LOGANVILLE -- With a crowd of more than 1,000 fans and about 100 professional scouts in attendance, Grayson's game with Loganville on Tuesday at Red Devil Field was more than just a meaningless non-region high school baseball game.
Senior Clint Frazier and the Red Devils gave everyone in attendance an eyeful, as the senior belted two home runs to key a pair of six-run outbursts in Loganville's 14-4 win.
Frazier and Grayson's Austin Meadows, both projected as possible high-round picks in this summer's Major League Baseball draft, put on a show during batting practice, which fans began to pack the stands more than two hours in advance of first pitch to witness.
But it was Frazier and the defending Class AAAA state champion Red Devils (6-2) who stole the show from his center field counterpart and the Rams (4-3) by going 2-for-4 with the two homers and five RBIs.
"We knew with the number of fans and the number of scouts that were going to be here, it was kind of an exhibition, in a way, for both these guys," Grayson coach Jed Hixson said. "So, we didn't want to not pitch to him for his sake. We wanted to go right at him. We knew what he could do. He's hit home runs against us before. But like you saw, there were two or three other guys (in the Loganville lineup) that hit balls a long way and were very aggressive. And mano y mano, they definitely took advantage of that (Tuesday) night."
Indeed, Daniel Milligan and Logan Mattix also hit homers for Loganville, the latter a walk-off grand slam that ended the game in the bottom of the sixth on the GHSA's run rule.
But it was Frazier's blasts, his fifth and sixth on the young season, that were the biggest catalysts.
"Since we're not in region play, everyone's going to go at me," Frazier said. "Starting (today), I think when I'll start getting walked a little more. It helps having guys around me that are hitting home runs, too, and will protect me.
"That's why (Loganville) Coach (Jeff) Segars put me in the leadoff spot."
Frazier's first homer came after the Red Devils had already erased what had been a 3-0 Grayson lead and tied the game in the bottom of the fourth.
After going 0-for-2 in his first two at bats against Chris Erwin (1-1), he jumped on an inside fastball on the left-hander's first offering and launched it over the wall and across the street behind it in left-center for a three-run homer that gave Loganville its first lead of the game at 6-3.
Two innings later, he fell behind 0-and-2 to Taylor Allum before waiting on a breaking pitch for his second clout of the night -- a two run shot to left -- that pushed the score to 10-4 and set up Mattix's game-ending grand slam five batters later.
In fairness to Meadows, the Grayson All-American got considerably fewer pitches to see, drawing a walk and stealing a base and getting hit by a pitch in his first two plate appearances before a strikeout representing the tying run in what was then a 6-4 Loganville lead in the top of the fifth.
In fact, the Rams jumped out to the early lead by playing a little longball of their own.
After Oscar Valdez led off the top of the second with a double and eventually came around to score on Jeril Dawson's sacrifice fly to right, Erwin when with a pitch from Avery Fagan on the outside corner and hit an opposite-field solo homer to left to make Grayson's lead 2-0.
Korey Anderson then added a solo homer an inning later, and the Rams had a seemingly solid 3-0 lead, only to see Frazier and the Red Devils rally to score all 14 of their runs in the next three innings.
"Grayson is one of our big rivals since we're so close," Segars said. "And a lot of these kids wind up playing with each other and against each other. Grayson's got a great team. ... (Frazier) did come up with the big hits, and other guys got on base and had some good at bats."
Mattix wound up 3-for-4 with the homer and five RBIs for Loganville, while David Chabut added a pair of bunt singles.
Erwin finished the game 2-for-3 with the homer, a stolen base and an RBI for Grayson.
As high-profile as the atmosphere was Tuesday for the Rams, their next outing, an important early-season Region 8-AAAAAA at defending Class AAAAA state champion Parkview on Friday, will be much more important in the long run.
"We have plenty of arms, but with a big region ball game coming up on Friday, we didn't want to go too deep with our pitching staff," Hixson said. "So, we're confident in our arms. What this ball game, in general for everybody, will tell us is how mentally tough we can be.
"I think some of our guys didn't respond, quite honestly, the way we'd like when things got a little difficult. So, we'll see how we respond mentally, as much as doing some physical things a little differently as well."