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Smith's return provides spark for Conyers

CONYERS - It's safe to say Conyers Post 77 is happy to have Chunk Smith in the lineup again.

Smith, who is 19 years old and couldn't play in last week's World Wood Bat 18-and-under Tournament, wasted little time getting reacquainted with Legion pitching. Smith hit a two-run home run in a three-run first inning Tuesday in an 8-4 win in Game 1, and Post 77 rolled to a 10-1 win in the nightcap and a sweep of its doubleheader with Alpharetta.

Travis Tarleton was the star in game two, pitching four innings of one-run ball and tripling in two runs. Alpharetta didn't fool around with Smith in the second game, walking him once and hitting him with pitches in his other two at bats.

"They didn't pitch to Chunk the rest of the day," said Conyers coach Eddie Bagwell.

Conyers, now 13-1 in area games, needed a good showing after a disappointing, 1-2-2 finish at the wood bat tournament.

"I was happy; we swung the bats," said Bagwell. "You can tell we enjoyed our two days off; we had a little more energy. We're getting in position to be the No. 2 team in the state, that's what our goal is."

Rockdale sweeps

Rockdale Post 77 swept a doubleheader from Loganville on Tuesday, getting a solid pitching performance from Brandon Ward in the opener (4 IP, 4 K), a 10-0 win.

In the second game, Rockdale answered five Loganville runs with six of its own in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back in a 15-9 victory.

Micah Jones had a three-run double in the big first and added a solo home run in the third to give the right fielder six RBIs in the twin bill.

Lavender uses tournament to land offer

The New Level Cardinal, based out of Conyers, struggled to pick up wins in the 18-and-under World Wood Bat Tournament this past weekend, going 0-5, but one player benefited from the exposure.

Josh Lavender, a second baseman/outfielder who recently graduated from Union Grove, was offered a scholarship from Seminole State College (Okla.).

"I'm just real happy for this young man," said New Level coach Rich McCleskey.

Rockdale Raptors win state championship

The Rockdale Raptors, an all-star team from the Rockdale Youth Baseball Association, won the 7-and-under USSSA state title with a 15-4 win over PC Mudcats at Hidden Valley Park in Stockbridge.

The Raptors outscored state tournament opponents 103-48 and finished the season 22-6.

The Raptors, coached by Buz Shubert, are Clayton Carter, Nicholas Watson-Garcia, Grayson Hopkins, Blaise Norman, Riley Shubert, Seth Zackery, Chase Porter, Tyler Lary, Gracie Wilson, Brandon Lawrence and Dylan Strickland

Newton Pee Wees reach semifinals at state

The Newton County National Pee Wee All-Stars, a 7-and-8 year-old team, went 3-2 and reached the semifinals of the Dixie Youth State Tournament in Suwanee.

Newton was second in its district, then rattled off wins against Albany Dixie, North Gwinnett and Dacula, before losing to Grayson American and semifinals opponent, Buford.

The team includes 7-year-olds Chandler Gates, Matthew Griffin, Kobie Hinson, Gunner Jackson, Tate Marks, JT Webb, Cory Wilson and Sam Wright, and 8-year-olds John Baggett, Scout Cowan, Jordan Reed and Jackson Wheeler.

The squad was coached by Jeremy Webb.

Newton Nationals win minor league districts

The Newton County National Minor League All-Stars captured the district title with a 7-6 victory over the Newton American team at Monroe County

The Nationals opened the tournament with a 20-13 loss to North Macon, but then rolled off five straight wins, beating Lamar County (11-1), Jasper County (12-2), Newton Americans (12-1), Jones County (22-13) and the Newton Americans again in the title game.

Members of the team are Jacob Bowen, Steven Arena, Cameron Rusk, Jacob Spivey, Bailey Thompson, TJ Wilson, Chase Raines, Cole Green, Noah Quick, Caleb Sauls, Zach Lister and Shane Hupp.

The Nationals, coached by Dee Jay Wilson, advance to the state tournament at Mountain Park in Lilburn on July 18.

Kurt Aschermann Jr. can be reached at kurt.aschermann@rockdalecitizen.com