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Chargers advance to JUCO World Series Final Four

May 28, 2024

Charles Wilson / BartowSportsZone.com


Michael Sharman

The Georgia Highlands Chargers improved to 2-0 at the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series Monday night in Grand Junction, Colorado by knocking off top-ranked Johnson County (Kansas) Community College, 10-1.


The win advances the Chargers to Wednesday night where they will play the survivor of Tuesday night’s game between Florence-Darlington (SC) and Blinn College (Texas).


On Wednesday night, GHC and their opponent will be the only remaining unbeaten teams in the double-elimination, 10-team bracket.


Starting pitcher, Michael Sharman (12-2) tossed a seven-inning, complete-game (shortened by run rule) Monday afternoon. The southpaw and Etowah High School product allowed just one earned run on seven hits and two walks. He struck out five. 


Staked to a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning on solo home runs by Grayson Godbee and Luke Orfi, Sharman yielded the Cavaliers’ only run. Miken Miller singled with two outs and Kyle Hepburn followed with an RBI triple. Sharman induced a groundout from the next batter to strand Hepburn at third and end the frame.


Ryan Wideman

“Michael Sharman held the No. 1 team in the country to one run and the offense scraped and fought to score 10,” said GHC coach Dash O’Neill on Monday night. “That’s a really good team in Johnson County. I’m just proud that my guys took the challenge and got the win. . . . and to do it on Memorial Day is just extra special. We’re thinking of all those men and women who gave everything so we can do this!”


The Chargers made it 8-1 in the top of the sixth inning and tacked on two more runs in the seventh to allow themselves to win by run rule.


Sharman issued a two-out walk in the seventh but struck out the next batter to end the game early and finish his fifth complete game of the year.


Clay Wiesen

Ryan Wideman sparked the Chargers’ six-run sixth inning with a leadoff single. He then stole second and later scored on a pickoff attempt throwing error. Ali Banks drove in two runs in the inning with a double down the right-field line and Clay Wiesen drove home two more runs with an infield chopper to second base. Wideman, batting for the second time in the inning, followed with an RBI single into left-center giving Georgia Highlands an 8-1 lead.


Godbee and C.J. Blackwell provided RBI singles in the top of the seventh to build a 10-1 Chargers advantage.


Orfi finished with three hits including his solo shot in the fifth. Wideman (RBI), Godbee (solo home run, two RBI), and Ryan Martin produced two hits. Wiesen (two RBI), Banks (two RBI), Blackwell (RBI), and Barrett Eldridge added one hit.


The Chargers (55-8) have the day off on Tuesday. Only four teams will remain in the national championship tournament when they return to action on Wednesday night.

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