Her­itage sweeps North Oconee in mar­quee match-up

The Catoosa County News - - COMMENTARY - By Scott Herpst

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

the sev­enth.

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)

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