GHSA Diamond Notes: 3/25 to 4/2

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

Throughout the 2019 high school season, we’re accepting nominations from the coaches across the state of Georgia for their program’s Player of the Week candidates. While there can only be one Player of the Week in the state, we’ll be using this weekly GA Diamond Notes post to highlight the top performers of the past week who fell just short of POTW honors. We cover all corners of the state – from 1A to 7A – and the evidence is in this post.

Below are the Diamond Notes from March 25 to April 2.

Caleb Adair, OF, 2020 & Halton Hardy, RHP, 2020 (East Jackson)
East Jackson swept Franklin County last week with the help of these two juniors, Adair and Hardy. Adair was 7-for-10 in the series with three doubles, five RBIs, six runs scored, and he stole three bases. His spark in the order spurred East Jackson to the sweep, offensively. For Hardy, he pitched 10 innings and did not allow a run and gave up just four hits and struck out 14 batters in his complete game shutout against Franklin on Tuesday, as well as a three-inning save earned on Friday.

Aidan Berrong, 3B, Towns County, 2021 & Brett Denton, OF, Towns County, 2019
Towns County split their four games last week and these two, Berrong and Denton, were the ones powering the offense. The senior center fielder and lead-off man Denton went 6-for-12 last week with four runs and four RBIs and also stole a couple bases. As for Berrong, a sophomore, he went 7-for-10 with three runs scored and three RBIs and managed to steal a base, too.

Rodney Bullard, INF, Westover, 2021 & Daymon Polite, INF, Westover, 2022
Westover ran roughshod – literally – over their two opponents last week. Bullard specifically glided from base to base, stealing 14 bases in just two games. He hit .500 and scored six times, too. It’s an impressive feat for the sophomore and I’m not sure we’ve seen anyone else come close on Diamond Notes this spring. Like his teammate Bullard, Polite was eager to pile on the stolen bases for Westover last week. He finished the week with nine total, and it might have been more had he stopped at first on his inside-the-park home run. He scored four times and drove in four runs as well.

Will Clark, LHP, St. Francis, 2019
St. Francis won three games last week to improve to 15-4 this spring, and 11-1 in regional action. Senior left-hander Clark, a Saint Louis commit, is 5-0 this spring and notched that fifth win against Whitefield when he tossed six scoreless innings, scattering just five hits and K’d 13 batters. In 45 innings this spring, Clark has earned 66 strikeouts and is grooming a sub-1.00 ERA (0.93).

Colton Cosper, LHP, Carrollton, 2021
On March 25, Carrollton’s sophomore southpaw entered in relief against Woodland and struck out six in 2.2 innings to help his team defeat Woodland, 4-0. Later in the week, against East Paulding, Cosper allowed just two runs on three hits, and struck out five in the team’s 13-2 win. He’s struck out 37 batters in 28.2 innings this spring and has maintained an ERA of 0.98 along the way.

Mason Curtis, LHP, Hillgrove, 2019 & Alex McKay, RHP, Hillgrove, 2019
Hillgrove’s Georgia Highlands JC commit, Curtis, and their Mercer commit, McKay, lengthen their win streak last week (which is up to nine games and counting). Curtis went 5-for-12 from the plate with a double and a home run, driving in a couple key runs along the way. As for McKay, he made two clutch relief appearances and did not allow a run. He struck out four in 3.2 innings and earned a save in his only opportunity to do so.

Andrew Davidson, INF, 2021 & Preston Joye, INF/RHP, 2020 (Fellowship Christian)
The Paladins are 14-4 this spring and have a huge game this evening against ranked Riverwood, but are fresh off a two-game sweep of Mt. Pisgah Christian. Sophomore Davidson went 6-for-7 in the series with two doubles, two RBIs, and four runs scored. The junior Joye pitched six strong innings and allowed just one run, striking out seven in the process.

R.J. Delaney, RHP/OF, 2019 & Zach Fletcher, INF, 2019 (Thomas County Central)
The Yellowjackets are 19-1 this season, 8-1 in their region, and are riding and eight-game win streak. Seniors Delaney and Fletcher have played an enormous role in the team’s season success thus far. Last week, Delaney, who’s still uncommitted, tossed five no-hit innings against Bainbridge in the team’s 10-0 win and also added another 1.1 scoreless frames against Deerfield Beach. In his six-plus innings combined, he struck out six batters and has allowed just one earned run all year long. Fletcher, the team’s lead-off man, was 7-for-12 last week with two doubles and walked five times to help him score six TCC runs. He’s hitting .438 this spring, too.

Gabe Duncan, LHP/UTL, Thomasville, 2022
Thomasville’s freshman allowed just one run in six innings of work last week and struck out eight batters, too. At the plate, Duncan was 5-for-8 with five RBIs, two triples, and scored three runs. The Bulldogs have won 12 straight and Duncan appears to be squarely at the center of the huge win streak.

Murphy Flood, UTL, 2019 & Adam Sowder, INF, 2019 (Southeast Whitfield)
The Raiders are 10-10 this spring but have won four straight with the help of these two Diamond Notes honorees. Flood’s been featured here before, did it again with his contributions from both sides of the ball last week. He was 6-for-10 at the plate with four RBIs, four runs scored, and stole four bags. He also tossed four scoreless innings and struck out 10 batters, too. For the senior Sowder, he was 7-for-12 with a couple extra-base hits, including a two-run homer; he drove in four total, scored five times, and stole six bases.

Kameron Guidry, SS, Redan, 2019
Redan has been among the best teams in all of 3A this spring and their middle infielder Guidry has been a big reason why. The Knights traveled to Florida last week to participate in the IMG Academy-hosted high school tournament and the Georgia commit collected 12 hits, including four triples and a double, driving in six runs along the way. He’s hitting .593 this spring and is slugging 1.102.

Peyton Holloway, OF/RHP, Calvary Christian, 2020
Holloway had a tremendous week for Calvary Christian, primarily for the moment he helped bring down Tattnall Square Academy, a team that had previously been undefeated, on his three-run home run to walk it off in extra innings. In five games last week, Holloway slashed .364/.588/.727 with six RBIs and also earned six walks. He also closed out three wins for the Knights in relief, striking out six batters in four innings without allowing a run.

Ray Joseph, C/INF, Heritage, 2019
Heritage’s versatile senior infielder has also been one of its best bats in 2019, too. He continued that trend last week by going 4-for-10 at the plate with seven RBIs, courtesy of a pair of home runs. He’s hitting .320 in 2019 with 16 RBIs total.

Daniel Lavender, RHP/UTL, Elbert County, 2019
The Blue Devils went 3-1 last week with the help of their versatile senior star, Lavender. He went 6-for-10 with two home runs and seven RBIs in the team’s four games and also threw a perfect game against Cedar Shoals, in a 15-0 rout.

Brett McHugh, OF, Tattnall Square Academy, 2020
The Trojans suffered their first defeat of 2019 last week, but they’re still 20-1 this season with the help of their everyday left fielder McHugh. He went 6-for-9 last week with a home run and three RBIs during Tattnall Square’s 2-1 week, all while commanding the left field corner on defense, according to head coach Joey Hiller.

James Schlegel, INF/RHP, Aquinas, 2021
Aquinas’ sophomore two-way talent was a big reason why the program went 3-1 last week. He was 7-for-13 at the plate and slugged .923. He drove in 11 runs with the help of a grand slam and also doubled a couple of times. On the mound, he was credited with the win in one key, scoreless innings of work.

Josiah Siegel, LHP, Woodstock, 2019
There’s a handful of players on this list who make their presence known week in and out, and Woodstock’s Siegel is one of them. The Georgia Tech commit was able to limit rivals Etowah to just one run in their meeting last week, tossing a complete game where he scattered a red-hot lineup to six hits and he punched out nine. The win helped Woodstock bounce back from a defeat the previous evening to help the Wolverines pull out a series win with a doubleheader sweep last Thursday.

Kameron Skinner, 2B, Burke County, 2020
The Bears’ second baseman and clean-up hitter, Skinner, had a clutch week in the team’s lopsided victories over Richmond Academy and Baldwin. He was 4-for-7 with a triple and two doubles, and he also drove in four runs by himself, scoring three times as well. All four hits came in clutch situation for Burke County, and two of them came with two outs and runners on.

Caswell Smith, RHP, Pickens County, 2019
Pickens’ College of Charleston commit is back on Diamond Notes after putting together another strong series against Ridgeland last week. He helped Pickens push past Ridgeland in a win on Thursday despite allowing four runs, but he still K’d another 12 batters in 5.1 innings. At the plate, he homered and added another six RBIs.

Ethan Stamps, INF, Morgan County, 2020
Stamps had a tremendous week for Morgan County, going 7-for-10 at the plate with a double, three home runs, and eight RBIs. He also tossed a complete game shutout, striking out 11 having allowed just three hits and a single walk in the start. The quality week helped extend the Bulldogs win streak to eight games.

Garrett Staton, INF, North Forsyth, 2020 & Brody Westbrooks, RHP, North Forsyth, 2019
The Raiders are a bubble team at 14-7 this spring and junior infielder Staton has been integral to the team’s solid spring thus far. Last week, North Forsyth continued their eight-game win streak and Staton contributed offensively by going 7-for-11 with five RBIs and three doubles. They have a couple out-of-state games on the schedule this week during spring break, so we’ll see if they can continue the hot start long enough to see the GA Power 25.

The Georgia Tech commit threw a complete game victory last week and allowed just one run on two hits, two walks, and he struck out six. Westbrooks is helping the Raiders lead a charge for a bid on the GA Power 25, and he’s certainly pulling his weight this spring.

Holden Tucker, LHP, Ringgold, 2019
Tucker has become a near-weekly feature in our Diamond Notes column and did his part to earn yet another mention this week, too. The On-the-Bubble Tigers defeated Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 3-0 last week with the help of Tucker’s complete game shutout. He allowed just one hit in seven innings of work and punched out nine. They’re 9-0 in regional play with the help of their senior Charleston Southern commit.

Evan Walden, RHP/INF, Jefferson County, 2021
Walden earned the win in Jefferson County’s meeting with Laney last week. He did not allow a hit in five innings of work and struck out 11. In that game, he was also 2-for-4 from the batter’s box. The Warriors are 12-4 this spring, 7-4 in their region, and their talented sophomore is a big reason why.