DAWSONVILLE — West Hall's Braden Simms was untouchable on Monday at Dawson County.
Simms sat down all but seven Tigers (6-3, 0-1 Region 7-3A) to lead the Spartans (8-3, 1-0 Region 7-3A) to an 11-0 win in the Region 7-3A opener. He finished the day with 14 strikeouts and four walks.
"Braden was brilliant tonight," West Hall coach Brannon Humphries said. "He brings a lot of energy and intensity on the mound, his effort tonight definitely kept the momentum in our dugout and energized the team. He had a rough start walking the first two guys of the game, but focused and found his stride for the rest of the game. He attacked their hitters all night, located well, and drew a lot of swings and misses. He's worked hard all off-season and takes pride in his game prep. His preparation and hard work are paying off."
The Spartans' bats were on fire as well, racking up 11 hits. Kyle Murphy led the Spartans, driving in five runs on a 3-for-3 day at the plate. He also jacked a grand slam in the seventh inning to put a bow on the impressive outing.
West Hall scattered 11 runs over seven innings, three in the first and third innings, one in the sixth and four in the seventh.
Nick Sturm was stout at the plate with a 3-for-3 day, including six RBIs.
Humphries credits the Spartans 8-2 start to chemistry of the team.
"The team is really jelling and playing good baseball right now," he said. "The chemistry with this group is off the charts. We have been building this brotherhood mentality, and they are embodying it. We preach to the guys about staying hungry and focused. The guys have done a great job buying in and coming every day focused and working hard. It's a special group of guys, and we've got great leadership across the board."
Carter Turkett got the start on the mound for the Tigers, going three innings, giving up six runs on four hits, five strikeouts and three walks. Trey Harvey pitched the final four innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, one strikeout and a walk.
MADISON CO. 0
The Dragons (6-4, 1-0 Region 8-4A) slowly built their lead en route to the Region 8-4A opening win over Madison County in five innings.
JJ Rapp was the leader at the plate with a 2-for-3 day and three RBIs. Nick Sellers turned in a 2-for-4 performance with two RBIs, and Matthew Perrin and Landon Richards drove in two runs apiece.
Rem Maxwell pitched the complete five innings, allowing two hits while striking out 13.
NORTH OCONEE 9,
The Titans pulled away with a four-run fourth inning to beat Chestatee in the Region 8-4A opener for both teams.
Bubba Chandler earned the win on the mound for North Oconee going three innings allowing no hits while striking out eight.
Mattox Miller drove in the War Eagles only run in the top of the sixth inning on a single to right field. The hit scored Nathan Bull.
WHITE COUNTY 5,
LUMPKIN COUNTY 0
The Warriors used a four-run second inning to set the pace and stroll to the win over Lumpkin County in the Region 7-3A opener for both teams in Cleveland on Monday.
Blake Kelley got the scoring outburst going when he ripped a two-RBI triple. White County added one more run in the fifth inning off an Evan Chambers double that scored J Ben Haynes.
Nate Bray earned the complete-game, allowing six hits and zero runs while striking out five.
Alex Narvaez and Gannon Flakes had two hits each on the day for the Indians.