USC Aiken and Georgia Regents University have completed their 2014 baseball seasons. The Pacers had a solid season, finishing 36-17 overall and 20-10 in the extremely difficult Peach Belt Athletic Conference. For GRU, the first season under new coach Jason Eller was a struggle. The Jags finished 19-31 overall and 11-20 in Peach Belt play.
Both the Jags and Pacers were led by players from Columbia County. GRU’s top two offensive players all season were former Greenbrier standout Hunter Boose and Evans product Jeff Rice. The duo combined for seven of the team’s nine home runs and finished in the top three on the team in virtually every offensive category.
At USC Aiken, I am sure coach Kenny Thomas does not even want to think about where his team would be without his players from Columbia County. Harlem’s Derek Beasley closed out his career by being the only Pacer named to the All-Peach Belt first team. Former Evans standout Tyler Moore earned second team All-Conference and was tabbed as a second team All-Southeast Region performer.
Here is a look at the statistics for each Columbia County player at GRU and USC Aiken this season.
Hunter Boose (Soph., Greenbrier) was second on the team with a .324 batting average. He also led the Jags in slugging percentage (.506), doubles (17), home runs (5), and RBI (29)
Jeff Rice (Sr., Evans) Rice was steady again in 2014, hitting .301 with just 14 strikeouts in 176 plate appearances. He also finished second on the team in doubles (14), home runs (2), and RBI (27).
Phil Dukes (Soph., Grovetown) Dukes appeared in five games on the mound with one start. He had a 0-1 record with an ERA of 18.
Derek Beasley (Sr. / Harlem) Led team with 15 starts on the mound. Finished 6-4 with an era of 4.19. He also posted 75 strikeouts in 94 innings and earned first team All Peach Belt honors.
Tyler Moore (So., Evans) Moore had a huge year for the Pacers. He led the team with a .377 batting average, 10 triples and 63 runs scored. He also tied for the team lead with 24 steals and was caught stealing only once all year. He also had 9 doubles, three homers and 42 RBI. He was second team all-Peach Belt and All-Southeast Region.
Kody Belcher (Jr., Lakeside) Belcher’s move from Kennesaw St. to USC Aiken proved to be great for him. He played stellar defense and hit .299 with 53 runs scored, eight doubles, three home runs and 27 RBI. He also tied Moore for the team lead with 24 stolen bases.
Ben Black (Jr., Lakeside) VERY underrated. Was sensational from the Pacers Bullpen. In 20 appearances and a total of 52.2 innings on the mound, Black went 6-1 with a terrific ERA of 2.91. He also posted one save and 49 strikeouts.
Sam Daniel (Jr.,/ Greenbrier) Made 10 appearances and worked six innings on the season. Went 0-0 with a 9 ERA.