Athletes Beyond Bartow: Davis wins NAIA national title, pro Canes have productive weeks
It was another outstanding week for local athletes at the collegiate and professional level. Former Cartersville infielder Josh Davis became the first Hurricane to be part of a college national championship team while fellow Canes Sam Howard, Connor Justus, and Anthony Seigler contributed solid week’s on the diamond. Meanwhile, another former Hurricane — A.J. Mosby — continued to help lead his Shreveport Mavericks team in The Basketball League.
SAM HOWARD — Pittsburgh Pirates (8th-year pro; Cartersville HS)… made three scoreless appearances last week including a two-inning stint Saturday at home against the Miami Marlins in an 8-7 win. With his team trailing 5-2, Howard worked the sixth and seventh innings allowing just one hit while striking out two. The Pirates rallied in the eighth inning to extend the game and eventually won it in 12 innings. The lefty retired the only batter he faced last Tuesday in a Pittsburgh loss at Kansas City and retired the only two he faced Thursday in the seventh inning during a home win over the Marlins. The former Georgia Southern Eagle has now appeared in 28 games this season with a 2-2 record and a 2.53 ERA across 21 and 1/3 innings.
CONNOR JUSTUS — Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (6th-year pro; Miami Marlins organization; Cartersville HS)… went 4-for-15 at the plate last week with a walk and a hit by pitch as the Jumbo Shrimp won five of six games in a series at the Gwinnett Stripers. The former Georgia Tech standout showed his versatility with three starts at shortstop and one start each at third base and second base in the series. In 10 games since moving up to the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate, Justus has a .276 batting average in 29 official at-bats with a .344 on-base percentage. Jacksonville is 19-11 in the Triple A East - Southeast Division trailing the division leading Nashville Sounds by 2 and 1/2 games. The Shrimp host the Norfolk Tides Tuesday through Sunday in a six game series.
ANTHONY SEIGLER — Hudson Valley Renegades (4th-year pro; New York Yankees organization; Cartersville HS)… coming off the injured list, Seigler saw his first action of 2021 this past week making four starts in the Renegades’ five game series at the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The 20-year-old went 3-for-13 at the plate with a double, three walks, and scored three runs as Hudson Valley finished a 2-3 week. Hudson Valley (15-13) is currently in second place in the High Class A East - North Division trailing the Aberdeen IronBirds by four games. The Renegades have a six game series Tuesday through Sunday at the Brooklyn Cyclones.
JOSH DAVIS — Georgia Gwinnett College (Fr., Cartersville HS)… according to Cartersville head baseball coach Kyle Tucker, the former Cartersville High and current Grizzlies second baseman is believed to be the first Canes player to win a national championship in college baseball. Georgia Gwinnett went 4-1 in the Santa Barbara, California NAIA opening round to reach the NAIA World Series and then went 5-0 at the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho to capture the national title. In California, the Grizzlies (51-10) had wins over Saint Katherine (California), Westmont (California), and two wins over Hope International (California). In Idaho, Georgia Gwinnett defeated Oklahoma Wesleyan, Southeastern University (Florida), Faulkner University (Alabama), and Central Methodist (Missouri) twice. Davis, who made a pair of starts in the opening round tournament in California and 28 starts during the season, completed his freshman campaign with a .293 batting average in 82 official at-bats. He hit a pair of home runs and totaled 22 RBIs. Defensively, he had a .925 fielding percentage in 107 total chances.
A.J. MOSBY — Shreveport Mavericks; 4th-year pro; Cartersville HS . . . scored 12 points with six assists, six rebounds, and a pair of steals in a 126-86 loss to the division-leading Houston Push Friday night. He then totaled 12 points with six boards and three assists in the Mavs’ 121-109 win over the Dallas Skyline Sunday. Through 18 games, Mosby, a former Chattahoochee Tech and Alcorn State standout, is averaging just over 25 points, six assists, six rebounds, and almost two steals per game. Shreveport (13-5) is currently third in The Basketball League’s Central Division trailing Houston by four games.