Heritage sweeps North Oconee in marquee match-up
The scouts got what they came to see and the Heritage fans got what they came to see.
An estimated 40 pro scouts made the trek to Boynton on Thursday to watch the highlyanticipated pitching dual between Heritage’s Cole Wilcox and North Oconee’s Kumar Rocker.
Wilcox would ultimately get the better of his former 18U National Team teammate and Wilcox’s team would ultimately get the better of the Titans as the No. 2-ranked Generals swept the doubleheader to advance to the Class 4A state quarterfinals for a third straight season.
With the series win, second-ranked Heritage (27-6) will host Region 2 champion West Laurens (23-9) in a best-of-three series starting this Wednesday. The Raiders advanced with 7-6 and 3-2 victories over ninthranked Eastside.
Heritage 6, North Oconee 3
Lance Dockery electrified the home crowd by homering off Rocker to start the game and Heritage would add a second run later in opening frame on a groundout by Wilcox.
The Titans got a run back a half-inning later, but Dockery prevented more from scoring with a spectacular leaping catch in right to rob Rylan Laird of a homerun.
A Jonathan Hickman single brought in two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, but North Oconee would get right back into the game as Rocker returned the favor with an RBIsingle off Wilcox before another run scoring later in the inning on an error.
But the Generals would answer with two final runs in the bottom of the sixth. With the Generals’ bench literally chanting for more runs, Wilcox delivered an RBIdouble and a Josh Gibson sacrifice fly would bring in the sixth run of the game for the home team.
Wilcox got the Titans in order in the top of the seventh to seal the victory. He scattered just three hits, walked three and struck out eight. Only one of the three runs he allowed was earned.
Rocker was pulled after four innings and seven hits. He allowed three earned runs, walked two and struck out three.
Dockery, Wilcox, Luke Grant and Nolan Letzgus each finished with two hits in the win.
Sources say Wilcox was clocked at 97 miles per hour on the radar gun, while Rocker hit 95. Both players are projected to be firstround draft choices by multiple baseball sites in next month’s amateur draft.
would not cross the plate again. Ringgold added solo runs in the fourth, sixth and
seventh innings to cement the win.
Tucker batted in a run in the fourth, Tarver scored on an error in the sixth and Dylan Wright came home on an RBI-single by Camp in
Camp threw six innings and got the victory, striking out nine. He gave up two earned runs on four hits and three walks. Wyatt Tennant struck out
two as he pitched the seventh inning.
Camp, Tucker, Tarver and Schley all had two hits in the win. Ringgold was also issued 16 walks by Lions’ pitchers in 11 innings over two games.
Heritage senior Luke Grant swipes second base to set up the second run of Game 1 for the Generals. Heritage swept North Oconee to advance to the Elite Eight in Class 4A. (Photo by Scott Herpst)