The LCHS baseball team finished the 2006 season in 2nd place in Region 7-A. The 2nd place finish gives the Devils the home field advantage in the first round of the state playoffs. The playoffs will begin on May 12 with a doubleheader at Curry Colvin Complex against the number three team from Region 8-A. The third game will be on Saturday if necessary. Region 8 is the region around Athens and the four playoff teams appear to be Prince Avenue Christian School, Jefferson, Athens Academy and Social Circle. All four teams are within one game of each other with two games left to play.
LCHS 15, Hancock Central 2
The Devils clinched at least second place Tuesday with a region victory over Hancock Central. LCHS drew first blood when Tyler Beale led off the game with a single and then stole second. Austin Goldmanís ground ball to first moved Beale to third. He then scored on a single by Brandon Barden. Hancock came right back with two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead that held up until the top of the fourth. Kiece Crite led off the inning with a single and Casey Norman followed with a base on balls. Josh Hollimon then singled in Crite. Crafton Reed then doubled to drive in the third run and put the Devils ahead to stay. Reed scored on Bealeís double. In the fifth Barden singled and stole second. Crite walked and both runners advanced on Normanís fly ball. Alex Bradfordís ground ball error scored Barden. Bradford then scored on Hollimonís second hit. In the sixth, Barden followed Goldmanís single with an RBI double. He then moved around and scored on two passed balls. The Devils finished the game off in the top of the seventh. Bradford singled and went to second on an error. Pinch-hitter Daniel Morris then singled in Bradford. Beale followed with a single and Goldman then singled in Morris. Barden walked and Steven Rayner singled in another run. Aiken Davis reached first on a base on balls. Dalton Tankersley followed with a two-run single. Hancock then called the game to give the Devils a 15-2 win.
Austin Reed pitched the entire game to pick up his fourth win of the season. Leading hitters were Barden (3-3), Beale (3-5), Goldman (3-5), and Crite (2-3).
Aquinas 5, LCHS 3
Aquinas clinched the Region 7A championship Friday with a 5-3 victory over the Red Devils. Aquinas scored a run in the first on two walks and an infield error but the Devils came back in the bottom of the first to tie the game on Brandon Bardenís eight home run of the season. Aquinas went ahead in the second 4-1 and added a fifth run in the fifth to make the score 5-1. The Devils tried to mount a comeback but came up short. Austin Goldman walked to lead off the sixth and went to second on a wild pitch. He then scored on Bardenís single. Daniel Morris hit his first high school home run in the bottom of the seventh to cut the margin to 5-3 but the Devils could not come up with any more runs.
Barden and Morris (both 2-3) were the leading hitters for the Devils.
Coach Beale commented, "we played a pretty good game but couldnít get past Aquinas. We played with two starters out with injuries and just couldnít mount enough offense."
Prince Avenue 11, LCHS 1
The Devils lost to probable Region 8A champion Prince Avenue Saturday 11-1 in a game that was much closer than the final score. Lincoln County scored first in the top of the fifth to take a 1-0 lead. Austin Goldman singled and advanced to second on Trey Baileyís single. He then scored on a throwing error on an attempted steal of third. Freshman Dalton Tankersley took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning before Prince Avenue could tie the score. Tankersley tired in the sixth. Tankersley, Bailey and Steven Rayner could not slow down Prince Avenue as they scored ten runs to end the game. Bailey (3-3) led the Red Devil hitters.
"I was very proud of our effort today through the first five and a half innings. Because of injuries, we only used three starters and the younger guys really came through. Our freshmen had five hits between them today. Dalton did a very good job on the mound by really keeping Prince off balance. Both freshman catchers did a very good job behind the plate in their first varsity experience in a close ballgame. Steven Rayner did a very good job in centerfield today and yesterday playing in place of Alex Bradford and Crafton Reed and Tristan Wynn played very good games at second and third base base. Trey Bailey and Austin Goldman picked up the offense for us."