Athletes Beyond Bartow: Dempsey wraps collegiate career with NCCAA World Series appearance
This week’s look at the performances for Bartow County’s pro and college athletes.
SAM HOWARD — Pittsburgh Pirates (8th-year pro; Cartersville HS)… made a pair of one inning appearances last week with mixed results. The lefty worked a shutout seventh inning Wednesday at St. Louis in the Pirates 8-5 loss to the Cardinals. Howard walked a batter, but struck out the side. Saturday in a 6-1 loss in Atlanta, he entered in the seventh inning and walked Freddie Freeman before getting Marcell Ozuna to ground into a double play. Ozzie Albies followed with a solo home run to left center field. Austin Riley then doubled prior to the southpaw’s strikeout of Dansby Swanson to close the frame. For the season, Howard has appeared in 21 games and has worked 15 and 1/3 innings with a 3.52 ERA. He has 25 strikeouts. Pittsburgh is 18-28 through games played Monday and trail the NL Central leading Cardinals by eight games.
CONNOR JUSTUS — Pensacola Blue Wahoos (6th-year pro; Miami Marlins organization; Cartersville HS)… finished last week 3-for-20 at the plate with a home run, a double, a walk, a sacrifice fly, and six RBIs as the Blue Wahoos went 5-1 in their six-game home series against the Rocket City Trash Pandas. The 26-year-old has a .120 batting average with eight RBIs this season through the first 18 games and 50 official at-bats. Pensacola leads the Double-A South, South Division with an 11-7 record.
SKYLAR CHAPPELL — Cottey College (So., Woodland HS)… the Comets earned an at-large bid in the NAIA National Tournament but lost two straight games last Monday and Tuesday to be eliminated at the Waleska, Georgia Opening Round site. Chappell was entered at catcher in the final inning of Cottey’s loss Tuesday to Coastal Georgia but did not have a plate appearance. The Comets (27-13) also lost Monday to eventual bracket winner Oregon Tech. Chappell appeared in 21 games this season and had a .345 batting average in 29 at-bats. She hit four home runs and had 13 RBIs.
MASON BARNETT — Auburn (So., Cartersville HS)… was tagged with the pitching loss at Missouri Saturday afternoon after being inserted in the bottom of the seventh with his team leading 4-3. Barnett gave up two hits and a walk prior to being lifted without retiring a batter. All three of those baserunners eventually came around to score in Auburn’s 7-6 loss. The righty has a 2-4 record this season in 16 appearances and 40 innings pitched with a 5.40 ERA. Auburn opens the Southeastern Conference Tournament Tuesday night in Hoover, Alabama at 8 p.m. against Ole Miss. The winner of the play-in elimination game advances to the double-elimination portion of the tournament.
CLIFTON DEMPSEY — Toccoa Falls College (Sr., Cartersville HS)… finished 5-for-14 including a double, two walks, five runs scored, a sacrifice, and was hit by a pitch twice in five games Friday through Monday at the National Christian College World Series in Easley, South Carolina. The Screaming Eagles received an at-large berth after finishing as runner-up in the NCCAA South Region Tournament. TFC finished 3-1 in pool play at the 10-team event before falling to national No. 1-seed Southwestern Christian University (Oklahoma) in the national semifinals. Toccoa Falls (18-26) lost its tournament opener to Columbia International then reeled off consecutive wins over Kansas Christian College, Concordia University (Michigan), and College of the Ozarks (Missouri) to reach the NCCAA Final Four. In 46 games in 2021, Dempsey hit for a .325 average with a pair of home runs, 14 doubles, two triples, and 38 RBIs. The shortstop had a .408 on-base percentage and a .951 fielding percentage defensively in 164 total chances.
A.J. MOSBY — Shreveport Mavericks; Cartersville HS — posted 31 points, six rebounds and six assists in a 117-112 loss Saturday at the Enid (Oklahoma) Outlaws. He then scored 28 points with five boards, three steals, and nine assists in a 131-109 loss Sunday to the Houston Push. Shreveport (10-4) is currently in third place in The Basketball League’s Central Division trailing Houston by three games.