Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Marist Defeats Northgate, Moves To State Semifinals

By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published May 31, 2007

After splitting a doubleheader with Northgate High School, Newnan, in the May 22 quarterfinal contest, Marist returned to their home diamond the following day to defeat the Vikings 12-7.

In game one of the best of three series Northgate struck first on a T.J. Jackson two-run homer in the first inning. Marist senior third baseman Justin Elgin tied the score in the bottom of the second inning when he hit a triple that drove in two runs. Northgate took the lead in the top of the third, but Marist tied it up again on a solo home run by centerfielder Will Darby.

An RBI single by Northgate’s Jackson and a two-run homer by Will Smith extended their lead to 6-3 in the top of the fifth. While Marist went scoreless through three innings, they also held Northgate scoreless from the fifth inning through the end of the game. Marist starting pitcher John Pemberton had seven strikeouts in six innings of play. Relief pitcher Billy Banks also came in at the top of the seventh and struck out three straight Northgate batters. During their last at bat and down to their last out, Marist started a rally when second baseman Patrick Miller got a base hit. Shortstop Kyle Farmer followed that up with a two-run homer, but that is as close as Marist would get, losing 6-5.

In the second game Marist scored one run in the first inning, three in the second and two in the third to pull out to a 6-0 advantage. Northgate scored their first run in the bottom of the third on a two-out RBI single by Jackson. Marist added another run in the top of the fourth and a final blast over the fence by Will Davis in the top of the sixth concluded Marist’s scoring. Game two ended in favor of Marist 8-3.

On May 23 the teams returned to Marist for the third and decisive game. Just like game two Marist broke out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Northgate struck back with three runs of their own during their first at bat to take a 3-1 lead. Each team added one run in the second and third innings.

In the top of the fourth inning Marist regained the lead, 6-5, for the first time since the first inning with a three-run homer by Patrick Miller. They also added two more runs before the inning was over. Marist held a two-run lead (8-6) going into the fifth inning. They added another run in the fifth and during Northgate’s next at bat starting pitcher Chris Gutschenritter left the mound to a rousing round of applause and moved to first base. Junior pitcher Ben Dymeck came in to relieve Gutschenritter.

Marist added its three final runs in the top of the sixth inning to go up 12-6. Northgate added a run in the bottom of the seventh and that is how the game ended.

Gutschenritter said afterward, “We came into the game with our backs against the wall, but we were confident in our ability to come back, even when we were down. It’s always been somebody different, but somebody steps up in every game.”

Marist traveled to Augusta on Memorial Day to meet Greenbrier High School in the semifinals, but they were eliminated after losing games one and two, 10-3 and 6-2, respectively. Marist finished the season 24-8.