2010-04-21 / Sports

Spartan sluggers attempt back-to-back region titles

By Tres Bragg

Michael Taylor stops a ball from entering the outfield before throwing the runner out at first base. Michael Taylor stops a ball from entering the outfield before throwing the runner out at first base. After outscoring their last two opponents 29-5 the Spartans have found themselves in a similar position as last year, vying for a region championship with Bulloch Academy.

The Edmund Burke Academy baseball team (10-2, 6-1) will play the Gators this Friday in Statesboro. If the Spartans, who are currently ranked third in the state, pull off the win, they’ll earn their second straight region title. Before last year’s championship and final four appearance in the state playoffs, the Spartans hadn’t won a region title in 20 years. Although Bulloch beat Edmund Burke earlier this year, head coach Aaron Phillips thinks this Friday’s game will have a different outcome.

“We were beating Bulloch four to zero midway through the game last time,” Phillips said. “We didn’t pitch as well as we normally do. We had nine walks in the first five innings, and we committed six errors.

They actually only had four base hits,” Phillips added. “If we play to our potential, Friday should be no problem for us.”

Edmund Burke’s last two wins came against Frederica Academy and Curtis Baptist. Chandler Johnson, Michael Weaver and Matt Cowart all pitched during the 18-4 win over the Knights. Brandon Sharpe and Johnson led in hitting, combining for 6 hits in 8 appearances. Sharpe had 4 runs and 2 RBIs while Johnson scored 4 times, drove in 3 runs and hit 2 doubles.

Cowart started on the mound against Curtis Baptist, delivering 3 strikeouts and giving up just 2 hits during 3 innings of play. Sharpe relieved Cowart and struck out 3 of the 6 batters he faced. The Spartans beat the Crusaders 11-1.

Matt Usry went 2 for 3 during the game while Michael Taylor had two hits of his own and 2 walks.

Weaver put the Spartans ahead 7-0 midway through the game after hitting a grand slam over the left field fence. This was Weaver’s second homerun of the season.

POWER AT THE PLATE

Going into Friday’s big game against Bulloch Academy, the Spartans have several players posting big numbers at the plate. Sharpe leads the team with a .514 batting average. He has 19 hits in 37 attempts. Sharpe has driven in 11 runs, hit 2 doubles, 1 triple and 2 homeruns. He has also crossed the plate 18 times, walked 5 times and has only one strikeout against him.

Johnson is batting .441 for the season. He has 15 hits in 34 appearances at the plate. The senior has driven in 8 runs while crossing the plate 20 times. Johnson has walked 9 times and hit 3 doubles. He has only struck out twice in 12 games. Taylor, Usry and Weaver are also all hitting well over .320 for the season.

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