders jumped out to a 4-1 lead and held on for the title clinching 4-3 win.
Winning pitcher Brandon Baker, a Missouri signee, got things going in the bottom of the first inning as his run scoring single put the Raiders on the board first again and a Marist throwing error with the bases loaded allowed the lead to jump to 3-0 after one complete.
Marist got to Baker for a run in the top of the second only to have Jones answer with a RBI double in the bottom of the inning to keep the margin at three with the Raiders up 4-1.
Baker allowed a run in the fifth and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth to hold the slim 4-3 lead.
Marist got a runner on with a walk against reliever Darian Osby in the seventh, but he responded with a pair of strikeouts to record the save and send the team celebrating with sidelined Coach Marvin Pruitt, DeKalb's winningest coach with over 400 wins in his career and a Georgia Dugout Hall of Fame member.
Pruitt's medical condition kept him watching from a distance and away from the ball field completely during most of the season, but couldn't keep him away during the playoffs as he showed up to support his squad as assistants Chris Hardnett and Harry Sapp worked to keep the players focused.
Joseph Graves (2-2; 1 RS) and James Nelson (2-3; 1 RS) led the Redan offense that ended with nine hits. Baker scattered eight hits and four walks over six innings in picking up his fourth win of the playoff season.
The state title was the first for DeKalb County Schools since Dunwoody's 2007 sweep of Columbus in the Class AAA state championship.
Redan's 10-1 record in the playoffs improved its overall in the state playoffs record to 48-41 and atop the DeKalb standings. The Raiders lead second place Dunwoody (37-39) and third place Tucker (32-38) as the only DeKalb teams with more than 30 playoff victories.
The Raiders also set a new school record for wins with the 30-7 mark this season breaking the old mark of 26-7 set in 1982 and repeated in 1988.
The playoff tradition of the Raiders with the likes for former and current major leaguers such as 16 year MLB player Wally Joyner and current players such as All-Star Brandon Phillips (1999) of the Cincinnati Reds, Chris Nelson (2003) of the New York Yankees and Dominic Brown (2006) with Philadelphia had advanced to the semifinals in 2003 and again 2010, but finally broke through for that coveted state championship against 12-time champion Marist.Semifinals
Trega Williams and Darian Osby played key roles in sending the Redan Raiders into their first state championship appearance as Redan won two of three games to take a best-of-three semifinal series from Troup County at Redan.
Williams rallied the Raiders to a 9-8 victory in Game 1 as he hit a walk-off , three-run homer to give Redan a 1-0 lead in the series.
Troup held off another Raider rally in the top of the seventh in the second game to even the series at one game apiece with a 4-3 win in the nightcap of the doubleheader.
Troup jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third game, but the resilient Raiders rallied for a 3-2 victory as regular reliever Darian Osby went the distance despite giving up two first inning runs.
Osby settled in and pitched six scoreless innings to finish the game as the Raiders rallied. Bakari Gayle drove in the go-ahead run for the 3-2 lead in the sixth.
Troup threatened in the seventh but Osby rose to the occasion in the final inning as he had done most of the season in a relief role and a final fly ball out propelled the Raiders into the championship round.Road to the Class AAAA Championship
Arabia Mountain ace Jordan Scott pitched six shutout innings as the starter for the East Senior All-Stars to lead his teammates to a 3-1 victory over the West in the 11th Annual DeKalb County Senior All-Star Baseball Classic May 28 at Georgia State University Baseball Complex.
Scott struck out six West batters, walked to and scattered three hits over his six shutout innings to pick up the pitching decision.
Scott got staked to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third as Miller Grove's Fentress Henderson singled to score Wolverine teammate Willie Moody who had reached by getting hit by a pitch and moved to second on a passed ball.
Redan all-star shortstop Wesley Jones, fresh off the Raiders state championship the day before, delivered the key offensive blow in the fifth inning. He ripped a double to the gap in right-center to push across two runs in the fifth inning that provided a 3-0 advantage for the East.
Lithonia's Corwin Latner and Stephenson's B.J. Barnes followed Scott on the mound and kept the West off the board until the top of the ninth.
Latner struck out one in the top of the seventh and allowed only one hit and one walk over two scoreless innings before giving way to Barnes in the ninth.
The West nearly pulled off a dramatic rally to victory as Quesean McCoy of Towers drew a walk to start things off, and Columbia's Xavier Floyd followed with an RBI double to cut the lead to 3-1.
A strikeout, walk, strikeout and walk followed to load the bases with two outs, where Deric Boone of Druid Hills ripped a bullet to left that was snared for the final out.
The East received six hits in the contest, led by the one each of Fentress Henderson, Redan's Joseph Graves, Redan's Wesley Jones, Arabia Mountain's Eugene Mabota, Southwest DeKalb's Marcus Hodge and Arabia Mountain's Joseph Holmes.
Scott garnered MVP honors for the East with six strikeouts in a winning effort as a pitcher, while Dunwoody's Ryan Gaines secured MVP honors for the West with two shutout innings on the mound that included two strikeout innings.
The 2013 Senior All-Star Baseball Classic was the first to feature the East vs. West format as the first 10 All-Star Classics pitted the North vs. South format. The East leads the new series 1-0.
The West Junior All-Stars claimed the first in the new DeKalb County All-Star Baseball Classic series pitting the West against the East by pounding out 13 hits in a 12-0 victory at the Georgia State University Baseball Complex earlier this week.
A three-run first inning got the West off to a quick start as one-out walks to Drew Henry (Chamblee) and Will Hudgins (Dunwoody) brought Cedar Grove's Deion Sellers to the plate. Sellers responded by blasting a three-run homer for a 3-0 West lead.
The lead expanded to 6-0 on the second as Brad Earnest (Lakeside) hit a leadoff double and Chamblee's Jared McKay was hit by a pitch to set up a sacrifice fly by Jay Scott (Dunwoody) to score the first of three runs in the inning. William Belcher (Columbia) followed with a single and Hudgins singled to score McKay and Belcher to round out the second inning scoring.
The run in the fourth inning consisted of a one-out double by Chamblee's Malik Jones and an RBI single by Dunwoody's Hudgins for three on the day.
Earnest had his second double of the game in the four-run fifth inning to follow a single by T.J. Young (Druid Hills) to get the big inning started. Ryan Knox (Columbia) reached on an error to score two runs and Tyler Povleson (Lakeside) and Hudgins answered with RBI singles to push the lead out to 11-0.
Brian Smith of Towers walked to lead off the seventh and came around to score on a one-out single by Lakeside's Povleson, his second of the game.
The West finished with 13 hits, led by Hudgins (3-4, 4 RBI), Sellers (2-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI), Earnest (2-4, 2 doubles) and Povleson (2-2, 2 RBI).
Three Chamblee pitchers teamed up for the complete game shutout victory. Drew Henry was the starting and winning pitcher for the West, going 3 innings and finishing with 1 strikeout, 1 walk and 1 hit allowed.
Chamblee's Jared McKay followed Henry and threw three scoreless innings, striking out seven while allowing only 1 hit and 1 walk.
Chamblee's Malik Jones, the West MVP, then closed it out with three scoreless innings, tallying 4 strikeouts and giving up 1 hit and 1 walk.
Southwest DeKalb's Kevin Wimbish was selected as the MVP for the East, finishing 3-4 at the plate. He was the lone player to collect a hit for the East in the game.
The Dunwoody Wildcats ended a 33-year drought of baseball state championships for DeKalb County Schools by bringing home the class AAA state title in 2007 with a 2-0 sweep of Columbus.
The last Georgia High School Association baseball state championship to find a home in DeKalb County Schools before 2007 came back in 1974 when Henderson laid claim with a 2-0 series sweep of Southwest Macon.
DeKalb County Schools had come up short since that time despite sending some very good teams into the playoffs. Prior to 1974, DeKalb had won titles in 1952 (Avondale), 1956 (Tucker), 1964 (Avondale), 1966 (Tucker), 1967 (Tucker), 1968 (Walker) and 1972 (Sequoyah).
Redan made sure it would not take 33 years for the next title as the Raiders knocked off rival Marist 2-0 (11-0, 4-3) in the 2013 championship series on the way to setting a school record for wins at 30-7 on the season.
It gave the perennial playoff contender Redan its first baseball state title as the Raiders upended the Marist War Eagles who had won the Region 6-AAAA title with a 2-1 series win over the Raiders. Redan went 10-1 in the state playoffs while sweeping four of the five playoff series.
Beginning with the 1952 season, DeKalb County Schools teams have combined for 129 playoff appearances through the 2007 season. Eighteen of the current 19 DeKalb schools have made at least one playoff appearance following Martin Luther King Jr.'s rise to 5AAA champ in 2004. Gordon and Shamrock, two of the seven schools that are no longer high schools, were the only ones of the 26 DeKalb schools to never make a playoff appearance prior to the opening of Miller Grove High School in 2005. The playoff run has collected 211 wins over that time as well.
The baseball history of DeKalb County Schools also includes the likes of former pros Wally Joyner (Redan), Pete Ladd (Henderson) and Ron Blomberg (Druid Hills).
DeKalb County Schools has been a hotbed on draft day with 75 players drafted between 1985 and 2006. That includes three from the 2004 season including first round and number 9 pick overall Chris Nelson of Redan (Colorado) and four from 2006 including Scott Hunter of M.L. King in the 3rd round (San Diego, 93rd pick) and 2005 second round selection P.J. Phillips of Redan (California, 73rd pick).
Redan's Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati) and Dominic Brown (Philadelphia) gave the Raiders a double-dip as both appeared in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game. Phillips was making his third appearance and first as the starting second baseman for the National League. Brown, an outfielder, was chosen for the National League squad after leading the league in home runs before the All-Star break.
State Champions (10)