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Gwinnett Grads: Burnette explodes in Tech win

Chase Burnette got six at-bats in last Sunday's 23-3 blowout win over Presbyterian and the Georgia Tech outfielder made the most of them.

The Buford grad was 6-for-6 with three home runs, three doubles and nine RBIs in Sunday's game, tying Tech's single-game records in all those categories. His 18 total bases broke Pete Geist's 25-year-old record of 15.

Burnette was 10-for-15 with four homers and 13 RBIs on the weekend.

"I can't say enough about the way that Chase Burnette swung the bat today," Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall said.

Burnette came off the bench early in the season, but has played himself into a more prominent role with 13 starts in 29 appearances. The big weekend upped his season batting average to .368.

BASEBALL

Blackmon surging in minors

Former North Gwinnett and Georgia Tech standout Charlie Blackmon had consecutive multi-hit games to raise his average to .302 for Modesto in the advanced Class A California League.

The 22-year-old outfielder was 5-for-9 in the two games, with two doubles and five RBIs. He had eight extra-base hits and 14 RBIs in his first 24 games.

Blackmon, rated as the Arizona Diamondbacks' No. 10 prospect by Baseball America, was a second-round draft choice last June. He began his pro career by hitting .338 in the short-season Class A Northwest League.

FOOTBALL

Tech gives Krish a scholarship

South Gwinnett grad Zach Krish, who walked on to Georgia Tech's football team, has been awarded a scholarship by Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson.

Krish, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound offensive lineman, will be a redshirt junior this season. A second- and third-team guard last season, he got a good deal of playing time, including second-half action against Miami, Duke and Mississippi State.

Roper shines in Ducks' spring game

Justin Roper stated his case to be Oregon's starting quarterback with a nice spring-game effort, including a game-winning touchdown pass with 1:41 left for the Green team.

The Buford grad spun out of a sack and hit Lavasier Tuinei for the game-winner, an 11-yard TD pass. Roper completed 22 of 34 passes for 301 yards and three TDs.

SOFTBALL

Rogers heads Gwinnett-laden All-SEC teams

Alabama star Brittany Rogers led a pack of former Gwinnett standouts on the All-SEC softball team released this week.

The Dacula grad was a first-team selection for the fourth straight year after hitting .390 and leading the SEC with 43 stolen bases. She also was named to the SEC's All-Defensive team for the second straight season.

Rogers picked up an academic honor this week, earning ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors. She sports a 3.87 GPA in elementary education and is up for the Lowe's Senior Class Award, a prestigious honor that features online voting.

Georgia's Brianna Hesson, a North Gwinnett grad, and Auburn's Myesha Finney, a South Gwinnett grad, made the All-SEC second team. Finney also made the SEC's All-Defensive team, where she was joined by Dacula grad Adele Voigt, who plays outfield at South Carolina.

Hesson hit .338 with four homers and 14 RBIs in SEC play this season. Finney led Auburn with a .324 batting average and also had seven homers and 24 RBIs.

Local players make Southern Conference team

Three Gwinnett grads at Georgia Southern made the All-Southern Conference softball team.

Norcross grad Nina Iduate (.344 batting average) was the first-team shortstop. South Gwinnett grad Sam Russo (.296, seven home runs, 28 RBIs) was the second-team first baseman. The Eagles' Hanna Ennis (.305, 12 RBIs), also a South grad, made the all-freshman team.

Bandy gets league honor

Emory senior Kim Bandy, a Duluth grad, was named to the All-University Athletic Association Softball first team for the third straight season.

The first baseman ranked seventh in the conference with a .398 batting average and leads the league with 38 RBIs. She also has a team-best seven triples, the third-highest total in school history, this season.

Emory (30-10) began play in the NCAA tourney on Thursday.

Mitchell, Tarvin get A-Sun honors

Greater Atlanta Christian's Mollie Mitchell and Collins Hill's Cat Tarvin were both named to the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman Team this week. Mitchell also was a second-team all-conference pick.

Mitchell, a standout at Lipscomb, hit .322 with four homers and 14 RBIs this season.

Tarvin, who plays at Kennesaw State, was second on the team with a .282 batting average and led the Owls in doubles. She also had six pitching wins with a team-high 65 strikeouts.

Thompson named all-tourney

Brookwood grad Kellie Thompson made the Region 17 All-Tournament Team, but the Georgia Perimeter College softball team saw its season end in the event. Her coach, Duluth resident Ed Schutte, was named co-coach of the year.

Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting the achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via e-mail to will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com or via fax to 770-339-8081.