This weekend produced a cool moment for many Columbia County sports fans. On Saturday, ESPNU aired the Senior Little League World Series championship game between Curacao and a team from Texas. This was the final game of a busy summer of baseball with a World Championship on the line. Who would have thought Columbia County would have a huge rooting interest in the game. Well, we certainly did. Former Evans and Georgia Southern standout Clint Sauls was the head coach for the West University (Texas) squad. In 2008 Sauls, who had lived his entire life in Columbia County, was packing his bags for Texas. He had met a girl from Houston named Jamie Corcoran, and in March of 2009 the two were married. It should have come as no surprise that Sauls immediately got involved with coaching baseball. After all, he had been around sports his entire life. His father, Durwood, was a long time coach at Evans and won a state title in football last season as a part of the coaching staff at Aquinas.
As a player, Sauls was a standout in basketball and baseball for the Knights, but it was the diamond where he really shined. He helped guide Evans to state titles as a junior and senior in 1993 and 1994. He also was a part of a very special summer in 1994.
Fresh off the high school state championship, Sauls was a part of the Columbia County Dixie Majors World Series winning team. As a matter of fact, that summer Columbia County pulled off a rare feat by winning both the Majors (17- and 18-year-olds) and Pre-Majors (15- and 16-year-olds) World Series. As a matter of fact, Sauls crushed a two-run home run in the clinching game over Alexandria, Va. That was 20 years ago this year. Sauls was drafted that year by the New York Yankees, but elected to head to Georgia Southern to pitch for the Eagles. He had an outstanding college career and many were surprised when he was not drafted for a second time after his stint in Statesboro.
After college, Sauls pursued a career in coaching and coached or assisted on too many teams to name. He was always involved with coaching teenagers on the diamond. He had been a star player and now he was devoting his time to helping kids just like him. Well, after his marriage and subsequent move to Houston, Sauls got involved with the West University Senior Little League Team. The Texas Team had immediate success. As a matter of fact, this year’s appearance in Bangor, Maine (the site of the Senior Little League World Series) was Sauls’s fourth trip in six years. A fifth trip was narrowly missed in 2013 with a loss in the Southwest Region title game. Yes, it is safe to say, Sauls is simply a winner. And, if you heard, his post game interview, he has stayed humble despite all his success as a player and coach.
What better way to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of winning a World Series, than winning a World Title.
Congrats to Clint and thanks for representing Columbia County in such a great way.