Originally created 05/08/00

Tatnall pounds Augusta Christian; advances



MACON, Ga. -- Tattnall Square Academy made sure Pete Meadows' coaching finale at Augusta Christian wasn't a memorable one.

The undefeated Trojans (29-0) used a complete-game victory from ace pitcher Brandon Spillers to beat Augusta Christian 8-6 in Game 1, then took advantage of 11 walks from Lions pitchers in Game 2 to pound Augusta Christian 22-5, sweeping the best-of-three GISA semifinal series.

The Trojans advance to meet cross-town rival Stratford in the best-of-three Class AAA state championship series that begins Friday. Stratford swept Southland Academy in the other Class AAA semifinal series Monday.

It was the seventh time this season that Tattnall has beaten the Class AAA defending state champion Lions and marked Meadows' final game as head baseball coach at Augusta Christian (16-13). The longtime coach will head the varsity baseball program at Westminster next season.

"It was a little emotional," Meadows said after the game. "Especially for this senior class. There were a lot of good things that happened to them. They learned how to compete and how to do a lot of other things. They're moving on to things people can't see beyond that scoreboard."

On Monday, the Lions put forth a valiant effort against undefeated Tattnall, but the Trojans' pitching depth and hot bats were too much for youthful Augusta Christian, ending Augusta Christian's run of three straight Class AAA semifinal appearances.

"We didn't do the things we wanted to do," Meadows said. "Our kids got behind in the count a little bit. But Tattnall has a real good hitting club."

Spillers, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound right-hander, is expected to be a top 10 draft pick in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft next month. He allowed just six runs on eight hits; only two of the runs were earned. Two runs came when Jordan Belcher smashed a two-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning.

The senior not only baffled the Lions with his pitching in Game 1, but he also topped Augusta Christian at the plate. His three-run homer highlighted a four-run fifth inning and gave Tattnall Square the lead for good.

"He's a very disciplined hitter," Meadows said. "His velocity I didn't think today was as good as it's been. I can't remember if it was Baseball America or Baseball Weekly, (but) one of those said that he would be one of the high school players that wouldn't make it to the third round. But he didn't intimidate us at all."

Despite taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning of Game 2, Tattnall pushed 10 runs across the plate on just five hits in the second inning to grab the lead and was never seriously challenged again.

Augusta Christian was 6-10 at one point this season and wasn't even expected to make it to the playoffs.

"A lot of people wrote us off when we were 6-10," he said. "But we got together and made a commitment to take us as far as we could go."