Saturday October 21st, 2017 1:48PM

Baseball: Gettys, Elephants take Round 1 in battle of top-ranked teams

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
  Contact Editor
LOGANVILLE -- Michael Gettys said it was his ball and no one else could have it.

Which was just fine with Gainesville coach Jeremy Kemp, who let the junior right-hander finish what he started in a 5-3 win over Loganville Friday in a battle of the top two teams in Class AAAAA at Red Devil Field.

"He was under his pitch count and was throwing well so we let him go back out there in the seventh," Kemp said. "But we had Hunter (Anglin) ready to go and he wanted the ball too. It was a good problem to have."

"Oh, I definitely wanted to finish it off," Gettys said. "I wasn't coming out. No way."

Gettys went the distance against an offense that came in averaging nearly seven runs a game behind the nation's No. 1 high school prospect, Clint Frazier. He fanned nine, walked three, and scattered five hits and allowed just one earned run.

He retired six of the last seven batters faced and allowed just one hit after the second inning. He set the tone early striking out Frazier on just three pitches to start the bottom of the first.

"I knew he wouldn't be thinking fastball on the first pitch so got one by him, then went curve on the second pitch, and came back with a high fastball. I went right at them and just tried to keep them guessing," Gettys said.

The win for the No. 1-ranked Elephants (18-2, 10-1 Region 8-AAAAA) sets up Monday's rematch at Ivey-Watson with a chance to take total control in the region with just two weeks left.

"It would be nice to put some distance between us and the rest of the region but we know (Loganville) will be giving us everything they have on Monday," Kemp said. "If we can't get the sweep then we're right back in a dogfight to the end."

"To be able to come in here and beat them at their place is huge for us and right now our confidence is sky-high," Gettys said. "We have to defend our field on Monday."

After beginning the region schedule with nine straight wins the second-ranked Red Devils (18-3, 9-2) have dropped two straight region contests. Monday's game will be crucial for Loganville, which currently sits just one game ahead of Winder-Barrow for second place in the region.

Both teams came out swinging on offense but both Gettys and Loganville starter Avery Fagan worked their way out of early inning jams.

The Red Elephants wasted an early opportunity to grab the lead loading the bases on a Michael Gettys double and one-out walks to Skyler Weber and Caleb Whitenton in the first inning. Hunter Anglin ripped a liner to center but it was not deep enough for Gettys to score and Luke Moore grounded out to end the threat.

After Gettys fanned Frazier, he would allow back-to-back-to-back singles with two outs, including an RBI infield hit by Andrew Clay to give the Red Devils a 1-0 lead. Gettys would get Logan Marrix to ground into a fielder's choice to end the inning with just one run scored.

In the second, Luke Maddox would single with two out and steal second. After Gettys was walked, both moved up a base on a wild pitch by Fagan. Griffith would walk to load the bases and Maddox would score to tie the game 1-1 on another wild pitch. Fagan struck out Weber to end the inning.

The Red Elephants would then break out the long ball. They grabbed the lead in the third on back-to-back home runs by Whitenton and Anglin for a 3-1 lead.

"We haven't hit a lot of home runs this season but we're capable," Kemp said. "I was glad of how the guys kept battling."

The Red Devils took advantage of two Gainesville errors in the fourth inning to tie the game at 3-3. The first run came when Brandon Moncrief was hit by Gettys with the bases loaded and then Frazier just missed a grand slam as Jonathan Gettys made a leaping catch up against the centerfield wall for a sacrifice fly to tie the game.

But the Elephants retook the lead for good in the fifth on a two-out solo home run by Brandon Sewell. They added an insurance run in the seventh when Anglin singled to lead off and then pinch-runner Drew Satterfield would score on a wild pitch by David Mayo for a 5-3 lead.

Anglin would finish with two hits, one RBI, and scored twice for Gainesville. Michael Gettys had two hits and Weber, Whitenton, Sewell, Wright, and Maddox each had one hit for the Elephants.

Daniel Milligan had two of Loganville's five hits. Mayo, Clay, and Moncrief each had one hit for the Red Devils. Frazier was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and one RBI for Loganville.
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