State Champs

Sharpsburg, NYAA teams win titles

Coweta’s boys of summer are certainly racking up the hardware on the baseball diamond.

It was quite the weekend for All-Star lineups representing the Newnan Youth Athletic Association and the Sharpsburg Youth Baseball league. 

Sharpsburg teams claimed a pair of AABC State Championships by the 8-under Braves and the 10-under Angels in action at Sandtown Park in Atlanta. The Braves went undefeated in their tournament to cap off a 20-0 record while the Angels went 5-1 last weekend.

The Angels, led by manager Mike Furbush and coach Kevin Lewis, picked up two wins against the undefeated Gresham Park Angels on the final day while also beating teams from Butts, Welcome All and Sharpsburg. The 10-under Angels capped off its championship with a convincing 11-1 win over Gresham Park after defeating the team 8-4 in Sunday’s first meeting. 

The Braves, coached by Bryan Alewine and assistants Steve McDonald and Aron McClennan, won four consecutive games to win the tournament. The team started and ended its run to the trophy with victories over the host Sandhill White Sox, including a 9-3 effort in the championship game.

The Braves outscored their opponents 43-16 over four consecutive victories after earning a bye into the second round.

The NYAA also claimed a championship of its own in last weekend’s USSSA All-Star Tournaments after its 8-under All-Stars went 4-1 at Coley Park in Hampton en route to its title. 

The NYAA’s 8-under All-Stars, coached by Chris Waddell and assistants Previn Blalock, Chris Lynn, David Monk and Scott Thigpen, defeated Tyrone 8-5 in Sunday’s championship game in thrilling fashion when Garrett McGee broke a tie with a three-run walkoff homer to left-center field.  

Led by great defense and timely hits, Newnan’s stars outscored its opponents by an average margin of 12-6 between USSSA substate and state tournaments. 

Tyrone, which defeated the Hopewell Dirt Dogs 16-7 in its first game Sunday to move into the championship bracket, forced a deciding game against Newnan with a 10-1 win. 

In the final contest between teams, Newnan grabbed an early lead on hits by Ben Hollenbeck and JD Monk, only to see it vanish in the final inning with a two-run go-ahead homer. 

But the NYAA stars rallied for five unanswered runs capped off by Grant Thigpen’s blast to left-center that initially tied the game. 

After another key hit by Nathan Alford, a sacrifice by Jayce Blalock was able to move the winning run into scoring position at second base. Tyrone then elected to intentionally walk Bryan Ellis to set the stage for McGee’s at-bat. 

Newnan also relied heavily throughout the entire tournament on the defense provided by shortstop Jacob Waddell and third baseman Cam Barnes, who continually made big outs in the infield to keep Newnan in some very close games. 

Catcher ZJ McCrary also had a defensive impact for Newnan, blocking the plate and making three outs at home to save runs from scoring in the tournament.

Three NYAA All-Star teams were in action last weekend, including its 6-under All-Stars at the Temple Avenue Recreation Complex.

The 6-under stars finished as state runners-up while dropping its only two losses to Pike County. 

Newnan kept its championship hopes alive in the double-elimination tournament with a 15-7 victory over Locust Grove Mayhem to reach the finals. The team won six straight games between the substate and state tournaments prior to its first loss to Pike County.




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