Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 5 Carrollton

Phil Kerber
Georgia Scouting Director

The Georgia High School Association has announced that opening day of the 2021 season will commence on Feb. 15. Programs were allowed to begin practicing in an official capacity on Jan. 18, meaning it's time for the PBR Georgia staff to break down the high school baseball scene in the state in the countdown to the first pitch thrown in 2021.Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we will be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2021 spring season, touching on programs spanning multiple state classifications, counting down the official PBR Georgia Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Team: Carrollton
Preseason Rank:
2020 Record:
Region: 5-6A
GHSA Classification: 6A
Head Coach: Scott Johnson
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 6

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Nick Tuggle GA Carrollton 2020 UTL  
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Bear Madliak GA Carrollton 2021 C Georgia 
Samuel Simpson GA Carrollton 2021 RHP/3B South Carolina
Colton Cosper GA Carrollton 2021 LHP/1B Mercer
Eli Runyan GA Carrollton 2021 LHP/OF South Alabama
Parker Willis GA Carrollton 2021 SS Southern Union JC
Tucker Sullivan GA Carrollton 2021 OF  
Chael Sullivan GA Carrollton 2021 1B/OF  
Chaz Hickman GA Carrollton 2021 UTL Snead State CC
Connor Herriott GA Carrollton 2021 RHP  
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Ace Williamson GA Carrollton 2022 UTL
Cade Cosper GA Carrollton 2023 RHP/INF  
Riley Anderson GA Carrollton 2022 RHP/1B  
Cam McLendon GA Carrollton 2022 OF  
Turner Fricks GA Carrollton 2022 RHP/INF  

Snead State CC commit UTL Chaz Hickman (2021) and RHP/INF Cade Cosper (2023). Hickman has been identified by Coach Johnson for a number of reasons. First, he is the emotional leader of the team. He is a glue guy who brings energy day in and day out. That is a key factor when you are trying to navigate a long and difficult schedule. Second, Hickman is going to be the swiss army knife of the team. He is extremely versatile defensively with the ability to play literally every position on the field. Coach Johnson has even toyed with the idea of letting him play every position in a single game. He will have a big impact on this team in all facets of the game.

The second X-Factor for the Trojans, Cade Cosper, adds high quality depth to the Trojans pitching staff. Cosper is an advanced arm for his age, capable of sitting in the mid-80s and touching upper 80s. He also has good feel for a curveball. With his present repertoire, Cosper will be able to immediately slide into the pitching staff and make an impact.

Cade Cosper

The majority of a very talented team returns in 2021, and they return hungry. The Trojans feel like they cheated in 2020. They were out to a 13-0 start, and were a strong favorite to at least reach the 5A state finals. Then the season was postponed and eventually cancelled. This left a bad taste in the mouth of Coach Johnson and his returning players. Instead of dwelling on it, the Trojans have used this as motivation. A hungry, motivated team as talented as Carrollton should strike fear in the rest of 6A.

From top to bottom, Carrollton has arms that can beat you and bats that do damage. Starting with the pitching staff, South Carolina commit RHP/3B Samuel Simpson (2021), Mercer commit LHP/1B Colton Cosper (2021), and South Alabama commit LHP/OF Eli Runyan (2021) will form on the most complete pitching rotations in the state. Simpson is a big arm capable of pitching into the low 90s and putting batters away with a swing and miss breaking ball.

Samuel Simpson

Cosper and Runyan will give Coach Johnson the flexibility of having two southpaws who can pound the zone. Both arms are similar in velocity, sitting in the mid-80s, and they can spin a breaking ball for a strike. These three give the Trojans experience and consistency on the mound. .

Colton Cosper

RHP Connor Herriott (2021), UTL Ace Williamson (2022), and Hickman all saw limited action on the mound and should see their roles increase. As we mentioned in the X-Factor, Cade Cosper will also be of immediate use. Newcomer RHP/1B Riley Anderson (2022) will counted on to give the Trojans some quality innings out of the bullpen, and RHP/INF Turner Fricks (2022) could be of use on the mound as well.

While the pitching staff is deep, the lineup might actually be even deeper. Setting the tone at the top of the lineup will Southern Union JC commit SS Parker Willis (2021). Willis returns to the leadoff spot after hitting .469 with 13 runs, nine stolen bases and nine RBIs from there in 2020. He takes competitive at-bats and will make the pitcher and defense work to get him out.

That is just the beginning of the gauntlet. Along the way pitchers will have to put down Simpson, a .421 batter with two triples, three home runs, 12 runs, and 13 runs batted in 2020, Colton Cosper, who hit .308 with six RBIs, and Runyan, who posted a .283 average with 10 runs scored, seven stolen bases and nine RBIs.

Eli Runyan

However, the bat that opposing pitchers are going to want to avoid the most is that of Georgia commit C Bear Madliak (2021). Madliak is an impact bat who can change the game with one swing. In 2020, he hit .465 with seven doubles and 10 RBIs. Given all the hitters surrounding him, there is good chance that he can best those numbers in 2021 as it will be difficult to pitch around him.
Bear Madliak

OF Tucker Sullivan (2021) and 1B Chael Sullivan (2021) return to the lineup. Although he is listed as a newcomer, Williamson did see some action on varsity in 2020. He will be elevated into a larger role in 2021. Williamson is an advanced athlete with a strong arm. He could slot in at second with Willis taking short, or a corner outfield position with Runyan in center. OF Cam McLendon (2022) has a chance to contribute in the outfield and with his bat.
Ace Williamson

Make sure to follow @PBRGeorgia on Twitter for the most-up-to-date coverage throughout the 2021 season.

Find more information on the 2021 Trojans below:

Full Schedule
Team Website
Team Twitter

Preseason Power 25 Countdown