Greenwood Christian baseball wins sectional title


Greenwood Christian senior pitcher Trey Harney picked a good time for his best performance.

“I felt great. My slider was working amazingly,” Harney said. “My fastball had control the whole game.”

Harney delivered a season-high 12 strikeouts Monday morning in a 6-2 victory over Lutheran in the championship game of the Class A Morristown Sectional. It was the Cougars’ first sectional title since they won three straight from 2014-16.

GCA (14-12-1) advances to play in a regional game this Saturday.

“Trey got dialed in and what he did really well is pitch to pitch,” Cougars coach Doug Hagist said. “He didn’t worry about whether they made contact or what kind of call we got. “

The 6-foot-6 Harney, who gave up the two runs, had to leave the game after 5 2/3 innings because he hit the 120-pitch limit. Senior Jake Potter got the final four outs.

“Trey threw an outstanding game,” Hagist said. “It helped to get a couple of runs early; that took the pressure off him. That way, when they score a couple of runs here or there, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to get him a lot of rest (before the regional).”

Harney said he had full trust Potter would close out the Saints (16-12).

“He’s been so good all year,” Harney said.

Junior Wyatt Schlageter, the No. 8 hitter in the lineup, led the Cougars with two-run singles in both the second and fifth innings.

“Wyatt is just a workhorse, so he has been constantly working on that swing,” Hagist said. “He made some changes with the help of some coaching and other coaches. For the last two and a half weeks, he’s been hitting well. He got dialed in and focused. He had three or four hits against Heritage Christian, which is a high quality team. He’s had clutch hits and a smooth swing.”

Schlageter has raised his average from well below .200 to .236.

“One of the teachers and also a family friend helped me out with my swing in mid-season,” Schlageter said. “Immediately afterwards, my hitting started going way up. That gave me a lot of confidence at the plate. My uncle (Joey Handlon), who passed away last year, was a big baseball player and that really gave me the drive. I do all of this for him.”

Schlageter said getting the sectional title is the greatest feeling.

“Trey did a great job,” Schlageter said. “The last few innings I felt he wasn’t getting the calls. All of his pitches were all right in there. He stayed positive. We all stayed positive, bringing each other up in the dugout and on the field.”

The Cougars scored two in the second inning and added a single run in the third inning. Lutheran scored a single run in the third.

Greenwood Christian scored three runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-1 lead. Lutheran scored its final run in the bottom of the sixth.

“We took advantage of a couple of their errors,” Hagist said. “Sometimes I think you force some errors by being aggressive. We played well defensively, hustled and thought we put the bat on the ball. Most importantly, I think they were having fun.”

Hagist said he knew it was going to be a tough game because Lutheran defeated GCA 12-10 earlier in May.

“Jake pitched most of the game against them (in the loss),” Hagist said. “Jake is the kind of pitcher who learned from that first game, so he pitched them a lot differently I’m sure. He threw strikes in that last inning.”