Justus named Howser semifinalist, DeBruin makes season debut to highlight this week's baseball &
Former Adairsville High School baseball player, Grant DeBruin, made his first appearance of the 2016 season on May 20 with the Potomac Nationals. He started at first base. DeBruin has been in extended spring training and is coming off a minor league all-star campaign in 2015.
Meanwhile, former Hurricane and current Georgia Tech shortstop, Connor Justus, was tabbed as a national semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy.
This week's report for local baseball 'Athletes Beyond Bartow' updates the active local professionals. It also includes the college players wrapping up their NCAA D-I regular seasons and those in post season with NAIA teams.
Week ending May 23:
GRANT DeBRUIN — Potomac Nationals (Adairsville HS) . . . made his first appearance of the year with the Potomac Nationals May 20, starting at first base. He went 0-for-4 as the Carolina League, Advanced Class A Nationals lost 4-3 to the Frederick Keys. DeBruin, who spent most of last season playing corner infield positions and was a league all-star, has been in extended spring training for the Nationals. Potomac (21-18) currently sits 5.5 games back of the Lynchburg Hillcats in the Carolina League Northern Division. SAM HOWARD — Modesto Nuts (Cartersville HS) . . .suffered a pitching loss May 18 at home against the Visalia Rawhide despite one of his best performances of the season. Howard went 6 and 2/3 innings, allowed only one, unearned run on four hits and a walk as the Nuts lost 1-0. He struck out nine. The lefty is now 2-2 on the season through eight starts and 43 and 1/3 innings pitched. Opponents are only hitting .193 against him and he carries a 2.91 ERA. The Nuts (17-25) trail Visalia by nine games in the California League North Division. DONAVAN TATE — Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Cartersville HS) . . .remains on the disabled list for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ affiliate. The Quakes are leading the Advanced Class A California League South Division by two games over the High Desert Mavericks, a Texas Rangers affiliate.
COLLEGE CONNOR JUSTUS — Georgia Tech (Jr., Cartersville HS) . . . was recognized this past week as a semifinalist for the 2016 Dick Howser Trophy. The award is given to the top player in collegiate baseball. The Yellow Jackets’ shortstop went 1-for-5 and scored a run in a 6-3 extra innings win over Georgia at Turner Field on May 17. He was also 3-for-13, scored four runs, walked, was hit by a pitch, and reached on an error in a three-game home series against Boston College May 19-21. The 22nd-ranked Jackets lost two of three games in the ACC series and slipped to the 9th-seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Justus has a .340 batting average in 55 starts and leads the team with 56 runs scored. He has hit six home runs and has 36 RBI with 23 extra base hits and nine stolen bases. Georgia Tech (35-20, 13-16 ACC) faces 8th-seed, Boston College at 3pm Tuesday, May 24 in a play in game. The winner advances to ACC Tournament pool play May 25-28 and will face top seed Miami, 4th-seed Florida State, and 5th seeded North Carolina State. The pool winner plays for the ACC title on Sunday, May 29. MICHAEL GOSS — UNC-Greensboro (Jr., Cartersville HS) . . . went 0-for-3, playing in two of three games against Mercer to wrap up regular season play in the Southern Conference. He reached base after being hit by a pitch in a 1-0 win on May 19 and was 0-for-1 in a 9-1 loss on May 20. Goss has a .310 batting average in 42 starts for the Spartans. He has hit three homers and collected 27 RBI. UNC-Greensboro (37-19, 15-9) begins the 2016 Southern Conference Tournament Wednesday as the No. 3 seed. UNCG will play 6th-seed, Samford at 7:30pm. The winner of the double-elimination conference tournament earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The SoCon Championship tournament runs through Sunday, May 29. JO JO UNDERWOOD — University of North Carolina-Greensboro (Jr., Cartersville HS) . . . had one at bat and saw time at third base in a 9-1 loss to conference regular season champ Mercer May 20. Underwood has appeared in 28 games and has a .133 batting average in 15 at bats with a double and three RBI. He has been utilized defensively at third base and catcher. ROBERT HARRIS — Troy University (Jr., Adairsville HS) . . .made a seventh inning appearance May 21 and tossed a shutout frame with one strikeout as the Trojans shutout South Alabama 8-0 at home. Harris now has 21 appearances for 33 innings pitched. He has accumulated 31 strikeouts and has a 6.00 ERA. He has one loss and one save. 4th-seeded Troy (32-24, 17-13) begins the Sun Belt Conference Championship Tournament in San Marcos, TX Wednesday, May 25 at 4pm CT against 5th-seeded Texas State. The double-elimination tournament format continues through Sunday, May 29. ADAM CLARK — Georgia Gwinnett College (Sr., Cartersville HS) . . .Started and went four innings May 20 in a no decision. He allowed an earned run on four hits and a walk while striking out six, but the Grizzlies were eliminated in a 4-3 loss to Lindsey Wilson (KY) in the opening round regional finals. Clark made 14 starts for GGC and finished the season with a 6-1 record. He pitched 70 and 2/3 innings and struck out 53. Opponents had a .238 batting average against Clark and his ERA was 3.18. Georgia Gwinnett finished the season with a 57-6 record. TY FOWLER — Tennessee Wesleyan College (Jr., Cartersville HS) . . . Fowler did not make an appearance, but the Bulldogs won the NAIA Opening Round Kingsport Bracket May 17-20 to advance to the NAIA World Series. Tennessee Wesleyan defeated Rio Grande (OH) before winning two of three games against Saint Thomas University (FL) to win the regional. Fowler has made nine pitching appearances in 2016 for 11 innings pitched, a 1-0 record, and a 2.45 ERA. With the opening round regional win, the Bulldogs (48-13) advance to the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, ID, May 27-June 3. TWC will be the No. 2 seed at the World Series and play the Sterling (KS) / Point University (GA) winner at 3pm on Saturday, May 28. Did we miss someone? If so, please let us know. Use the contact page of this web site or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org