Prep Baseball Report

Game Recap: Houston County vs Mount Paran

PBR Georgia State Director
Hudson Graham

It is not everyday we get to see a 2A powerhouse take on a 6A giant. After rain pushed the game north to Mount Paran, the Bears and Eagles would square off in a scrimmage that would fill the stands. Nearly every MLB team was there to see Drew Burress take on division 1 commits Tate McKee and Luke Dotson. The matchup did not disappoint. Pitching controlled most of the game, but an underclassman stole the show in the seventh inning. Catch up on all the action below.

Georgia Tech commit Tate McKee kicked off the night with his low 90’s fastball and wipeout slider. After walking Burress he picked up his first strikeout of the night. Western Carolina commit Elijah Smith sat on a hanging slider, and drove in the first run of the game. That run would hold until the sixth inning. McKee worked through the second inning striking out the side. His arm looked full of life, and showed better control of the slider that will be tough for anyone to hit this spring.

Mecer commit Andrew Dunford started the night on the mound for Houston County. The Bears ran out six different pitchers to get everyone ready for the season opener on Monday. Dunford worked quickly with his fastball in the low 90’s, striking out two. Mount Paran did not have a hit until sophomore Henry Akopov came through with a line drive to left where he would stretch a double with his blazing speed. Akopov is one of the top sophomores in the state, and put another really good swing on a ball that Burress ran down in center later in the game. (insert Dunford, Akopov. Georgia commit Ryker Chavis and junior Carson Small followed Dunford in the second and third inning. Both lefties filled up the strike zone. They were both in the mid 80’s with their fastball. Small worked out of a jam in the third after the leadoff double by Akopov and two walks.
Kennesaw State commit Michael Fredette was first in relief for the Eagles. He settled in nicely after his first inning of work, running his fastball up to 90 and tallying a few strikeouts. Fredette looked calmed and composed on the mound. He will be a key piece in addition to McKee and Dotson. Mississippi State commit Luke Dotson had the fifth and sixth for the Eagles. He was pretty much untouchable, relying on mostly  his fastball. He tallied five strikeouts, including the top of the Bears lineup. He was 89-92 with a lot of late life on his fastball.
Both teams were offensively silent until junior Kyle Crisp broke the game open with a single to right that would score two runs and give the Eagles the lead. Crisp also had a couple big plays defensively that saved some runs. Junior Sean Westmoreland and freshman Gabriel Hester also added to the Eagles hit total. Hester will be a sneaky weapon at the bottom of the line up that has the ability to turn the line up over for the older guys.
After Mount Paran took the lead the Bears turned to the seventh in hopes of a rally. After a hit batter, and two walks sophomore Vick Gann stepped up to the plate. The left handed hitting outfielder turned on an inside fastball that left the yard for a grand slam putting the Bears ahead by two.
Mecer commit Kai Decker was able to get a second inning in relief and shut the door on the Eagles to give Houston County the win. Decker’s fastball was up to 90, and showed command of his breaking ball. His energy made it feel like May, and that is a really promising sign for the expectations and mentality Houston County has for this team. Both teams could compete with anyone in the country. Houston County has a load of pitchers, one of the best hitters in the country, and some underclassmen that will turn into big name guys. Mount Paran has two of the top senior arms in the country, and a loaded lineup that will get them back to the playoffs and give them a chance at a state title.