CONYERS - If Conyers Post 77 can keep getting Kelvan Diaz to perform like he did Tuesday night, those preseason goals of a state championship might come to fruition.
Diaz pitched four no-hit innings in his first appearance since July 3 and his last tune-up before the state tournament, which begins Wednesday, as Conyers defeated Canton 6-3 at Henson-Carr Legion Field.
"He was rusty, it was obvious; he looked pretty good having not pitched in a week and a half," Conyers coach Eddie Bagwell said. "We're real pleased."
Post 77 got on the board early as Brandon Crumbley and Ross Roberts delivered run-scoring hits in the first and Jimmy Gerard added an RBI-single in the third to make it 3-0. Chunk Smith, one of the team's hottest hitters, drove in two more runs with doubles.
"We didn't try to do anything fancy; we dropped the bat head on the ball," Bagwell said. "We were patient at the plate (and) I saw three (Canton pitchers), they were all bonafide, real deal pitchers."
Diaz took the run support and turned it into perhaps his finest performance of the season. With Anthony Bazzani, who closed Tuesday's win with two scoreless innings, looking like an ace each start, Bagwell likes what he sees with the state tournament right around the corner.
"We feel like our pitchers are going to show well (and) Bazzani, Diaz, are 1-2 in (the) state tournament," Bagwell said. "I think it boils down to focus and being mentally tough."
Conyers, which wrapped up the No. 2 seed - Canton is No. 3 - finishes up regular season play Sunday with a doubleheader against Rockdale at Henson-Carr.
The 6-under Rockdale Raptors completed a successful summer season with a second-place finish at the USSSA Georgia State Champions at Hidden Valley Park in Stockbridge. The Raptors are Brayden Tatum, Malachi Gilbert, Jason Allwood, Tyler Moore, William Kahn, Trace Payne, Braden Allen, Jemal Foster, Ethan Booth, Mitchell Eason and Darryl Buggs.
Eastside is headed to Georgia College in Milledgeville for the University of Missouri's summer wrestling camp, Sunday to July 23. The Eagles, defending Class AAA champions, will participate in drill sessions and wrestle in dual meets against other schools, before the individual tournament July 23.
Kurt Aschermann Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.