Justus leads Jackets; post-season play underway for other baseball 'Athletes Beyond Bartow'
Former Cartersville High School shortstop, Connor Justus, leads the 19th-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Monday night in the rubber game of a three-game ACC series against the visiting 3rd-ranked Miami Hurricanes. The game is scheduled to televised by ESPNU at 7pm.
While the D-I locals still have two weeks remaining in their regular seasons, the NCAA D-II, NCAA D-III, NAIA, and JUCO post-season tournaments have already begun. The weekly report for local baseball 'Athletes Beyond Bartow' includes update capsules for 23 players. PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS
SAM HOWARD — Modesto Nuts (Cartersville HS) . . . the lefty with the Colorado Rockies’ California League affiliate made two starts last week — both at the Stockton Ports. Howard went 6 and 1/3 innings May 1 in a no-decision. In one of his best outings, he yielded only one earned run on four hits and three walks. On May 6, he made it only three innings allowing four earned runs on five hits and six walks in a 7-0 loss. For the year, the third-year pro has a 1-1 record in the advanced Class A league. He has pitched 29 and 2/3 innings with a 3.64 ERA. He has struck out 30 and allowed 18 walks. The Nuts are 12-18 and are 9 and 1/2 games back of the North Division leader, Visalia Rawhides. Based on the current rotation and schedule, Howard’s next start will fall during a home series against the High Desert Mavericks of the Texas Rangers organization.
DONAVAN TATE — Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Cartersville HS) . . . the 25-year-old, former first round pick of the San Diego Padres in 2009, is currently listed on the 7-day disabled list for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ affiliate in the Class A Advanced California League.
GRANT DeBRUIN — Potomac Nationals (Adairsville HS) . . . the 25-year-old is in extended Spring Training with the Washington Nationals’ organization, but remains active in the organization. His MiLB status lists him as a non-rostered player with the advanced-Class A Nationals of the Carolina League.
DALTON GEEKIE — Danville Braves (Georgia Highlands College) . . . after making 10 appearances with the Rome Braves, Geekie was assigned to the Rookie League, Danville Braves May 8. The 21-year-old RHP, worked 16 and 2/3 innings for Rome. He had a 2-1 record with one save and a 4.86 ERA with seven strikeouts in his stint with the Class A affiliate.
COLLEGE PLAYERS BRANDON ETHERIDGE — Georgia Highlands CC (Soph., Cass HS) . . . went 3-for-15 with two doubles, two walks, two runs scored, and one RBI as the Chargers won one of four games with West Georgia Tech last week. The one win clinched a berth for GHC in the GCAA post-season tournament. Etheridge has a .283 batting average with 37 runs scored and 18 RBI through 53 games. Georgia Highlands (27-29) is the No. 5 seed and plays Gordon College in the opening round of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament that beings May 11 at Darton State in Albany, GA.
TY FOWLER — Tennessee Wesleyan College (Jr., Cartersville HS) . . . made a one inning appearance May 4 during a 10-6 win at Talladega College. He allowed a solo home run and struck out one. Fowler is 1-0 in 10 innings pitched for the 5th-ranked Bulldogs. He has made eight appearances with a 2.70 ERA. TWC, the regular season winner of the Appalachian Athletic Conference, has already qualified for the NAIA National Tournament. The Bulldogs (40-11) open the 2016 AAC tournament May 9 at 7pm against 8th-seeded, Bluefield College (VA). The conference tournament continues through Thursday, May 12 in Kingsport, TN.
MICHAEL GOSS — UNC-Greensboro (Jr., Cartersville HS) . . . went 3-for-9, scored two runs, walked once, was hit by a pitch, and stole a base, as the Spartans won two of three Southern Conference games at Wofford College May 6-8 to maintain their lead in the conference standings. Goss has a .338 batting average in 37 starts for UNCG. He has hit three home runs and has 27 RBI with a .431 on base percentage and a .528 slugging mark. He has 19 extra base hits. The Spartans (35-14, 13-5) have a two-game lead over Mercer with six conference games remaining that includes a regular season ending series at home against the Bears. UNC-Greensboro plays at UNC-Asheville May 11 and has a conference series at Western Carolina May 13-15. ROBERT HARRIS — Troy University (Jr., Adairsville HS) . . . worked the final two innings of a 6-2 home, conference loss to University of Louisiana-Monroe May 7. He allowed one earned run on three hits and a walk while striking out two. Harris has pitched 27 and 2/3 innings in 18 relief appearances. He has 28 strikeouts and carries a 5.53 ERA. Troy (27-21, 12-12 SunBelt Conference) plays at Auburn on May 10, has a home game with Mississippi State May 11, and plays a three-game, conference series at Georgia State May 13-15.
BRADLEY HOOD — Georgia Highlands CC (Fr., Cass HS) . . . has made 13 appearances for 14 and 2/3 innings for the Chargers in 2016 with a 6.75 ERA. Georgia Highlands (27-29) is the No. 5 seed in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament that begins May 11 at Darton State in Albany, GA. The Chargers open the tournament against Gordon College. The tournament continues through May 14.
CONNOR JUSTUS — Georgia Tech (Jr., Cartersville HS) . . . went 2-for-3, was hit by a pitch, scored a run and drove in two in a 12-1 home, ACC win over visiting Miami Saturday (May 7). He was 1-for-4 with a walk Sunday in a 12-2 loss to the Hurricanes. The three-game series concludes on ESPNU Monday (May 9) from Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta at 7pm. The Yellow Jackets shortstop has a .371 batting average in 46 starts. He has a .491 on base percentage, six home runs, 35 RBI, 8 stolen bases, and a .941 fielding percentage. Georgia Tech (31-15, 11-11 ACC) host Savannah State May 10 and play an ACC series at Virginia May 13-15.
SEAN McDERMOTT — Cleveland State CC (Fr., Adairsville HS) . . .McDermott has a .369 batting average with 12 home runs, 38 RBI, and 34 runs scored through 46 games. CSCC (30-19 overall, 17-10 Tennessee Community College Athletic Association) enter their conference tournament at Columbia State CC as the 3rd-seed. Cleveland State plays Jackson State CC on Monday, May 9 in both team’s TCCAA tournament opener.
CHRIS MORTON — Georgia Highlands CC (Fr., Cass HS) . . .the LHP has made eight appearances for the Chargers for a total of 5 and 2/3 innings with a 1.59 ERA. Georgia Highlands (27-29) is the No. 5 seed in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament that begins May 11 at Darton State in Albany, GA. The Chargers open the tournament against Gordon College. The tournament continues through May 14.
MASON ROBINSON — Wallace State-Dothan CC (Soph., Woodland HS) . . .Robinson has a .303 batting average with three homers and 27 RBI through 47 games. He has scored 27 runs and has eight stolen bases. Wallace State-Dothan (31-20, 16-12) is fourth in the Alabama Community College Conference South Division and plays in the ACCC tournament May 13-18 in Ozark, AL.
JO JO UNDERWOOD — University of North Carolina-Greensboro (Jr., Cartersville HS) . . . had one at bat and saw time at catcher May 6 in a 12-3 loss at Wofford College. He has made 24 game appearances with a .154 batting average and three RBI. The Spartans (35-14, 13-5) have a two-game lead over Mercer with six conference games remaining that includes a regular season ending series at home against the Bears. UNC-Greensboro plays at UNC-Asheville May 11 and has a conference series at Western Carolina May 13-15.
CHAZ WILSON — Columbus State University (Jr., Cass HS) . . .Wilson has made 14 relief appearances, working 19 and 1/3 innings with 17 strikeouts. He has a 5.59 ERA and opponents have a .197 batting average against him. Columbus State (39-11 overall, 23-7 PBC) was the Peach Belt Conference regular season champions and will be the top-seed at the eight-team Peach Belt Conference tournament May 11-14 in Florence, SC.
AWAITING POTENTIAL POST-SEASON TOURNAMENT BID
CLIFTON DEMPSEY — Maryville College (Soph., Cartersville HS) . . . The Scots second baseman has a .331 batting average with 18 RBI in 43 games this season. The Scots (29-15) set a school record for wins in 2016 and await a potential at-large bid to the NCAA D3 Tournament. The field will be announced on Sunday, May 15. Although the Scots hold out hopes for additional post-season play, d3baseball.com favors Maryville College rival, LaGrange College, over the Scots as an at-large pick from the USA South Conference by the NCAA.
COLLEGE SEASON CONCLUDED
HARRISON HATFIELD — Shorter University (Soph, Cartersville HS) . . . played in 24 games, starting 11. He finished with a .195 batting average in 41 at bats. He had one double and five RBI. The middle infielder had a .965 fielding percentage in 57 total chances. The Hawks finished the season with a 17-32 overall record and were 9-24 in the Gulf South Conference.
TRIPP JAMIESON — Univ. of the Cumberlands (Jr., Cartersville HS) . . . played in 36 games and was a starter at first base or DH in 31 games. Jamieson had a .253 batting average in 99 at bats. He had nine extra base hits, including a pair of home runs and 19 RBI. He had a .986 fielding percentage in 69 total chances, committing only one error on the season. The Patriots finished the year with a 33-23 record overall and were 9-12 in the Mid-South Conference.
CODY LEDBETTER — Young Harris College (Fr., Cass HS) . . . Made two appearances for YHC in 2016 pitching an inning and two-thirds. Ledbetter recorded an out in a shutout performance against conference foe, UNC-Pembroke, and also pitched in a non-conference game against Mars Hill. He finished with a 10.80 ERA and struck out one of the seven batters he faced. The Mountain Lions finished with a 12-37 record overall and were 6-23 in the Peach Belt Conference.
HUNTER OSBORN — Reinhardt University (Soph., Cartersville HS) . . . The right hand pitcher made 13 starts for the Eagles in 2016 and finished with a 6-5 record. He tossed one complete game and opponents hit .211 against him. He struck out 50 in 66 and 2/3 innings with a 3.51 ERA. Reinhardt was 29-25 overall and finished 10-17 in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.
TRISTON SMITH — Young Harris College (Soph., Adairsville HS) . . . Played in 34 games, starting 27 at shortstop in 2016. He finished with a .208 batting average in 106 at bats that included five doubles and four RBI. He had a .903 fielding percentage in 145 chances. The Mountain Lions finished with a 12-37 record overall and were 6-23 in the Peach Belt Conference.
TYLER WILL — Berry College (Jr., Cartersville HS) . . . Made 11 relief appearances in 2016 for a total of 10 innings pitched. Will recorded one save. He struck out three and a 3.60 ERA. The Vikings finished 27-17 overall and 11-10 in the Southern Athletic Association.
ASA WILLIAMS — Reinhardt University (Sr., Cartersville HS) . . . played in 16 games, starting 13 for the Eagles. He hit .189 in 37 at bats with a pair of doubles and six RBI. Had a .975 fielding percentage in 80 total chances. Reinhardt was 29-25 overall and finished 10-17 in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.