The baseball seems to be flying out of the park at a rapid clip early in the season, and grand slams are nearly as common.
Gainesville High sophomore Skyler Weber connected on a pair of grand slams in the fourth inning against Lanier on Wednesday, while Johnson’s Trae Wilson had a grand slam, solo home run and a triple in a win against West Hall the same day.
For Weber, it marked the first two home runs of his high school career as the starting catcher, after he saw limited varsity action last year for the Red Elephants.
Both home runs against Lanier came with a 2-2 count and on a fastball that was high and inside. Through three games, Weber has nine hits in 12 plate appearances, including two doubles, a walk and a pair of stolen bases.
Despite his early success this season, Weber doesn’t have any plans of trying to turn into a power hitter.
“I’m going up to the plate thinking about hitting a line drive to the opposite field,” Weber said. “As the No. 2 hitter in the order, my job is to get on base.”
As for Wilson, a junior, his power surge is a little less unexpected. In 2010, he hit .400 with eight home runs. Also for the Knights (2-1, 1-0 Region 8B-AAA), Logan Pethel added a three-run home run and Taylor Whitmire had a two-run shot against the Spartans.
This year through two weeks, Wilson also has three extra base hits and nine RBIs. With his success so far in his high school career, Wilson will start to get tested with fewer pitches to hit in the strike zone.
“The main thing now is his patience since people know who he is,” said Trae’s father and Johnson coach Tony Wilson. “He’s going to be getting less pitches to hit.”
PICKING UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF: Lumpkin County High senior Aaron George hasn’t missed a beat since winning the individual Region 7-AAA title as a junior in 2010. If anything, he’s gotten a touch better.
On Tuesday, he broke the school record for nine holes with a 4-under 32 at the Achasta Course in Dahlonega. He finished his round with four birdies and no bogeys. He broke the previous school record by one stroke, which he shared with Austin Booker.
While he made all his putts within the 30-foot range, according to Indians coach Jeff Fleming, his best shot may have been his second shot from 160 yards out on the par 4 seventh hole, which rolled to a stop only a foot from the cup for a tap-in birdie.
“It was just a very solid, very sharp round of golf,” Fleming said. “He was hitting fairways and greens all day.”
FAST START AT THE NET: While getting off to a strong start is nothing new for the Flowery Branch girls tennis team, this year’s 7-1 mark is coming in a higher classification in Region 8-AAAA.
The only loss this season for Flowery Branch came against West Forsyth, which was also the only loss of the season for Flowery Branch’s Elizabeth Mallory at No. 2 singles. With 10 players and seven spots in the lineup, Flowery Branch coach Ginger Jackson says her main job is to put players in the proper slot based on their talent.
Jackson adds that the biggest thing that has helped her program grow is the endless hours they spend on the court, along with taking part in United States Tennis Association sanctioned events. “These girls spend a lot of time on the court and constantly trying to improve,” Jackson said.
The Lady Falcons’ widest margin of victory this week came when they downed West Hall 5-0 on Wednesday.
HONING HIS TALENT: Gainesville junior forward Christian Gomez entered Tuesday’s game against White County with one goal on the season, but jumped onto the scene with a hat trick against the Warriors. Not only has Gomez become a leader in practice, according to Gainesville coach Rick Howard, he’s also got a non-stop motor in his pursuit of the ball.
“He’s a very talented player,” Howard said. “He’s worked extremely hard in practice.
“When there’s a loose ball on the field, we know he’s going to be one of the first ones to pressure.”