From performing well at the Division I collegiate level to making it to the major leagues, Columbia County baseball players have been shining individually.
Our teams haven’t been too shabby either, evidenced by Greenbrier High’s spring run to the state championship series for the second consecutive year and the play of Evans and Lakeside in the state playoffs.
If the play of younger players in the county is any indication, there may not be much dropoff in the talent level of our high schools for a while.
While it’s a long way off – and I hate to throw a jinx anybody’s way – there could be as many as three local all-star teams playing for their respective World Series in August.
There’s a connection.
While there are three teams fighting for a World Series berth, there are four teams alive in the postseason. And all of these all-star teams belong to Martinez Evans Little League.
Three teams have already won their district titles and are competing at the state level, while two MELL teams, the 11-12-year-old Nationals and Americans are still battling it out for supremacy at the major league district competition.
Teams that make it out of the state competition go through the regional process leading to the World Series round.
The only team that definitely won’t make it to the World Series is the 10-11 team because at that age group the final series is the regional this year in Greenville, N.C.
At the state level, the MELL 10-11 team is playing in Peachtree City, Ga., the 13-14 junior league team is in Cartersville, Ga., while the 15-16 senior league team is in Warner Robins, Ga.
As of this writing, the MELL Nationals and Americans were two of four teams still alive in their district. The Nationals were set to play Thursday night against Masters City in the winner’s bracket, while the Americans were trying to fight their way out of the loser’s bracket facing Elbert County. A winner was to be determined Saturday.
Their state tournament is in Richmond Hill, Ga., Saturday, July 20 to Sunday, July 28. The region tournament is in Warner Robins and the winner advances to the iconic Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
The other teams will be battling to reach Taylor, Mich., (junior league) and Bangor, Maine, (senior league).
Good luck to all our teams!