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BASEBALL: Gordon Lee snowballs Whitefield Academy

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CHICKAMAUGA - A month into the high school baseball season, and one of the things on Gordon Lee head coach Mike Dunfee's mind is one of the same things that was on his mind when the season began - simply finding a way to stay warm.

For all the cold weather games his Trojans have had to endure thus far, Tuesday's Region 6-A home contest against Whitefield Academy might have just been the coldest yet.

Snow flurries began to fall just before first pitch, and periodic gusty winds dropped the wind chill below freezing. Extra jackets and hoodies did little to shield players from the biting breezes, and groans of pain could be heard when batters didn't exactly make solid contact with the sweet spot of the bat.

But as they have done on 12 of 13 attempts this season, the Navy-and-White fought through the cold to put another mark in the win column, methodically dismantling the Wolfpack, 10-0, in a six-inning contest.

"This is a big week for us with back-to-back road games (Wednesday and Thursday)," said Dunfee, whose squad will play at Walker and Fellowship Christian in those games. "Hopefully we can play we'll, and hopefully the sun will come out. I'm tired, we're all tired, of playing in this cold weather. It's spring. It's time for some baseball weather to finally get here."

Gordon Lee (12-1 overall, 6-1 region) scored at least one run in five of the six innings and blew the game open with a four-spot in the third.

Bryce Bailey's two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the first got the offense going against Whitefield starter Matt Olson, and Adam Vandiver made it 3-0 with a two-out, RBI-single in the second.

Then in the third, the Trojans loaded the bases for Daniel Brooks, who drove in two with a single to right-centerfield. Cody Wilson later picked up an RBI on a fielder's choice, and after an error, a passed ball, and a walk loaded the bases again, Tanner Sexton plated the fourth run with a sacrifice fly to left.

Branton Phillips' solo home run in the fourth added to the lead, and two more runs in the sixth would end the game on the run rule. The Wolfpack's fourth and fifth errors of the game scored a run and put the winning run 90 feet away before Will Goodman's pinch hit RBI-single finally ended the day.

Vandiver and Phillips ended the day with two hits each in the Trojans' nine-hit attack.

Jake Rogers picked up the victory on the hill, striking out five and allowing just one soft single in the top of the first inning. Landon O'Neal was perfect in the final two innings, striking out the first four batters he faced.

Combined with Conard Broom's no-hitter last Friday against Mt. Pisgah, the Trojans have giving up just one hit in their last 13 innings.

"We're blessed with some arms and it's one of our strengths," Dunfee added. "I've got several kids that I trust out there at any point in time. It's nice to have so many kids that can throw that well."

Gordon Lee fourth in initial Class A power rankings

The Trojans currently sit in fourth place in the GHSA/MaxPreps Class A power rankings. The rankings will determine the 16 teams that will qualify for the public and private school state tournament.

Gordon Lee has 8.94 points, and trails Emanuel County Institute (10.64), Charlton County (9.86), and Schley County (9.27) for the top spot. Trion (6.26) is 11th overall, while Region 6-A's third and final public school, Mt. Zion, is 29th (3.64).

Region champions will be seeded first in the brackets with the rest of the at-large teams to be determined by the final power ranking numbers.

Teams get five points for every win, plus 100 percent of each of their opponents' wins. Teams get zero points for a loss, but still earn 33 percent of each of their opponents' wins. Games against out-of-state opponents and opponents playing non-region schedules do not count toward the power ranking numbers.

"We're not really looking too much into it," Dunfee said. "We're keeping up with it to make sure the (power ranking) numbers are correct, but we're still taking all of this game-by-game."