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Hawks, Grimes blank Eagles for big win

HOSCHTON -- The growing number of major league scouts to see him at Mill Creek baseball games hasn't bothered Matthew Grimes.

The senior right-hander pitched a gem Wednesday night as the Hawks beat Collins Hill 1-0 to move into a tie for first place in Region 7-AAAAA.

"(Grimes) was outstanding," Mill Creek coach Doug Jones said. "He threw great tonight. It was one of his best games of the year."

Grimes (7-1) pitched all seven innings of the shutout and allowed just four hits to the 24 batters he faced. He struck out six batters and walked one.

It was a dominant effort for a tall pitcher whose stock is rising among scouts, though he was nearly matched by an equally stingy Collins Hill pitcher, James Buckelew.

"It started out with about 10 (scouts), now we have about 30 every time (Grimes) pitches," Jones said.

Greg Brody was 2-for-3 and drove in the game's only run, the only one Grimes needed.

That run came in the third inning and was created by Devin Bonin, who walked, got to second base on a wild pitch and moved to third on a errant pickoff attempt. Brody followed with a single past third base to drive in Bonin.

"I'm very proud of the kids," Jones said. "It was a great high school baseball game. The stands were packed. There were tons of scouts, probably 35 to 40 scouts here. It was the place to be if you love high school baseball."

Mill Creek (20-5, 13-4) tied Collins Hill (19-6, 13-4) atop the region standings with one region game left on Friday. If both teams win, Collins Hill gets the No. 1 seed based on run differential in their head-to-head games -- the Eagles beat Mill Creek 6-4 earlier in the season. Collins Hill still has Norcross to play, while Mill Creek has Chattahoochee.

Buckelew pitched five innings and allowed three hits, striking out seven batters and walking four. He also was 1-for-2 with a walk at the plate.

"He did pitch well," Collins Hill coach Paul Pierce said of Buckelew. "He came back on short rest and gave a gutsy performance. I'm real proud of the way he battled tonight."

Chris McGowan led the Eagles' offense, going 2-for-3. Grant Earls had a strong relief effort of Buckelew, striking out two batters in a perfect sixth inning.