Howard makes 2017 debut in Class AAA; Athletes Beyond Bartow update for week ending April 16



Cartersville native, Sam Howard, made his first start of the 2017 season last Friday with the Class AAA Albuquerque Isotopes of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League. The former Hurricanes pitcher adds New Mexico to his minor league stops at Grand Junction, CO; Asheville, NC; Modesto, CA; and Hartford, CT. Howard was a non-roster invitee at the Colorado Rockies spring training in 2017.


Connor Justus has also moved up in his minor league assignment this year. Justus is now with the Advanced Class A Inland Empire 66ers of the California League. The former Hurricanes and Georgia Tech shortstop has risen from the Rookie League level, to Class A, to advanced Class A and is beginning only his second year as a pro.


Michael Goss, Brandon Etheridge, and Sean McDermott had key performances this past week at the collegiate level in baseball and many of the college softball teams across the nation are moving into their conference championship tournaments after wrapping up the regular season.


This week's update also includes local athletes in college tennis and track and field.



PRO BASEBALL


SAM HOWARD — Albuquerque Isotopes - Class AAA - Pacific Coast League (4th year pro; Georgia Southern University; Cartersville HS). . . went 2 and two-thirds innings, allowed one earned run on three hits and fanned three in his first start last Friday for the Colorado Rockies’ AAA-affiliate. He received no-decision, but the Isotopes lost the game 4-3 at the Reno Aces. The Isotopes are 6-5 to begin the season and have series this week with Tacoma and Reno.


CONNOR JUSTUS — Inland Empire 66ers - Class A Advanced - California League (2nd year pro; Georgia Tech; Cartersville HS). . . went 2-for-4 with a double Saturday as the 66ers of the Los Angeles Angels organization edged Visalia in 10 innings. The shortstop is off to a slow start at the plate this season with a .158 batting average through nine games and 38 at bats. Justus hit .276 a year ago playing at two different levels. He has three RBIs and two stolen two bases in the first nine games. Inland Empire is 4-6 to begin the season and has series this week with Lake Elsinore and Rancho Cucamonga.




COLLEGE BASEBALL



BRANDON ETHERIDGE — Limestone College (Junior, OF/RHP, Cass HS). . . started on the mound and as DH in an 11-10 non-conference win last Wednesday at Wingate. He allowed five runs, four earned, ten hits, and three walks while striking out three in a no-decision. He also doubled and homered in the contest. For the week, Etheridge was 4-for-19, scored four times with two walks, and two RBIs. His current batting average stands at .296. The Saints won one of three games hosting King and lost a non-conference game at Francis Marion. Limestone (22-22, 10-14 Conference Carolinas) hosts Lenoir-Rhyne Tuesday and plays at Anderson University Wednesday in non-conference action before closing out the regular season at conference-leading and 3rd-ranked Mount Olive University.



CARRINGTON EVANS — Augusta University (Freshman, OF, Cartersville HS). . . went 1-for-4 in an 8-3 non-conference home loss to Lenoir-Rhyne last Wednesday and was 3-for-14 scoring twice with two RBIs as the Jaguars won one of three conference games Friday and Saturday at 24th-ranked Georgia College. Augusta (16-23, 8-13 Peach Belt Conference) plays at Valdosta State Wednesday in a non-conference game and hosts Lander University next weekend for three PBC games.


MICHAEL GOSS — UNC-Greensboro (Senior, 1B, Cartersville HS). . . went 1-for-2 with an RBI double in the Spartans 10-1 loss at NC State last Tuesday. Goss was then 4-for-14 with a double, a home run, and five RBIs in a three-game home series with Wofford College. UNCG (22-13, 8-4 Southern Conference) won one of three games with Wofford. The Spartans hit the road this week for non-conference games at High Point University Tuesday and a three-game series at Ohio State Friday through Sunday.



CODY LEDBETTER — Young Harris College (R-Freshman, LHP, Cass HS). . . worked two-thirds of an inning last Tuesday in a 16-9 non-conference win over West Georgia. He allowed four runs on two hits and two walks. The Mountain Lions were 2-3 for the week with their other win coming at home Saturday over Montevallo to salvage one of three games in that conference series. YHC (14-26, 6-15) has a non-conference doubleheader at Tusculum Wednesday and travels to Armstrong State for a Peach Belt Conference series this weekend.


SEAN McDERMOTT — Cleveland State CC (Sophomore, 1B, Adairsville HS). . . now hitting .394 for the season, McDermott was 7-for-13 with two home runs, three doubles, a triple, two walks, four runs scored, and four RBIs as the Cougars won three of five games last week at West Georgia Tech and at home against SW Tennessee. McDermott has eight homers and 34 RBIs for the season in 37 games played. CSCC (28-13, 11-10 TCCAA) hosts West Georgia Tech in a doubleheader Tuesday and travels to Dyersburg State CC for a three-game set Friday and Saturday.



JO JO UNDERWOOD — UNC-Greensboro (Senior, 3B/C, Cartersville HS). . . entered as catcher but did not have an at-bat Tuesday in a 10-1 loss at NC State. He also had one at-bat Thursday in a home loss to Wofford College. UNCG (22-13, 8-4 Southern Conference) hits the road this week for non-conference games at High Point University Tuesday and a three-game series at Ohio State Friday through Sunday.



TYLER WASHINGTON — Young Harris College (Junior, OF, Adairsville HS). . . hit safely in four of five games for the Mountain Lions last week going 5-for-20 with a double, three walks, three runs scored, and three RBIs. He has a .311 batting average for the season and 24 RBIs. YHC (14-26, 6-15) has a non-conference doubleheader at Tusculum Wednesday and travels to Armstrong State for a Peach Belt Conference series this weekend.




COLLEGE SOFTBALL



KENNEDY BAILEY — Union College (KY) (Freshman, C, Cartersville HS). . . had one plate appearance as the designated player Saturday in a 5-3 Appalachian Athletic Conference home win over Bluefield College (VA). She also had three at bats last Tuesday in a 2-0 loss at Tennessee Wesleyan College. Union (25-26, 13-7 AAC) is two games back of Reinhardt and Bryan, co-leaders of the AAC and wraps up regular season play Thursday at University of Pikeville (KY).


BETHANY BALLARD — Armstrong State University (Senior, C/1B, Cass HS). . . made an appearance as a pinch hitter Saturday in a 12-2 Peach Belt Conference win over Augusta University. The Lady Pirates were 3-1 this past week, splitting a home doubleheader with Georgia College and sweeping Saturday’s twinbill with Augusta. Ballard has a .333 batting average with one RBI in eight games played. Armstrong State (29-10, 19-5) will be one of the top two seeds at the PBC tournament Friday and Saturday at Georgia College in Milledgeville.f


TAYLOR BRASELTON — Reinhardt University (Senior, SS, Woodland HS). . . went 6-for-12 with three walks, three runs, two RBIs, and two stolen bases as Reinhardt swept a home DH with Truett-McConnell Thursday and split a DH at St. Andrews (NC) Saturday. RU also split a DH at Columbia College April 11, but neither school has posted those game stats. Next for the Lady Eagles (36-13-1, 14-4 AAC) is the Appalachian Athletic Conference Championship Tournament April 26-29 at Brickyard Ball Fields in Kingsport, TN.




SYDNEY FLOWERS — Reinhardt University (Senior, OF, Woodland HS). . . the Eagles’ right fielder was 2-for-10, scored a run and had two sacrifice hits as Reinhardt swept a home DH with Truett-McConnell Thursday and split a DH at St. Andrews (NC) Saturday. RU also split a DH at Columbia College April 11, but neither school has posted those game stats. Next for the Lady Eagles (36-13-1, 14-4 AAC) is the Appalachian Athletic Conference Championship Tournament April 26-29 at Brickyard Ball Fields in Kingsport, TN.

CASSIDY HOWREN — Reinhardt University (Junior, C, Adairsville HS). . . went 6-for-11 including a double, three runs scored, and three RBIs as Reinhardt swept a home DH with Truett-McConnell Thursday and split a DH at St. Andrews (NC) Saturday. RU also split a DH at Columbia College April 11, but neither school has posted those game stats. Next for the Lady Eagles (36-13-1, 14-4 AAC) is the Appalachian Athletic Conference Championship Tournament April 26-29 at Brickyard Ball Fields in Kingsport, TN.




KAILAH RAIN — Embry-Riddle University (Junior, OF, Cartersville HS). . . walked twice and scored one run in three home starts this past weekend against Barry University. Rain started 19 games with a .196 batting average in 56 at bats. She did not make an error in 23 outfield chances. ERU, transitioning from NAIA to NCAA D2 and the Sunshine State Conference finished the regular season 23-22.


TAYLOR WEEKS — Reinhardt University (Senior, OF, Adairsville HS). . . had a hit in all four games going 4-for-13 with four RBIs as Reinhardt swept a home DH with Truett-McConnell Thursday and split a DH at St. Andrews (NC) Saturday. RU also split a DH at Columbia College April 11, but neither school has posted those game stats. Next for the Lady Eagles (36-13-1, 14-4 AAC) is the Appalachian Athletic Conference Championship Tournament April 26-29 at Brickyard Ball Fields in Kingsport, TN.


LAUREN WOMACK — Georgia Highlands College (Sophomore, SS, Cass HS). . . was 1-for-5, hit by a pitch and scored a run as GHC split doubleheaders Friday and Saturday with East Georgia and South Georgia. The Chargers (36-12, 17-9) are one game behind ABAC in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association and will wrap up the regular season this week with a non-conference doubleheader at Cleveland State Tuesday and a GCAA doubleheader at West Georgia Tech on Friday.


ANNALYN YANTIS — Samford University (Sophomore, RHP, Cartersville HS). . . pitched one inning in relief last Wednesday during a 9-1 win at Tennessee Tech in the second game of a DH sweep. She walked two and allowed one earned run, but no hits. The Lady Bulldogs were 3-2 last week and are now 19-27 overall and 7-5 in the Southern Conference. Samford plays at Alabama-Birmingham Tuesday before hosting Mercer in a three-game conference set next Saturday and Sunday.




COLLEGE TENNIS



ERIC DUNLAP — Montreat College (Freshman, Cass HS). . . teamed with partner David Garcia to win 8-6 at Line 2 doubles for the Cavaliers in their home 6-3 win last Wednesday over Ferrum College. Montreat (10-13, 1-6) travels to Chattanooga for the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament April 28.


PEYTON GOLLHOFER — Ball State University (Sophomore, Cartersville resident, Laurel Springs Academy). . . defeated her Miami-OH opponent at Line 2 singles 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 and paired with doubles partner Carmen Blanco at Line 1 doubles to win 7-6 (8-6) as the Cardinals edged Miami, 4-3 for an important Mid-America Conference road win. Ball State (19-2, 7-0 MAC) will close out the regular season Saturday at home against Akron. The Mid American Conference Tournament is April 28-30.




COLLEGE TRACK & FIELD



BREE COLE — (photo right) Jacksonville State University (Freshman, Cartersville HS). . . placed sixth in a time of 11:44.51 in the 3000M run Saturday at the University of South Alabama Invitational in Mobile. Next for the Gamecocks is the War Eagle Invitational at Auburn Friday and Saturday.


SAMANTHA PATTERSON — Jacksonville State University (Junior, Woodland HS). . . placed 12th in the pole vault Saturday at the University of South Alabama Invitational in Mobile. Patterson cleared 10’11.75 (3.35m). Next for the Gamecocks is the War Eagle Invitational at Auburn Friday and Saturday.


BLAKE PERRY — Jacksonville State University (Junior, Cartersville HS). . . finished 11th in the triple jump Friday with a mark of 35’11.25” (10.95m) and was 23rd in the 100m hurdles (15.91) Saturday at the University of South Alabama Invitational in Mobile. Next for the Gamecocks is the War Eagle Invitational at Auburn Friday and Saturday.


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