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Athlete of the week: No-hitter sparks big week for Cash
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Honorable mentions

Baseball

Andy Edmondson, Gainesville: Pitched a no-hitter while going 2-for-3 with four RBIs against Gilmer last Friday.

Chris Beck, Jefferson: 4-for-5 with five RBIs over two games last week.

Devin Dunson, Lumpkin County: Had three hits, including his 100 career hit, and three RBI against Flowery Branch last Saturday.

David Sosebee, White County: Eight strikeouts and a win, 2-for-2 at the plate against Johnson last Friday.

Ross Biegler, Lakeview Academy: 4-for-4 against Prince Avenue Christian last Friday.

Tyler Ward, Lakeview Academy: 10 strikeouts, 2-for-3 at the plate against Commerce last Tuesday.

Blake Stacey, Johnson: Eight strikeouts and no earned runs allowed against Pickens last Wednesday.

Jacob Brewster, North Hall: Pitched a complete game while driving in two runs at the plate against Chestatee last Wednesday.

Sloan Strickland, Gainesville: 3-for-4 with two RBIs against Creekview last Tuesday.

Chad Fulton, Lumpkin County: 3-for-4 with three runs, two RBIs and four stolen bases against White County.

Jamie Sexton, Jefferson: 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs against Franklin County last Tuesday.

Tyler Bailey, Jefferson: Three runs scored and two RBIs against Franklin County last Tuesday.

Cody Davidson, East Hall: 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs against West Hall last Monday.

Brad Stone, Flowery Branch: 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs against Gainesville last Monday.

Zach Dale, Banks County: 3-for-3 with a home run, two doubles and four RBIs against Oglethorpe County last Monday.

Soccer

Megan Fligg, Chestatee: Four goals and two assists against Johnson last Thursday.

Jorge Ramos, Chestatee: Two goals against Riverside Military last Friday.

Rudy Vazquez, West Hall: Five goals and two assists over two games last week.

Tania Perez, West Hall: Two goals against Chestatee in the Northeast Georgia Mountains Cup championship last Friday.

Danny Vergara, Riverside Military: Six goals over two games last week.

Gabriel Carrillo, Johnson: Two goals against Chestatee last Thursday.

Allie Wright, North Hall: Four goals over two games last week.

Russ Puckett, Gainesville: Three goals against White County last Tuesday.

Monish Lahari, Gainesville: Three goals and two assists over two games last week.

Yonis Yanes, Gainesville: Goal and three assists against White County last Tuesday.

Haley Holderfield, Buford: Three goals against Mount Pisgah last Monday.

Liz Darden, Buford: Three goals against Mount Pisgah last Monday

Track and field

Nolan Clark, North Hall: First-place finishes in the mile and 800-meter last Wednesday.

Paul Malquist, Gainesville: Set a school pole vaul record of 15 feet, eight inches at the Flowery Branch invitational last Tuesday.

Golf

Grant Cagle, Johnson: Shot a 38 to win low medallist honors at the Big Red Shootout last Monday.

When Lakeview Academy’s Ralston Cash finishes high school next year, he faces a decision that fellow high school players would dream of having.

Play college baseball or go straight to the pros.

Cash’s performance last week made a statement for either choice. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound junior right-hander pitched an eight-strikeout no-hitter while going against then-sixth-ranked Athens Academy last Monday, complete with a 2-for-4 night at the plate with a double and two RBIs.

He followed up the performance with two home runs and four RBIs against Commerce, then added another two hits and two RBIs against Prince Avenue Christian last Friday.

“I’ve been letting more pressure off myself,” Cash said. “I realize the team is pretty good and they can (hit) too, so I don’t have to do everything myself.”

With his efforts and the help of his teammates around him, it’s no surprise that the Lions (11-1, 5-0 Region 8-A) are undefeated in region play and are ranked eighth in Class A.

“We have more drive this year,” Cash said. “We’ve played together since seventh grade, when we won a state championship in recreation ball.”

Regardless of what Cash decides to do with his future, the 2008 Times First-Team selection has options. He has received scholarship offers from Division-I schools and is also a projected early-round draft pick in next year’s draft.

“We have noticed the greatest development in his preparation to pitching the entire game,” Lakeview coach Deuce Roark said. “Right now, he has a fastball that moves to both sides of the plate, a curveball and a changeup.”

Cash’s current fastball moves consistently between 87 and 90, but Roark believes his curveball has been the scouts’ favorite pitch.

“Right now, his curveball is his best pitch,” he said. “No one can sit on his curveball after a fastball as good as his.”

Cash honed his skills on the mound playing offseason baseball for the East Cobb baseball club, which has produced numerous major league players, including current Atlanta Braves Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann.

Surprisingly enough, Cash never touched a bat while playing for them. But the lack of hitting hasn’t prevented him from battling clean-up and posting an average well over .300 for the Lions.

“I prefer hitting more than pitching,” Cash said. “Hitting is more fun, you have a lot more things to do, and it’s more joyful.”

Chances are Cash will spend most of his time on the mound in college or the pros. While giving up the bat for good will be a difficult transition, committing to the one position provides him with limitless potential as he begins tweaking his pitches.

“His versatility is a plus for us in high school,” Roark said. “Any time after that, pitching his future, but he is definitely a very good high school hitter.”

The future of Cash’s career will become clearer during his senior year and afterward. Until then, his sights are set on winning a region title and a state championship with Lakeview.

“(We want a) state championship,” he said. “No matter who it is, we’re not going to let them control the game.”

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