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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
May 1, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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May 1, 2019

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iP, rter ! /!: May 1, 2019 MARY PERSONS BULLDOGS WE HAVE IT COVERED IF IT'S PLAYED HOME CALENDAR WmNESDAY, MAY I 111URSDAY, MAY 2 4:30 p.m. Varsity Baseball Ivs. Columbus in 2nd Round State Playoffs) 7.4)0 p.m. Varsity Baseball Ivs, Columbus in 2nd Round State Playoffs) FlaY, mY 3 Mary Per- sons senior Desmond Williams finished second in the high jump com- petition at the Region 2-AAAA champion- ship meet in Spald- ing On Tuesday, April 23. Williams is one of 14 MP boys athletes who are expected to com- pete in the AAAA state sec- tional meet in Colum- bus on Saturday. (Photo/ Richard Dumas) 5. 0 p.m. Varsity Baseball (vs. Columbus in 2nd Round State Playoffs if necessary) SATURDAY, MAY 4 SUNDAY, MAY 5 MONDAY, MAY 6 MAY 7 MP boys track team captures By Richard Dumas With a dominant performance in Griffin, the Mary Persons boys track team captured the program's first region title in seven years on Tuesday, April 23. MP accumulated 178 points at the Region 2-AAAA championship meet at Spalding to defeat easily second-place Perry, Who finished with 131 points, by47 points for the Dogs' first region championship since 2012. Defending champion West Laurens placed third with 120 points, followed by Spalding in fourth place with 86 points. The Upson-Lee boys finished in fifth place with 73 points while Howard finished region championship since 2012 in sixth place with 29 points. MP boys head coach Kip Burdette said he was "really pleased" with his squad's region victory, which was MP's primary goal for the season. "They kind of exceeded expectations yester- day" Burdette said of the Bulldogs. "Everybody ran their best times of the year, and everybody competed until it was over with. It was kind of a long, grueling track meet. We were really pleased with the effort" MP sophomore lustin Wachtel was once again the meet standout, winning a pair of individual races. Wachtel placed first in the 1,600 meters with a time of 5 minutes, 8 seconds, edging MP teammate Connor Battles, who finished in sec- ond place with a time of 5 minutes, 9 seconds, by just three-tenths of a second. Wachtel also captured the 3,200 meters with a time of 10 minutes, 32 seconds, once again outdistancing second-place finisher Battles but this time by a lot. Wachtel finished nearly 40 seconds ahead of Battles, who posted a time of 11 minutes, 12 seconds. It was the second straight year that Wachtel has swept the 1,600 and 3,200 meter races at region. Burdette said Wachtel has been running the 800 instead of the 3,200, the longest distance race, for much of this year, but he chose to put Wachtel back in the 3,200 at region. "He had run some competitive races in the See MP BOYS TRACK. Page 3B MP to host perennial Columbus in series starting Thursda, MP sophomore Jaden Bankston pitched a scoreless inning of relief as the Bulldogs routed Richmond Academy 14-O in Game 1 of a first-round series sweep on Wednesday. (Photo/Richard Dumas) By Ric rd Dumas The Mary Persons baseball team will host a second- round playoff series for the first time in eight years after advancing past Richmond Academy in a first-round rout. The Bulldogs shut out the Musketeers over two games by a combined score of 25-0, winning Game I 14-0 in five innings and Game 2 11-0 in six innings. MP's lineup scored at least one run in all 11 innings of the series while the Dogs' pitching staff only allowed one Musketeers' baserunner to reach scoring position. MP'S Game 2 victory gave the Bulldogs their 25th win of the season, setting a new program single-season record. MP head coach Clae Mathis said of achieving yet an- other school record in 2019: "It's been a special year. Every single thing that keeps coming up like the 100 wins earlier (Mathis won his 100th career game on March 16), the re- gion championship, the numbers these guys have put up, hosting the playoffs for the first time in a while, it's just a whole lot of stuff. These are all things that you think about when you see that it's within striking distance. But at this point, we've got to work. There are no bad teams left in the AAAA playoffs. There are 16 teams that are good, and it's gonna be tough no matter where we go. But I believe in these guys. Every time they show up to the ballpark, they do something else that's exciting to watch:' MP, 25-7 overall (12-3 in Region 2-AAAA), will next host Columbus (22-7 overall, 15-3 in Region 1-AAAA), the No. 2 seed from Region 1-AAAA, in the second round of the state playoffs beginning with a doubleheader starting at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. An if necessary Game 3 would be played the following day at 5 p.m. on Friday. Columbus reached the second round by sweeping Hampton with a pair of blowout wins of 10-0 in Game i and 18-1 in Game 2. The Blue Devils have captured 12 state baseball championships in their illustrious history; most recently winning three straight from 2010-12. MLB Hall of Famer Frank Thomas was a member of Columbus' first-ever state title team in 1984. Mathis said of facing the perennial power Blue Devils: "Growing up all I remember from the 2000s was how good Columbus High School was, all the wins they've had and all the state championships. But I'm not really interested in all that anymore because I'm looking at, 'Hey we're about to go and take care of business" Because I don't think there is anything that my guys can't do right now. I really don't. There's been a lot of doubts about what we could do since January, and I thinkthat we've kind of silenced most of those. And I'm just looking for us to keep doing the same thing:' If MP beats Columbus, the Bulldogs will next face the winner of the second round series between Marist, the No. 2 seed from Region 7-AAAA, and North Oconee, the No. 1 seed from Region 8-AAAA. IfMP faces Marist, the series would be played in Forsyth starting on Wednesday, May 8. If North Oconee wins, MP would travel to North Oconee as a result ofa tiebreaker coin toss. In Game 1 against overmatched Richmond Academy, the Bulldogs struck for three runs in the bottom of the first. MP pinch runner Wyatt Currie crossed home plate after a poor toss home by Musketeers pitcher Sean Go- ings on a bunt by Trippe Moore for MP's first run. The Bulldogs then added to their lead moments later when another pinch runner, Xavier Soule, scored on a sacrifice fly by Nate Howard. MP then added a third run on a ground-rule RBI double to left by Conner Watson, plating Moore. The Bulldogs then scored three more runs in the bottom of the second as Eric Snow scored on a wild pitch, Soule scored from third on a double steal, and Howard hit an RBI single to left to plate Moore again, respectively Not content just to score three in the bottom of the third, MP instead exploded for five more runs. Snow hit a deep sacrifice fly to lefffield, plating laden Bankston. Then, Camden Claxton grounded out to second, scoring Thomas Willingham for a second run. Moore then drove in Soule on a single to left, but Moore also came around to score right behind Soule as the Musketeers made back-to- back throwing errors. ]eramiah Andrews then extended Richmond Academy's misery with a triple that got by the Musketeers' centerfielder and allowed Howard to score from first. Already leading 11-0 entering the fourth inning, Mathis elected to take out his starter Claxton, who recorded the win while pitching three innings, giving up two hits while striking out one and walking one. Willingham and Bankston each gave the Dogs a scoreless inning of See MP BASEBALL. Page 2B