Athletes Beyond Bartow: Howard makes first appearance with Pirates, Welchel has first college hit

Sam Howard (left) made his first Spring Training appearance with the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday and Preston Welchel (right) had his first collegiate base hit last Wednesday at 2nd-ranked Vanderbilt.

Major League Baseball's Spring Training Grapefruit League action got underway this past weekend and Cartersville's Sam Howard made his initial appearance with his new club. Howard, who was picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the off-season from the Colorado Rockies, made a one-inning appearance Sunday in a split-squad loss to the Detroit Tigers. Meanwhile, college baseball and softball schedules have now hit full stride with seventeen former Bartow County high school standouts contributing with their respective programs. The week's highlights included former Cartersville Hurricane Preston Welchel's first collegiate base hit. NOTE: Winter/Spring updates for other sports will be published in a separate article.


SAM HOWARD — Pittsburgh Pirates (7th yr. pro; LHP; Georgia Southern; Cartersville HS)… made his first appearance with his new team Sunday in a split squad spring training game. Howard was acquired by the Pirates in the off-season from the Colorado Rockies. Howard was inserted to pitch in the sixth inning of a 3-3 game with the Detroit Tigers and struggled before recovering to escape the frame without extensive damage. He walked Riley Greene on four pitches, gave up a run-scoring double to Jorge Bonifacio, and walked Kennys Vargas and Danny Woodrow to load the bases before escaping the inning with only one run allowed. Howard got Grayson Greiner to fly out to centerfield and then induced an inning-ending double play off the bat of Corey Joyce. The Tigers went on to win the game 8-4 handing Howard the pitching loss. Pittsburgh (0-3) has spring training games with the Yankees, Phillies, Red Sox, Orioles, Twins, and Blue Jays this week.


COLBI BALLARD -- Shorter University (Fr., Cartersville HS)... scored a run as a pinch runner Sunday in the Hawks' 12-11 win against Catawba at the Young Harris College Invitational. Shorter (1-9, 0-3 Gulf South Conference) hosts West Georgia Friday and Saturday in conference action. SKYLAR CHAPPELL — Cottey College (Fr., Inf., Woodland HS)… made a pair of pinch hitting appearances last week as the Comets swept doubleheaders at home against Oklahoma Wesleyan Tuesday and William Penn (Iowa) Friday. She also appeared as a pinch hitter Sunday in a 12-5 loss to Benedictine College (Kansas). Chappell has started two games and appeared in seven for the Comets. Cottey (10-2) hosts Central Baptist (Arkansas) Saturday and Missouri Valley College Sunday in a pair of doubleheaders.

PRESLEY EDWARDS — Wesleyan College (Fr., C, Cartersville HS)… started both games of a home doubleheader Sunday against Sewanee-University of the South — once as the designated player and the other at catcher. Edwards was 3-for-7 in the two games with a double and one RBI. The Wolves won both games, 1-0 and 9-3. Wesleyan (3-1) will host Fort Valley State Wednesday and Pfeiffer University (NC) Sunday in a pair of doubleheaders.

Sarah Fox

SARAH FOX — Agnes Scott College (So., SS, Cass HS)… had a sixth inning, pinch-hit, RBI-single into centerfield Saturday in a 9-1 home win over Sewanee-University of the South. She then added two hits and two RBI in a 10-6 win during Saturday’s second game. Sunday, the Scotties dropped both games of a home doubleheader to Point University. Fox was 1-for-3 with two walks, a stolen base, and scored two runs. Agnes Scott (2-4) plays at Point Wednesday, hosts Pfeiffer University Saturday and Salem College Sunday in doubleheaders.

HANNAH KNAPP — Talladega College (Sr.,1B, Adairsville HS)… the Tornadoes dropped four games at the Southern Wesleyan University Warrior Classic Friday and Saturday with Knapp going 2-for-7 with a pair of walks, a run scored, and one RBI. Talladega had losses to Columbia International and the host Warriors. The Tornadoes (0-7) will host Tennessee Wesleyan in a doubleheader March 6.

Paris Poston

PARIS POSTON — Columbus State University (So., OF, Cartersville HS)… playing in the Young Harris College Tournament Saturday and Sunday, Poston was 1-for-4 in a 9-3 loss to 19th-ranked Travecca Nazarene, 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base in an 8-3 win over Catawba College, and 2-for-4 with a double, walk, run scored, and four RBI in an 11-7 loss to 8th-ranked Lincoln Memorial. With the productive tournament, Poston has raised her batting average to .281 with six RBI. Columbus State (6-7) will host Wingate University in a doubleheader Saturday.

HANNAH TODD — Kansas University (Jr., P, Cartersville HS)… playing at the Boerner Invitational in Arlington, Texas, Todd came out of the bullpen to record a strikeout for the final out in the seventh inning but the Jayhawks eventually fell to Texas-San Antonio Friday 8-7. She walked three batters without recording an out in a 10-1 win over Rutgers Friday and the Jayhawks made it four wins in a row with a pair of victories over Texas-Arlington Saturday and Rutgers Sunday. Kansas (6-9) will play in the Reveille Classic Friday through Sunday where they will square off against host Texas A&M and Southeastern Louisiana in a pair of games each.


Mason Barnett

LEVI AYERS — Georgia Highlands CC (So., RHP, Cartersville HS)… worked a spotless seventh inning and fanned all three batters he faced Sunday in a 4-3 loss to Three Rivers CC (Missouri). Georgia Highlands (14-4) has won eight of nine games heading into Wednesday’s doubleheader with Point University and a three-game series Saturday and Sunday with Sinclair CC. All five games will be at LakePoint in Emerson.

MASON BARNETT — Auburn University (Fr., RHP, Cartersville HS)… faced the minimum in a ninth inning appearance, striking out two in last Wednesday’s 17-1 win over Oakland University (Mich.). 20th-ranked Auburn (5-3) hosts Alabama A&M Tuesday and Wednesday before entertaining Wright State in a three-game series Friday through Sunday.

BAILEY CAMPBELL — Young Harris College (Jr., 1B, Cass HS)… walked twice, was hit by a pitch, and scored a run in the Mountain Lions’ 16-6 loss Wednesday at Tusculum. He also drew a walk but was 0-for-2 in Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Georgia Southwestern State. Young Harris (8-3, 2-1) entertains Carson-Newman University Tuesday prior to their trip to Florence, South Carolina Friday through Sunday for a three-game Peach Belt Conference series at Francis Marion University.

JAKE COLLUM — Snead State CC (Fr., RHP, Cass HS)… allowed two earned runs on two hits and a hit batsman Sunday in his first collegiate appearance. He was entered in the seventh inning and was tagged as the pitcher of record in a 4-2 loss at Andrew College. The Parsons (6-2) travel to East Mississippi CC Thursday and will host the same team in a doubleheader Saturday.

CARRINGTON EVANS — Augusta University (Jr., OF, Cartersville HS)… went 1-for-3 with one RBI Sunday and was 1-for-2 with one RBI Saturday in a pair of losses at Lander University. He was also hitless in a home start last Wednesday against Lake Erie College. The Jaguars (2-10, 1-5 Peach Belt Conference) were 0-4 for the week and will try to snap their skid at home Wednesday against Coker College. Augusta also has a three-game series Friday through Sunday at Flagler College.

LANE GRIFFITH — University of West Georgia (Sr., C, Adairsville HS)… went hitless in a pair of home starts this weekend but drove in one run Saturday as the Wolves won two of three games with University of Montevallo in Gulf South Conference action. West Georgia (9-4, 4-2) hosts Tuskegee University Tuesday before traveling to Rome for a three-game conference series at Shorter Friday and Saturday.

KENNY JINKS — Shorter University (So., LHP, Woodland HS)… retired the final out of the fifth inning and the first of the sixth inning in last Monday’s 8-7 home win over Emmanuel College. Jinks faced three batters allowing one hit — a triple — and one earned run. Shorter (11-1, 1-1 Gulf South Conference) plays at Georgia College Tuesday and will host West Georgia in a three-game conference series Friday and Saturday.

LOGAN MARTIN — Sewanee: Univ. of South (Fr., RHP, Cartersville HS)… tossed three and two-thirds innings in a start Sunday against Dominican (Illinois). He allowed six runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks while fanning six. He was tagged with the pitching loss. The Tigers (6-1-1) host Centre College (Kentucky) Saturday and Sunday in a three-game series to open Southern Athletic Association play.

DEVIN WARNER — Grayson CC (So., OF, Cartersville HS)… went 0-for-2 but drew a walk and added a sacrifice last Tuesday in a 5-4 home win over Navarro CC. He was also hitless as the starting designated hitter in a 2-1 win Friday at Seminole State (Okla.). The Vikings (8-1) play at Navarro Monday and will travel to Carl Albert State (Okla.) for a three-game series Friday and Saturday.

PRESTON WELCHEL — University of South Alabama (Fr., OF, Cartersville HS)… made a start at designated hitter and had his first collegiate base hit Wednesday in a 4-0 loss at 2nd-ranked Vanderbilt. He also made an appearance as a pinch hitter in a 3-0 Tuesday loss at Vandy. Saturday, Welchel started in right field and was 0-for-4 in a 4-2 loss to Indiana. USA (4-5) hosts New Orleans Tuesday night and has a three-game series Friday through Sunday at home with Gonzaga.

COHEN WILBANKS — Lee University (Fr., C/P, Cartersville HS)… made a pinch hitting appearance and walked in the Flames’ 13-4 win over Lewis University. Lee (8-5, 1-2) plays at Lincoln Memorial Tuesday afternoon before traveling to Memphis to take on Gulf South Conference foe Christian Brothers University in a three-game series Saturday and Sunday.

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Cartersville, Georgia