Athletes Beyond Bartow: Collegiate spring sports hit the home stretch and post-season action
In this past week’s college baseball action, former Cartersville High School left hand pitcher Elliott Anderson appeared in a pair of Auburn wins over Alabama and former Adairsville standout Lane Griffith hit safely in each of West Georgia’s first three conference tournament games.
On the college softball diamond, the 2019 season has now closed for all local players except D-I pitchers and former Hurricanes Annalyn Yantis at Samford and Hannah Todd at Kansas.
Meanwhile, local minor leaguers Sam Howard and Connor Justus continued their work in the Pacific Coast League and Southern League, respectively, while Anthony Seigler continues to participate in extended spring training in Tampa for the New York Yankees’ organization.
SAM HOWARD — Albuquerque Isotopes (6th yr. pro; LHP; Colorado Rockies’ organization; Triple-A Pacific Coast League; Georgia Southern; Cartersville HS)… made appearances in a pair of ‘Topes wins last week. He entered in the fourth inning Wednesday and tossed two and one-third innings of relief in a home 6-5 win over Sacramento. Howard allowed an earned un on two hits and a walk while fanning five. He also entered in the sixth inning Saturday during a 7-1 win at Tacoma. He did not allow a run on one hit and two walks and fanned one as he earned his second hold of the season. Howard has a 1-0 record with a 5.00 ERA in 11 appearances and 18 total innings. He has 22 strikeouts and 13 walks. Albuquerque (17-14) is in third place in the PCL Pacific Southern Division. The Isotopes are 4-1/2 games behind El Paso.
CONNOR JUSTUS — Mobile BayBears (4th yr. pro; SS; L.A. Angels’ organization; Double-A Southern League; Georgia Tech; Cartersville HS)… was 3-for-18 with three walks last week in six games. The BayBears finished a series with the Mississippi Braves and played five games at Montgomery. Justus has a .221 batting average through Mobile’s first 25 games with one home run and four RBI. Mobile (12-17) is fourth in the Southern League’s South Division trailing first place Pensacola by 7-1/2 games.
HANNAH KNAPP — Talladega College (Jr., OF, Adairsville HS)… was 3-for-4 at the plate with one run scored and one RBI in the Tornadoes’ final game of the year — an 8-7 loss to Crowley’s Ridge College (Ark.) — in the double-elimination Association of Independent Institutions Conference Tournament in Lawrenceville, Ga. She was also 0-for-2 in an 11-0 loss to host and eventual tournament champ Georgia Gwinnett College in the first round. Talladega College finished the season with a 4-28 record.
PARIS POSTON — Columbus State University (Fr., OF, Cartersville HS)… was 0-for-3 in the Cougars 7-4 loss to Georgia Southwestern in the opening round of the single-elimination Peach Belt Conference Tournament played in Dahlonega. Columbus State finished the season 35-16 and did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Southeast Regional. CSU was ranked eighth in the final regional rankings from the NCAA prior to conference tournaments. Poston concluded her freshman season with a .241 batting average in 141 at-bats across 47 starts. She had a pair of home runs, a triple, 11 doubles, and 22 runs batted in along with three sacrifice flies and three stolen bases.
ANNALYN YANTIS — Samford University (Sr., RHP, Cartersville HS)… was tagged with the pitching loss in a four-inning start last Tuesday against UAB. The Bulldogs fell 6-2 with Yantis allowing three earned runs (four total) on six hits and two walks. She also appeared for one out in the sixth inning of a 4-3 win at Chattanooga Saturday. She faced two batters. One reached on an error and the other grounded out. Samford (22-29, 11-6) begins play in the Southern Conference Championship Tournament Wednesday in Chattanooga.
ELLIOTT ANDERSON — Auburn University (Jr., LHP, Cartersville HS)… (photo above) appeared in two wins over Alabama during the weekend. Thursday he entered in the sixth inning with Auburn leading 4-1 and went three innings in a 5-1 victory. He did not allow a run on a walk and two hits with three strikeouts, facing eleven Crimson Tide batters. In Sunday’s 17-7 blowout win, Anderson closed out the final two frames allowing three earned runs on a walk and five hits. Auburn (29-18, 12-12) hosts UAB Tuesday night and will entertain Georgia in a three-game SEC series Friday through Sunday.
LEVI AYERS — Georgia Highlands CC (Fr., RHP, Cartersville HS)… made a one inning appearance last Tuesday in a 4-3 loss at South Georgia CC. Ayers pitched a scoreless ninth inning facing the minimum. Georgia Highlands (29-23, 15-14 GCAA) plays East Georgia CC Wednesday in the opening round of the conference tournament at Albany State University-West Campus.
LANE GRIFFITH — University of West Georgia (Jr., C, Adairsville HS)… (photo above) hit safely in each of the Wolves’ first three Gulf South Conference Tournament games. Griffith was 1-for-4 in a 6-5 win over 2-seed Mississippi College, 1-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt in a 10-3 win over third seeded Delta State University, and was 2-for-4 including a double and one RBI in Sunday’s 11-8 loss to University of West Florida. The loss to the Argonauts drops West Georgia to a Monday elimination game against Valdosta State in the double-elimination tournament. Delta State also plays West Florida Monday with UWF the only remaining unbeaten team. The GSC tournament concludes Tuesday in Oxford, Alabama.
HUNTER HICE — USC-Upstate (Fr., Inf., Adairsville HS)… made an unsuccessful pinch hitting appearance Friday in a 9-2 win over Alabama State Univerisity. The Spartans (22-22, 8-12) host non-conference Wofford Wednesday and travel to Charleston Southern for a Big South Conference series Friday through Sunday.
HARRISON OSBORN — Point University (So., RHP, Cartersville HS)… did not appear in the Skyhawks’ three conference tournament games. He finished the season with a 6-2 record in 15 appearances and 11 starts in 2019. He struck out 35 and had a 3.45 ERA. Point finished the year with a 30-23 record.
MASON ROBINSON — Louisiana Tech (R-Sr., OF, Woodland HS)… went 1-for-10 in three road games last week — a loss at Northwestern State and the split of a doubleheader at Old Dominion. Robinson’s batting average slipped to .296 with three home runs and 21 RBI. The Bulldogs (29-19, 13-11 Conference USA) plays at LSU Tuesday night and hosts Western Kentucky Friday through Sunday.
TYLER WASHINGTON — Young Harris College (Sr., OF, Adairsville HS)… in three starts at USC-Aiken last weekend Washington was 2-for-10 and had a stolen base. He has a .308 batting average as an every day starting outfielder for the Mountain Lions. YHC (32-18, 16-12) enters the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Friday through Sunday as the No. 4-seed and is in the same four-team pool with top-seed North Georgia, Georgia College, and Georgia Southwestern. The PBC tournament is hosted by Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. The two pool winners in the eight-team tournament square off for the conference’s NCAA automatic bid this Sunday.
CAUY WILLIAMS — Wallace State-Dothan CC (Fr., RHP, Adairsville HS)… made a sixth inning appearance last Thursday in the Governors’ 8-4 win at Enterprise State CC. Williams allowed one earned run on two hits and a walk. He struck out one of five batters faced. Wallace State-Dothan (42-8, 27-5 Alabama Community College Conference) begins the double-elimination conference tournament in Ozark, Alabama Friday against the Marion Military/LB Wallace winner.
TRACK AND FIELD
TREVOR KNOWLES -- Albion College (So., Woodland HS)... racked up a trio of top-five finishes, as Albion placed fourth on the men's side in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships last Thursday and Friday in Holland, Michigan. The former Wildcat leapt to a runner-up spot in the long jump with a distance of 6.94 meters. He also wound up fifth in both the triple jump (13.58m) and the high jump (1.90m).
-- Nicholas Sullivan of The Daily Tribune News contributed to this report.