FLOWERY BRANCH — The Class 4A No. 4-ranked Flowery Branch baseball team showed exactly who they are Wednesday night in their Region 7-4A opener with No. 2 Marist.
Tennessee-signee Zander Sechrist outdueled William Stephens to lead the Falcons to an impressive, and key, 2-0 victory over the War Eagles at the Hog Mountain Sports Complex.
Sechrist needed just 85 pitches to complete the shutout scattering four hits and fanning three.
“It starts with pitching for us and Zander was outstanding,” Flowery Branch coach Joey Ray said. “Our defense behind him was great. That’s who we are right there.”
The Falcons (11-1, 1-0 Region 7-4A) scratched out a pair of early runs as Baxley O’Brien drove in Connor Lawson in the opening frame and Andrew Armstrong doubled in JB Bell in the second. That was all Sechrist needed.
“The team played really well as a group,” Sechrist said. “We got some timely pitching, some timely hitting, and we were able to get the win. We have a lot of chemistry on this team with a lot of guys returning. We’re right where we need to be.”
The only trouble Sechrist found was in the second when Marist loaded the bases but the southpaw was able to get out of trouble with no runs scoring. He cruised after that allowing just two more baserunners and retiring the final eight batters to close it out.
“Zander is one of the best pitchers in the state and he really pitched well,” said catcher Kaleb Freeman. “It was a big win for us.”