Grovetown High School baseball players Phillip Dukes and Garrett Haskins know a little something about teamwork.
The seniors have spent nearly a decade playing on the same teams, and will continue to do so for the next four years as they both recently signed letters of intent with Augusta State University. A signing ceremony for both athletes was held Thursday in Grovetown’s gym.
“We’ve been best friends since the fifth grade,” said Haskins, a starting pitcher on the team.
It was in the fifth grade when the pair joined the same Columbia County recreation league team. They later played together at Columbia Middle School and as freshmen at Greenbrier High School.
When Grovetown High opened three years ago, the pair, then sophomores, became part of the school’s first varsity team. Last year, the team made it to the state playoffs.
“There were a lot of firsts,” said Dukes, a first team All-Region 3-AAA first baseman.
It was crucial, Haskins said, to build team chemistry from the get-go to be successful.
“We had to build a strong relationship,” he said.
Both teens said ASU was a good fit because it was close to home.
Haskins was selected as second team All-Region 3-AAA. During his senior year, his pitching record was 2-5 with a 3.04 ERA.
As a senior, Dukes posted a .358 batting average, .509 slugging percentage, and .507 on-base percentage. He also drove in 18 runs, hitting 13 singles in 53 at bats.
“It’s a big deal for us,” said Grovetown head baseball coach Mike Jones. “These are the first players in our young history to commit to playing baseball at the next level.”
Jones said both seniors have earned the opportunity to play college ball.
“They’ve done everything they’ve been asked to do,” he said. “I can’t say enough about them.”