It may only be February, but with the Division I schools beginning their seasons this past weekend, the college softball and baseball season is in full swing at all levels. Meanwhile in the professional ranks, spring training for baseball is getting started with MLB spring schedules beginning later in the week. On the college softball front, former Cass star Sierrah Gani is hitting .561 through Georgia Highlands' first 14 games. Former Cartersville High standout Elliott Anderson picked up his first pitching win of the year at Auburn over the weekend, and at the professional level former Canes southpaw Sam Howard received another invitation to the Colorado Rockies Major League Spring Training camp as a non-roster player. NOTE: The Athletes Beyond Bartow update for basketball and other spring sports may be found at this LINK.
SARAH FOX — Agnes Scott College (Fr., Inf., Cass HS)… went 1-for-5 with a double, walk, and a run scored Friday, but the Scotties lost both games of a doubleheader at home to Point University. Agnes Scott (0-4) plays at Brenau University Thursday before hosting Sewanee Saturday and LaGrange Sunday.
SIERRAH GANI — Georgia Highlands CC (So., Inf., Cass HS)… Gani kept her current 10-game hitting streak alive over the weekend and was 6-for-11 as the Chargers split four games at the Coastal Alabama Sun Chiefs Invitational in Gulf Shores, AL. She finished the weekend with two doubles, two runs scored, two RBI, and a sacrifice. Through 14 games, Gani has a .561 batting average with 18 RBI and two stolen bases. Georgia Highlands (7-7) will host games with Harford CC (Maryland) and Edison CC (Ohio) Saturday and will play those same two teams Sunday.
HANNAH KNAPP — Talladega College (Jr., C/UT, Adairsville HS)… went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI Friday in a 12-4 win at Blue Mountain College (MS), but was hitless in three other games — a 4-1 win over Missouri Baptist Friday and losses to Blue Mountain and Missouri Baptist on Saturday. The Tornadoes (2-6) host NAIA 20th-ranked Truett-McConnell College Tuesday for a doubleheader and travel to Southern Wesleyan University for the Warriors’ Invitational Friday and Saturday.
PARIS POSTON — Columbus State University (Fr., OF, Cartersville HS)… was 3-for-13 with a triple, sac fly, and one RBI with starts in right field and at DH as the Cougars split four games in this weekend’s Cougar Classic. CSU had a win over Albany State, split two games with Union University (TN), and dropped a matchup with Embry-Riddle University (FL). Columbus State (2-5) will host Miles College Wednesday before traveling to Melbourne, Florida to play in the Florida Tech Invitational Friday through Sunday. In Melbourne, the Cougars will face Palm Beach Atlantic University, Converse College, Lynn University, Barry University, and the hosts Florida Tech.
TAYLOR WAITS — Brewton-Parker College (Jr., OF, Cartersville HS)… went 1-for-2 and scored a run last Monday in a 5-2 loss at Thomas University (GA). She was also 0-for-1 in a start at designated hitter in a 4-0 loss at USC-Beaufort Friday. The Barons (2-8) also had two other losses during the week and have a doubleheader Thursday at Trinity Baptist College (FL).
ANALYN YANTIS — Samford University (Sr., RHP, Cartersville HS)… worked three innings of middle relief last Wednesday in a 7-3 home loss to University of North Alabama. She allowed three earned runs on three hits and a walk. Yantis also tossed two innings out of the bullpen Saturday in a 5-2 home loss to DePaul University. She gave up a pair of earned runs on five hits and a walk. The Bulldogs (4-7) went 3-1 hosting the Samford Classic with wins over Eastern Illinois, DePaul, and Georgia State. Samford travels to the Florida State Invitational this Friday through Sunday with games against Lipscomb, Elon, and FSU.
ELLIOTT ANDERSON — Auburn University (Jr., LHP, Cartersville HS)… worked four innings out of the Tigers’ bullpen Friday afternoon and was credited with the win in an 11-2 defeat of visiting Georgia Southern University. Anderson faced 14 batters and did not allow a run on two hits. He fanned seven. Auburn (2-1) split the final two games of the weekend series with the Eagles and will next host Alabama A&M Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to Orlando for a three-game series at University of Central Florida Friday through Sunday.
BAILEY CAMPBELL — Young Harris College (So., 1B/DH, Cass HS)… started all four games for the Mountain Lions this past week and was 4-for-15 at the plate. He had two doubles, five RBI, and scored four runs. Young Harris (6-5, 2-1) defeated Tusculum at home last Wednesday and won two of three at Lander Friday and Saturday. The Mountain Lions host Anderson University (SC) Tuesday afternoon and a three-game Peach Belt Conference series with Georgia College Friday and Saturday.
JOHN REED EVANS — Shorter University (Fr., C, Cartersville HS)… flied out to centerfield in a seventh inning pinch-hitting appearance Saturday during an 8-1 loss at University of West Georgia. Shorter (6-4) won one of three games in the series. The Hawks host Clark Atlanta University Wednesday and play at Alabama-Huntsville in a three-game series Saturday and Sunday.
LANE GRIFFITH — University of West Georgia (Jr., C, Adairsville HS)… started three games this past week and entered a fourth game with a pinch hitting appearance. He was 2-for-9 for the week with one RBI and one run scored. The Wolves lost Wednesday to Georgia College and won two-of-three over Shorter Friday and Saturday. UWG (4-7, 2-1 Gulf South Conference) hosts Columbus State Wednesday before traveling to Mississippi College for a three-game set Saturday and Sunday. HARRISON OSBORN — Point University (So., RHP, Cartersville HS)… worked three and two-thirds innings in a rough start Saturday at University of Mobile. Osborn received a no-decision allowing eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits and walk. The Skyhawks went on to lose 16-11 in the rubber game of a three-game series. Point hosts Talladega College for a doubleheader Wednesday and plays a three-game set at Albany State University Friday and Saturday.
MASON ROBINSON — Louisiana Tech (R-Sr., OF, Woodland HS)… hit safely in all three games as the Bulldogs opened the season with a trio of wins at Southeastern Louisiana. Robinson was 5-for-15 with a double, walk, three runs scored, and four RBI. Louisiana Tech (3-0) will face Louisiana-Lafayette at home Tuesday night and will host Troy in a three-game series Friday through Sunday.
TRISTIN SMITH — Young Harris College (Sr., Inf., Adairsville HS)… went 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored in a pair of games against Lander. The Mountain Lions took two of three games in the Peach Belt Conference series. He also had a pinch hitting appearance last Wednesday in a win over Tusculum. YHC (6-5, 2-1) hosts Anderson University (SC) Tuesday afternoon and will entertain Georgia College for a three-game series Friday and Saturday.
TYLER WASHINGTON — Young Harris College (Sr., OF, Adairsville HS)… was hit by a pitch in his only at-bat this weekend. He pinch hit and played left field in the Mountain Lions’ 14-2 loss to Lander in the second game of a doubleheader. YHC (6-5, 2-1) entertains Anderson University Tuesday and hosts a three-game Peach Belt Conference series with Georgia College Friday and Saturday.
SAM HOWARD — Colorado Rockies (6th yr. pro; LHP; Georgia Southern; Cartersville HS)… was announced as a non-roster invitee for the Rockies to Major League spring training. Colorado started pitcher and catcher workouts last Wednesday. The first full squad workout for the Rockies is Monday and the spring training game schedule begins on Saturday, February 23. The Rockies play their spring home games at the 11,000-seat Salt River Fields at Talking Stick near Scottsdale, Arizona.
CONNOR JUSTUS — L.A. Angels organization (4th yr. pro; Georgia Tech; Cartersville HS)… Justus finished the 2018 season with the Angels’ Double-A Southern League affiliate, the Mobile BayBears. He started the year in Mobile but was sent back down to High Class-A Inland Empire in mid-season. Justus was a recent guest on the Bartow Sports Zone radio show (Feb. 8 show / Episode 132) when he was in Cartersville for a youth baseball camp. That interview may be found at this LINK with his comments beginning at the 54:30 mark.
ANTHONY SEIGLER — New York Yankees organization (2nd yr. pro; C, Cartersville HS)… the Yankees’ first round pick in 2018 finished to 2018 season with the Pulaski Yankees of the Rookie Appalachian League. At age 19, Seigler begins the 2019 season as the Yankees’ fifth overall prospect according to Baseball America. He played 24 games of rookie ball last summer after dealing with a hamstring injury. His split between the Gulf Coast League and Pulaski finished with a .266 average and .721 OPS. He hit .391 in 23 at-bats from the left side. Although his season ended early with a concussion, Seigler spent the off-season working on his strength. Seigler reported to the Yankees training complex 10 days before pitchers and catchers were required to report.