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Starr’s Mill sweeps to state baseball title

The Panthers are the kings of the diamond again. With a decisive sweep of Cherokee Bluff, Starr’s Mill won the GHSA Class 4A state baseball championship.

“I’m just really proud of this team,” said Starr’s Mill coach Brent Moseley. “We had a really tight group of seniors, and this team has worked really hard to accomplish this goal.”

Played at AdventHealth Stadium in Rome, the best-of-3 series was scheduled to start on Saturday with a doubleheader but bumped to Monday due to rain. The delay didn’t discourage the Panthers.

After the Bears scored 1 run in the top of the 1st inning to open game 1, the Panther pitching settled in and shut them down the rest of the way.

In the bottom of the 2nd, Austin Sellers raced home on a wild pitch to tie the game, and Charlie Clem and Max Prozny each drove in 1 run to lead 3-1.

Neither team scored again until the bottom of the 5th when the Panther bats exploded. Bo Walker, Sellers, and Austin Killingsworth each drove in 1 run in the frame, and Walker scored on a throwing error. Heath Whitlock blasted a 3-run triple to make it a 10-1 lead.

In the bottom of the 7th, Killingsworth singled home Jack Ryan to cap off an 11-1 run-rule victory.

In a repeat of game 1, Cherokee Bluff opened game 2 with a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning and did not score again. In the top of the 2nd, Drew Richardson doubled Walker home to tie the game. In the 4th, Sellers doubled Walker home for the game-winning run.

Panther pitching did the rest, shutting out the Bears over the last four innings to clinch the 2-1 victory.

They finish the season with a sterling 33-2 overall record, along with a region championship. The Panthers tore through the playoffs, going 10-0 and outscoring the opposition 103-18.

“I think a lot of playoff experience, along with great pitching and timely hitting, was the key to our playoff run,” said Moseley.

With the win, Starr’s Mill claims their second state baseball championship along with their 2021 triumph.


Posted 5/22/2024