High School Baseball

Coweta players, teams busy in national tournaments

by Doug Gorman

Summertime doesn’t mean a break from the diamond for local high school players.

Thanks to a hectic schedule with their travel league teams, most area baseball players’ days and nights are spent at the ballfield.

For the week, three area teams including athletes from East Coweta, Newnan, Northgate, Heritage School and Trinity Christian programs have participated in two events organized through Perfect Game.

The Home Plate Chili Dogs Maldonado out of Peachtree City is playing in the WWBA 17-under Elite Round Robin Tournament.

Meanwhile, four more lineups including area players including Centerfield Baseball Academy in Newnan wrapped up pool play in the WWBA 18-and-under National Championship.

Coweta athletes also made up rosters from two teams from Foundation Sports —the 212 Foundation A’s out of Peachtree City and the 212 A’s 17 based out of Lovejoy.

Both tournaments held pool games at Newnan High’s Joe Pope Field and Home Plate’s Thomas Charles Hannon Memorial Field in Peachtree City among 24 host sites.

The 212 A’s, with a roster that includes recent Northgate graduates Matt Farmakis and James Poropatic dropped games to the Naturals Florida (6-1), and the Titans 18U from Marietta (4-1) to finish pool play at 3-4.

There was plenty of local presence in the latter contest against Marietta with East Coweta’s Nick Pippen donning a uniform for the Titans.

Despite losing the opener, the A’s outhit the squad from Florida 6-5. Poropatic had one of the team’s hits, finishing 1-for-3.

In the final game on Wednesday, the A’s took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, but it didn’t hold up as the Titans scored twice in the fourth and also added two runs in the sixth.

Poropatic had one hit. Farmakis pitched five innings and took the loss giving up four hits, striking out four and walking three.

Marietta took the lead for good with a two-run homer in the fourth.

The A’s opened the tournament with a 3-2 win against SEB Black and an 8-0 victory over New Power Baseball. The team also defeated the Lake Area Dodgers 11-2. Poropatic finished 2-for-3 with two doubles in that win and drove in a run in that contest.

They also dropped games to the Mavericks Scout Team out of Lyman, S.C., as well and the Brevard Aces out of Melbourne, Fla.

The Centerfield squad was also loaded with players from Coweta County including Brock Barnfield, Cody Cox, Casey Collins, Ty Herring, and Anthony Mariano from Newnan High as well as Garrett Bean, Dalton Chocallo, Austin Clay, Tyler Exley, Victor Heredia, Cary Holloway, Makenzie Martin, Mitchell Ralch and Devin Smith from East Coweta High.

The Heritage School’s Ben Cox and Northgate’s Brandon Polanco also played for Centerfield in this week’s tournament.

Centerfield picked up a 5-3 victory over the 9 Star Saints out of Cartersville with Dalton Chocallo picked up the win for the Centerfield squad pitching a complete game and striking out six.

Collins led the way with 4 RBI. He also had a double. Clay had two hits from the leadoff spot. Holloway had a hit and scored a run.

Herring scored twice and added an RBI in the win.

Centerfield lost two games by three runs or less during the tournament, falling to the Illinois Indians 5-4 and the Cincinnati Riverbats 8-5.

In the loss to the Indians, Martin showed plenty offensive punch for Centerfield with three hits, including a triple and three runs scored.

Both East Coweta’s Stephen Cruver and Northgate’s Angelo Rivera were on the 212 Foundation A’’s 17-under lineup, which went 1-5-1 while playing up an age group.

The team defeated the Hitman Elite out of Bridgewater, Mass., 11-0 and tied the Prospects Nationals out of Kyle, Texas, 4-4.

In the 11-0 win over the Hitman Elite, Cruver had three RBIs and Rivera one. Rivera also pitched an inning and struck out a batter.

Cruver also had a hit in the 4-4 tie.

Five players with ties to Coweta County are playing for the Chili Dogs in the 17-under event, including Northgate’s Chase Allen, Chad Green and Jordan Schmits. Newnan’s Caleb McElwaney and Trinity Christian’s Ty Young are also on the Home Plate team.

The Chili Dogs dropped a 5-3 loss to the New England Ruffnicks obn Wednesday.

Home Plate managed just four hits in the contest and couldn’t hold on to an early 2-1 lead after the first inning.

New England scored twice in the fifth and once in the sixth and seventh to take the lead.

Home Plate scored one more run in the bottom of the seventh but the game ended with a man on third and Allen batting and representing the tying run.

The Chili Dogs won their game on Tuesday, knocking off the Easton Rockets 3-2.

Home Plate scored two runs in the first and one in the second and allowed just single runs in the third and sixth to earn the victory.

Allen and McElwaney each reached on a walk and Schmidts was one of four pitchers to work for the Chili Dogs, allowing just one hit in 2 1/3 innings. He also struck out two and walked three.

Home Plate also lost in the tournament 8-1 to the Scorpion Prime out of Alamonte Springs, Fla., and 2-1 to South Charlotte.

South Charlotte scored twice in the top of the fifth and Home Plate once in the bottom of the inning for the only runs of the game.

Green pitched two innings in the loss, allowing three hits and giving up both runs.

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