Riley Cruce

Riley Cruce has led the Loganville pitching staff this season with a 1.58 ERA in his nearly 49 innings of work on the mound.

While dropping two games to Eastside and ending up as the No. 2 seed out of Region 8-AAAAA could be looked at as a bad thing, it may have been just what Loganville needed to get locked in for the state playoffs.

“We’re not good enough to not be locked in mentally right now,” Red Devils head coach Jeff Segars said after the loss to Eastside last week.

No doubt Segars and his staff have used that loss to help refocus as the Red Devils head into the playoffs. Loganville finished the regular season with a 10-8 win over Grayson, the third ranked team in Class AAAAAAA, to get some momentum going their way before facing off with Chamblee on Wednesday afternoon for Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-three series.

The Bulldogs are a quality team in their own right, finishing the regular season with a 20-8-1 overall record and third place finish in Region 5-AAAAA behind Decatur, ranked No. 2 in Class AAAAA, and St. Pius X. Chamblee has also consistently hovered right outside of the top 10 of the state rankings throughout the season.

Chamblee features a high-powered offense that averages nine runs per game while giving up an average of just four runs per game. The Bulldogs are led by senior Isaac Harkins, who is hitting .417 on the season.

The Bulldogs’ ace on the mound is Patrick Scott. He’s posted a 1.63 ERA in 14 appearances.

On the flip side, Loganville’s pitching staff is giving up an average of just three runs per game while the Red Devils’ offense is averaging seven runs per game.

Riley Cruce is leading the way for Loganville on the mound, logging a 1.58 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 48.2 innings of work. After Cruce it’s been a mix of Trenton Burnett, Dawson Coe and Cooper Johnson pitching for the Devils. All three have pitched at least 20 innings and have nearly identical ERAs around 1.8.

Offensively, Michael Mason is leading the way with a .313 average on the year followed closely behind by Jackson Chizek at .310. Georgia commit Daniel Braswell leads the team in RBIs with 22 as well as home runs with five.

Loganville will host Chamblee Wednesday afternoon starting at 4:30 at Red Devil Field. The “if” game will be played Thursday at 6 p.m. should it be needed.

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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