Athletes Beyond Bartow: Pro and college baseball updates for the week ending Sunday, May 6
Former Cartersville baseball right-hand pitcher Harrison Osborn saved his best performance of the year for Point University’s conference tournament this past weekend and was named to the Appalachian Athletic Conference All-Tournament Team. The Skyhawks won the tournament title and advanced to the NAIA Opening Round. Several other local college baseball players have entered post-season play with their respective teams while local MiLB standouts, Sam Howard and Connor Justus, are now into the second month of their seasons in the Pacific Coast League and the Southern League, respectively.
SAM HOWARD — Albuquerque Isotopes (5th-year pro; LHP; Colorado Rockies’ organization; Triple-A Pacific Coast League; Georgia Southern University; Cartersville HS)… Howard made his fifth start of the 2018 season last Monday (April 30). He went four innings and allowed three earned runs on four hits and six walks. He also struck out one in a no-decision. His next scheduled start is Monday night at home against division-leading El Paso. For the season, Howard is 1-3 with a 5.87 ERA. The Isotopes (14-17) trail the Salt Lake Bees by four games in the PCL Pacific Southern Division and start a four-game series at Reno Tuesday before traveling to Las Vegas for four games Saturday through Tuesday, May 15.
CONNOR JUSTUS — Mobile BayBears (3rd-year pro; MIF; Los Angeles Angels’ organization; Double-A Southern League; Georgia Tech; Cartersville HS)… went 2-for-19 with two walks and one RBI in a five-game home series with the Chattanooga Lookouts Wednesday through Sunday. The middle infielder’s season batting average is down to .169 through the first 26 games. He has started 18 games at shortstop and seven at second base with an overall fielding percentage of .921. The BayBears (13-16) snapped a five-game losing skid Sunday and now travel to the Mississippi Braves Monday through Friday for a five-game series. Mobile will then begin a five-game home series with Birmingham on Saturday.
BRANDON ALLEN — Georgia Highlands CC (Fr., OF, Woodland HS)…started in left field last Tuesday at South Georgia State in a Chargers’ 11-1 loss. He was 0-for-3 in the game, but finished the 2018 season with a .297 batting average. He appeared in 23 games this season and drove in 11 runs in 49 plate appearances. Georgia Highlands did not qualify for the conference post-season and finished the year with a 29-23 record.
ELLIOTT ANDERSON — Auburn University (So., LHP, Cartersville HS)… entered in the sixth inning to relieve starter Tanner Burns with no outs and runners and second and third Saturday at home against 11th-ranked Vanderbilt with the Tigers leading 8-2. Anderson retired the first two batters he faced on sacrifice flies that allowed his inherited runners to score. He then walked a batter and gave up back-to-back hits for a run before being lifted. Auburn went on to win the game 11-5 and eventually sweep the Commodores in the three-game Southeastern Conference series. Auburn (33-14, 13-11 SEC) hosts South Alabama Tuesday night before traveling to Ole Miss for a three-game set Thursday through Saturday.
CODY JOHNSON — Georgia Highlands CC (Fr., RHP, Cass HS)… made an appearance last Tuesday at South Georgia State but did not retire an out. He allowed an earned run on a pair of hits and a walk as the Chargers lost 11-1. Johnson completed the 2018 season with 11 appearances and a 1-1 record in 10.1 innings of work. He walked 14 and fanned 12 and finished the year with an 8.71 ERA. The Chargers failed to make the post-season and finished the year with a 29-23 record.
HARRISON OSBORN — Point University (Fr., RHP, Cartersville HS)… tossed a complete-game and won 5-1 over NAIA 9th-ranked Bryan College (TN) in an elimination game of the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament Friday in Kingsport, TN. Osborn scattered seven hits and four walks over nine innings. He struck out four. The victory sent Point into the AAC championship round where they went on to defeat Bryan again, 7-4, and edged 19th-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan 6-5 in 16 innings in the AAC title game. The fourth-seeded Skyhawks defeated Truett-McConnell in the opening round last Wednesday, but lost to Bryan on Thursday to slip into the losers’ bracket of their pool. Point then had to defeat TMU a second time to get back to their pool finals against Bryan. Osborn, who was named to the AAC All-Tournament Team, has appeared in 14 games this season with ten starts. He has a 5-2 record with a 3.46 ERA in 54.2 innings. He has walked eleven and struck out 33. Opponents have a .277 batting average against him. The Skyhawks (34-23) advance to the NAIA Opening Round May 14-17. The most likely site assignments are back in Kingsport or at Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville.
GRANT ROBINSON — Central Alabama CC (So., 3B/RHP, Woodland HS)… made a start and was tagged with the loss last Tuesday in a home game against Chattahoochee Valley CC. He went three innings allowing three earned runs on five hits. Robinson was lifted with his team trailing 3-1 in an eventual 10-3 loss. Robinson also pitched the final three innings in relief Thursday during a 7-3 loss at Wallace State CC-Hanceville. He allowed an earned run on three hits and one walk in the appearance. For the season, he made 13 appearances, all but two in reilief, for 17.2 innings and a 3.06 ERA. Central Alabama (20-35-1, 10-21-1) finished the season in eighth place in the Alabama Community College Conference North Division and did not qualify for the post-season.
MASON ROBINSON — Louisiana Tech University (R-Jr., OF, Woodland HS)… went 3-for-14 with a walk, three runs scored, and a pair of RBI as the Bulldogs won one of three at home this weekend over Middle Tennessee. Louisiana Tech’s right fielder is hitting .282 through 49 games this season and 181 official at-bats. He has 13 extra base hits including five home runs and 30 RBI. The Bulldogs (32-17, 16-8 C-USA) play out of conference Wednesday night at Grambling before traveling to Hattiesburg, Mississippi Friday through Sunday for a Conference USA series at Southern Miss.
NOTES: Lane Griffith of University of West Georgia is with the Wolves at the Gulf South Conference Tournament that started Sunday in Cleveland, Mississippi. UWG lost 6-3 to University of West Florida Sunday afternoon and have round-robin pool games remaining with Lee University Monday and 21st-ranked University of Montevallo Tuesday. Griffith did not appear in Sunday’s game. The Wolves (31-17) will need to win their remaining pool games and have West Florida lose twice to reach the GSC tournament finals on Wednesday.
Tristin Smith, Bailey Campbell, and Tyler Washington are local players for Young Harris College. The Mountain Lions will be the 7-seed at the Peach Belt Conference tournament that begins round-robin pool play in St. Augustine and Palatka, Florida Friday and Saturday with the championship between pool winners Sunday afternoon. YHC (25-22) will face 25th-ranked USC-Aiken, 9th-ranked Columbus State, and the host Flagler College Saints in Pool B.