Cooper Kennedy

Loganville’s Cooper Kennedy throws up the horns as he rounds third and easily scores during the Red Devils’ 6-2 win over Walnut Grove Thursday.

Loganville got past a big hurdle in its quest for a fourth straight Region 8-AAAAA title this week with a sweep of rival Walnut Grove.

The two teams faced off beginning Tuesday with the Red Devils winning 5-2 followed by a 6-2 Loganville win on Thursday to clinch the series.

“Two big games and I thought we played well in both of them,” Loganville head coach Jeff Segars said. “I thought we pitched well and had some timely hits. Had to win these two and have to win the next two to get to a (region) playoff game with Greenbrier. Our number one goal is to win the region, so that’s what we’re hunting.”

Walnut Grove came out juiced up for both rivalry contests. In Thursday’s contest, the Warriors came out and scored first thanks to a Darrin Parker single that drove in Braxton Brooks.

Parker finished the contest with a team high two hits.

The Warriors held on to the lead until the top of the third when a Daniel Braswell double started a four-run rally for Loganville.

Loganville added two more runs in the fifth thanks to a single by Jackson Chizek that scored Riley Cruce and a Brocker Way single that drove in Chizek.

Chizek, Cruce, Way and Michael Mason each had multiple hits for Loganville in Thursday’s matchup.

Walnut Grove cut the Red Devils’ lead to four in the bottom half of the inning when Loganville pitcher Dawson Coe walked in a run.

Coe finished his night on the mound after pitching 4 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts, three hits and no earned runs.

A wild triple play ended the top of the seventh for Loganville when umpires said two Loganville runners failed to tag up on a Chan Haulk fly out to center. However, Walnut Grove was unable to get anything going in the bottom half of the inning.

The Red Devils’ win on Thursday came after a four-run inning helped lead Loganville to a 5-2 in Tuesday’s contest with the Grove.

Cruce led the way for Loganville with two hits and an RBI while Brooks paced the Warriors with a 3-for-4 night with one RBI.

On the mound, Loganville’s Trenton Burnett picked up the win after pitching five innings where he gave up just four hits and one earned run while striking out four. J.P. Myers came in after Burnett and picked up the save.

Dom Hyatt started Tuesday’s contest for the Warriors, but it was Noah Brown who logged the most innings during the loss. Brown effectively shut down Loganville in his four innings of work, giving up no hits, no runs and striking out five batters.

Loganville now turns its attention towards a two-game series with Eastside beginning Monday. If the Red Devils can win both games it will force a region playoff game with Greenbrier to determine the Region 8-AAAAA champion. That region playoff game will be played Friday if needed.

Despite the loss to Loganville, the Warriors have clinched a playoff spot. Walnut Grove and Eastside are tied for third in the region at 8-4 each followed by Jackson County in fifth place at 4-8. The Warriors can lock up the No. 3 seed with at least one win over Jackson County this week.

Brett Fowler is the sports editor of The Walton Tribune. He is a 2016 graduate of the University of North Georgia and a 2010 graduate of Monroe Area High School. Brett has been covering Walton County sports since 2011.

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