For the first time since 2006, the Winder-Barrow baseball team is a region champion.
The Bulldoggs claimed the GHSA Region 8-AAAAAA crown Friday with a 12-0 rout at Apalachee as coach Brian Smith won his 200th game with the program.
Smith joined the Bulldoggs in 2008 after coming over from Cedar Shoals.
Top-ranked Winder-Barrow (24-2, 12-0 region) removed all doubt early on, exploding for six runs in the first and padding the lead with three each in the third and fourth en route to the run rule-shortened, five-inning victory and a sweep of the Wildcats (4-19, 2-10).
Leadoff hitter and centerfielder Pat DeMarco went 4-for-4 at the plate with a double and drove in three runs while catcher Beau Hanna had two hits, a pair of walks and three RBIs himself.
Darrell Woodall turned in a strong performance on the mound, giving up just one infield hit and a hit batsmen in five shutout innings that required only 52 pitches.
The Bulldoggs will face Lanier in a three-game region series next week to wrap up the regular season. The first and third games of the series on Monday and Friday will be at Winder-Barrow while Wednesday's game will be at Lanier. All starting times are 5:55 p.m.
The Bulldoggs will open the state playoffs April 28 against the No. 4 seed from Region 6.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats will face Gainesville in a three-game series next week with Monday's and Friday's games being played at Apalachee.
The Wildcats are two games back of fourth-place Lanier in the region standings. They'll need to take at least two of three from the Red Elephants and may even need a sweep to earn a state playoff berth.
For more coverage of Friday's game, see the April 19 issue of the Barrow News-Journal.
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