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Howard ready to open year with Pirates, Bonner helps lead York College golf


Sam Howard and the Pittsburgh Pirates will open the 2021 MLB season at Wrigley Field Thursday against the Chicago Cubs.

Cartersville High graduate Sam Howard looks set to open the year in the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen.

The former Colorado Rockies hurler could possibly be the lone left-handed reliever to start the season with the Pirates, who will open against the Chicago Cubs. Howard went 0-1 with eight strikeouts this spring, posting a 2.45 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in eight outings.

Elsewhere, Canes product Lindsey Bonner helped the York College women’s golf team to a pair of victories this past week. On the season, the Spartans have won each of their three events.


Sam Howard (Pittsburgh Pirates; 8th-yr. pro; Cartersville HS) — Howard made relief appearances last Tuesday in a 1-0 win over the Twins, in Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Tigers and in Sunday’s 2-1 victory against Baltimore. Howard worked 2 1/3 innings in those three scoreless stints. He allowed one hit and struck out three, lowering his Grapefruit League ERA to 2.45 in eight appearances and 7 1/3 innings pitched. Pittsburgh opens the 2021 MLB regular season against the Chicago Cubs at 2:20 p.m. EDT Thursday at Wrigley Field.


Mason Barnett (Auburn So., Cartersville HS) — Barnett made his regular Saturday start this past weekend against Kentucky and went 5 1/3 innings for a no-decision. Barnett gave up five earned runs on six hits. He also hit two batters and struck out eight, facing 24 batters. Auburn tied the game in the eighth before losing 7-6. The Tigers were swept by the Wildcats in the three-game conference series. Auburn (11-11, 0-6 SEC) will try to snap a six-game skid when a three game series begins Thursday at Arkansas.

Clifton Dempsey (Toccoa Falls Sr., Cartersville HS) — The Screaming Eagles shortstop was 2-for-3 last Tuesday in a 17-5 loss to visiting Truett McConnell. Dempsey is hitting .333 with two home runs and 12 RBIs, while starting all 23 games. Toccoa Falls (9-14) has a home game Wednesday against Reinhardt before traveling to Bob Jones (South Carolina) for a three-game series Friday and Saturday.

Jake Gooch (Central Alabama CC So., Cartersville HS) — Gooch went 0-for-3 last Tuesday in a 10-2 loss at Wallace State-Dothan. The Trojans also had two losses Saturday to Bevil State CC. CACC (16-15, 5-5 Alabama Community College Conference) played a doubleheader at Bevil State Monday — for which stats were not available — and plays a four-game, home-and-home doubleheader series with Shelton State CC Thursday and Saturday.

Lane Griffith (West Georgia Sr., Adairsville HS) — Griffith hit safely in three of four games last week for the Wolves. The catcher was 4-for-15 with two doubles and drove in two runs, as West Georgia beat Georgia College but was swept in a three-game series by Lee University. Griffith is hitting .310 in 15 starts and 64 plate appearances this season. He has one home run and nine RBIs. West Georgia (10-13, 9-12 Gulf South Conference) was set to play Tuesday at Georgia College Tuesday and travel to Mississippi College for a three-game conference series Friday and Saturday.

Hunter Hice (Georgia College So., Adairsville HS) — Hice made a start at first base last Wednesday in a 13-7 nonconference loss at West Georgia. Hice was 1-for-4 with a double and scored one run. The Bobcats were also swept in a three-game conference series at Young Harris College for an 0-4 week. Georgia College (11-9, 10-8) was scheduled to play Tuesday against West Georgia and Friday and Saturday versus Georgia Southwestern State in a three-game conference series.

Brycen Jones (Central Alabama CC Fr., Cartersville HS) — Jones made a one-inning start last Tuesday in the Trojans’ 10-2 loss at Wallace State-Dothan CC. Jones allowed four earned runs on three hits and three walks. He struck out one.

Logan Nelson (Truett McConnell Fr., Cass HS) — Nelson went 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored in last Tuesday’s 17-5 win at Toccoa Falls. The Bears were also swept in a series at No. 1-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan, with Nelson finishing 1-for-3 with a run scored in Monday’s finale. TMU (13-14, 3-9 Appalachian Athletic Conference) hosts a three-game conference series with Bryan College (Tennessee) Friday and Saturday.

Preston Welchel (Coastal Alabama-Bay Minette Fr., Cartersville HS) — Welchel started in three of the Sun Chiefs’ four games last week, going 2-for-9 with two walks, one RBI and a stolen base. Coastal was 3-1 for the week in four games against Chattahoochee Valley CC. The Sun Chiefs (13-22, 5-7 ACCC) have a four-game conference series Thursday and Saturday with Bishop State CC.

Cohen Wilbanks (Cleveland State CC Fr., Cartersville HS) — Wilbanks was inserted at catcher in home games last week against Walters State CC and BCA Post Grad, finishing 1-for-3 with a run scored. He also had four putouts and an assist in five defensive chances. CSCC (11-16, 4-10 TCCAA) has a doubleheader Saturday at Roane State CC.

Jordan Wilkie (Augusta Fr., Cartersville HS) — Wilkie started at second base in all six of the Jaguars’ games last week. Wilkie was 2-for-17 at the plate with two walks and two runs scored. Augusta won one of three against Lander and was swept in a three-game set with Georgia Southwestern State. The Jaguars (4-16, 3-15 Peach Belt Conference) were scheduled to play Tuesday at USC-Aiken before hosting UNC-Pembroke in a three-game conference series Friday and Saturday.

Zach Wilson (Penn State-Greater Allegheny Fr., Woodland HS) — Wilson was 2-for-7 — including a double, a walk and two runs scored — while appearing in three of his team’s four games last week. In four games played, Wilson is 3-for-9 with one RBI. PSU-Greater Allegheny (3-3, 3-3 PSU Athletic Conference) was slated to play Tuesday at PSU-Du Bois and play Saturday and Sunday in a four-game, home-and-home series with PSU-New Kensington.


Justice Hayes (South Georgia Tech Fr., Cass HS) — The Jets went 2-1 last week, with Hayes compiling four points, four steals and two assists off the bench.

T.J. Horton (Georgia Highlands Fr., Cartersville HS) — Horton came off the bench twice before earning a start to close out a 3-0 week for the Chargers. The former two-sport star for the Canes scored nine points in an 83-66 win over Central Georgia Tech last Tuesday at home. Horton totaled four points, four steals and one assist in a 105-82 rout of Andrew College Thursday at home. During his start Saturday at Andrew, The Daily Tribune News Player of the Year for the 2017-18 season racked up 13 points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal.


Terry Berlin (Reinhardt Jr., Cartersville HS) — Berdin totaled 7 yards on four touches, including three rushes, in a 50-10 victory Saturday at Bluefield.

Bryce Burgess (Reinhardt Jr., Adairsville HS) — Burgess scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to help Reinhardt pull away in the second half, during which the Eagles outscored the Rams 33-0.

Hunter Hardin (Point Sr., Woodland HS) — As a starting guard, Hardin contributed to an offensive attack that produced just shy of 300 yards and 21 points in a loss to Faulkner (Alabama) Saturday at Ram Stadium in Valley, Alabama.

Sean Holton (Davidson Sr., Cartersville HS) — Holton made the participation report but didn’t record any stats in a 24-21 win against Morehead State Saturday at home.

John Scifers (Incarnate Word Graduate Transfer, Woodland HS) — Playing in a ridiculously high-scoring game, Scifers kicked off seven times, averaging 58.7 yards, in a 75-45 loss Saturday at Nicholls. Scifers recorded three touchbacks and saw one kick go out of bounds.

Bryce Wilkins (Reinhardt Jr., Cartersville HS) — Wilkins helped pave the way for Reinhardt to rack up 485 yards of total offense, as the Eagles improved to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the Mid-South Conference.

Lindsey Bonner placed seventh and ninth in a pair of events last week for the York College Spartans.


Lindsey Bonner (York Sr., Cartersville HS) — Bonner served as York’s fifth starter in a pair of wins last week, when the Spartans finished first Tuesday in the Alvernia Invitational at LedgeRock Golf Club in Mohnton, Pennsylvania, and Saturday in the Turtle Creek Intercollegiate Tournament hosted by Arcadia University at Turtle Creek Golf Club in Limerick, Pennsylvania. The senior shot an 85 Tuesday and an 86 Saturday, placing seventh and ninth, respectively, in the two events.


Russell Shealy (Syracuse R-So., Cartersville native, Darlington HS) — Shealy recorded one save, as Syracuse fell on the road to North Carolina State by a 2-1 final score in overtime Friday in Raleigh.


Colbi Ballard (Shorter So., Cartersville HS) — In three starts in left field and as designated player, Ballard went 0-for-5 in a three-game series last Friday and Saturday against visiting Auburn Montgomery. Shorter (4-19, 0-15 Gulf South Conference) hosts Christian Brothers in a three-game conference series Friday and Saturday.

Bella Carnes (Georgia College Fr., Woodland HS) — Carnes grounded out in her seventh-inning, pinch-hitting appearance last Thursday. The Bobcats lost both games of a home doubleheader with Francis Marion. Georgia College (4-16, 0-6 Peach Belt Conference) was set to travel Tuesday to Georgia Southwestern State and play host Friday to UNC-Pembroke in conference doubleheaders.

Skylar Chappell (Cottey College Fr., Woodland HS) — Chappell made a start at catcher Friday in a 6-4 loss at Central Baptist (Arkansas). Chappell was 0-for-3, dropping her season batting average to .389 in 19 plate appearances for the Comets across 11 games. Cottey (14-4) had Saturday games with Texas A&M-Texarkana canceled due to COVID-19. The Comets were scheduled for a home game Tuesday against Avila (Missouri) and home doubleheaders Thursday, Friday and Saturday against Bacone (Oklahoma), William Woods (Missouri) and Crowley’s Ridge (Arkansas), respectively.

Brianna Hill (Covenant Fr., Woodland HS) — Hill went 2-for-8, scored a run and drove in two in four games last week — all wins over Johnson University (Tennessee) and Agnes Scott. Hill is batting .242 for the season across 18 games and 35 plate appearances. Covenant (14-12, 3-1 USA South Athletic Conference) travels Saturday to Maryville College.

Lauren McElhaney (West Georgia Fr., Cartersville HS) — McElhaney made a seventh-inning, pinch-hitting appearance last Wednesday during a 4-0 loss at Columbus State. West Georgia (16-6, 12-3 Gulf South Conference) lost both games of the doubleheader but swept a three-game conference series versus Lee University Friday and Saturday. The Wolves travel Wednesday to Miles College and play Friday and Saturday in a three-game conference series at Auburn Montgomery.

Hope Short (Shorter Fr., Cartersville HS) — Short made a pair of starts at second base in last weekend’s home series with Auburn Montgomery. She was 0-for-3 at the plate and had two putouts and three assists in six fielding chances, as the Hawks dropped all three games in their conference series.

Hannah Todd (Kansas Sr., Cartersville HS) — Todd entered with two outs in the third inning Sunday and recorded the next four outs in a 12-0 loss to visiting 10th-ranked Oklahoma State. Todd allowed three runs (no earned runs) on three hits. She struck out two, while facing eight batters. The Jayhawks (17-11, 1-2) play a three-game Big 12 Conference series Friday through Sunday at Oklahoma.


Houston Medlock (Piedmont Jr., Adairsville HS) — Medlock fell 6-2, 6-2 on Line 1 singles and dropped an 8-7 (8-6) heartbreaker on Line 2 doubles during a 6-3 loss in USA South action Friday at Covenant.

Bryce VanOrder (Piedmont Fr., Woodland HS) — Playing on Line 1 doubles against Covenant, VanOrder came up just short by an 8-6 final score. He also dropped a three-set heartbreaker on Line 2 singles, falling by a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2) final.


Parker Breedlove (Reinhardt So., Cartersville HS) — Breedlove placed sixth in the 5000-meter run — crossing the finish line in 16 minutes, 41.95 seconds — during the Life University Spring Break meet Friday in Marietta.


Nedu Evans (Augusta So., Cartersville HS) — In home wins against Flagler (Friday) and Georgia College (Saturday), Evans racked up 12 kills — including 10 versus Flagler — six digs, two block assists and a block.

Nicholas Sullivan of The Daily Tribune News contributed to this report.


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