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GHC Chargers earn the program's first trip to the NJCAA World Series

May 16, 2024

Georgia Highlands baseball started the day on Thursday needing to win both games of a road doubleheader to win the Appalachian District best-of-three championship series and the Chargers got it done. After dropping the series opener on Wednesday 3-2, the Chargers took care of business on Thursday winning 13-4 and 10-1.

Michael Sharman

The Appalachian District title advances Georgia Highlands to the 10-team NJCAA World Series May 25-31 in Grand Junction, Colorado. It marks the first-ever trip to the national championship tournament for the GHC program.

The bracket and matchups will be announced by the NJCAA on Tuesday, May 21.

In the opener on Thursday, the Chargers raced to an 8-0 lead by the middle of the third inning. The Eagles cut the advantage to 8-2 in the bottom of the third but GHC added five more runs across the sixth and seventh innings to put the game away.

Michael Sharman (10-2) earned the pitching victory with a strong eight-inning performance. He allowed just two earned runs on five hits and one walk while striking out four. Kyle Stephenson allowed a run in the ninth on one hit and one walk but closed out the final three outs.

Chandler Anderson

The Chargers enjoyed more of the same offensive success in the second game.  GHC scored six times in the top of the second inning to build a commanding lead. They added three in the fifth inning and one more in the eighth to lead 10-0.

Dyersburg State hit a solo home run in the ninth inning but could do no more damage.

GHC pitcher, Chandler Anderson (9-0), controlled the Eagles from the mound. He worked all nine innings allowing just one run on seven hits and two walks. He struck out eight. 

Barrett Eldridge

Luke Orfi (two doubles, four RBIs) and Barrett Eldridge (sac fly, RBI) paced the Chargers’ offense in the two games with four hits. Ryan Martin (homer, double, four RBIs), Ryan Wideman (RBI), and Ali Banks (three RBIs) finished with three hits. Clay Wiesen (homer, three RBIs) and CJ Blackwell (double, four RBIs) had two hits. Will Cawthon (RBI) and Grayson Godbee added one hit in the doubleheader.

“I can’t say enough about this team and how they stepped up,” said an excited GHC coach Dash O’Neill Thursday night. “Losing that first game was such a gut punch, but our guys never blinked.  Michael Sharman and Chandler Anderson were lights out on the bump giving us two incredible starts.  Sharm went eight strong (innings) in the first game and Kyle Stephenson closed it out. Chandler nearly threw a shutout in the clincher. Just dominant performances from both guys.  The offense just did what it does and put consistent pressure on them the entire day.”

The season ends for Dyersburg State with a 29-26 record and the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association championship.

Georgia Highlands (53-8) adds the Appalachian District championship to their Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association regular season and tournament titles. The Chargers were ranked No. 3 nationally heading into post-season play.


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