High School Baseball
East Coweta clinches Region 3-AAAAAA title
by Doug Gorman
Franklin DeLoach isn’t even sure how many region titles he has won since he became East Coweta’s head baseball coach.
No matter the number, he added to it Wednesday when his team beat Westlake 8-1 to give the Indians this year’s Region 3-AAAAAAA championship.
“It is always great to win a region title,” he said. “I am happy for our seniors and our program. We have come a long way. At the beginning of the season we weren’t really sure about some things and we still trying to figure out who would play where.”
East Coweta struck for three runs in the first and two in the second to build the 5-0 cushion against the Lions.
From there, East Coweta continued to flex its offensive muscle, getting two more runs in the the fourth and one in the fifth.
The Indians outhit Westlake 8-5, and could have inflicted plenty of more damage but stranded 12 base runners including three in the second and fourth.
Starting pitcher Thomas Leone allowed just three hits, striking out four and walking two in five innings en route to the win.
“He did a really good job out there tonight,” DeLoach said. “His pitch count was getting up and we had a big enough lead we thought it was a good time to get him out.
Freshman Mason Meyer pitched two innings of relief for the first time in nearly a week and allowed two hits. He also struck out one and walked a batter.
It was Westlake’s fourth loss to a team from Coweta County this week. The Lions, who lost on Monday at home to East Coweta, also dropped a doubleheader to Newnan on Tuesday.
East Coweta grabbed the momentum early, getting RBI hits in the first inning from Matt Meyer, Jaquez Williams and Austin Jones.
Leadoff hitter Stephen Cruver finished the game with two RBIs. Cruver drove in a run with a double in the second and smashed a solo home run for the team’s only run in the fifth. Cruver has been moved up to the leadoff spot after Cam Smith was lost for the season after suffering appendicitis.
“He is going to be hard to replace because he is just such a great leader. We are glad he is going to be on the bench. He is a great teammate,” DeLoach said.
Meyer also added a second RBI in the second when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Austin Jones and Makenzie Martin also knocked in runs for the Indians, who built an 8-0 lead before Westlake scored their first run more than 20 innings after pushing a run across in the top of the seventh.
East Coweta has one more game with Westlake on the road Friday night, before a schedule comtest at home with rival Newnan Saturday to close out the regular season.
“There is still plenty we need to work on before heading into the playoffs,” DeLoach said.
INDIANS 8, LIONS 1
WESTLAKE 000 000 1 — 1 5 2
EAST COWETA 320 210 X — 8 8 2
WP — Thomas Leone