Former Lakeside High School ace Jeffrey Stoner is off to another great start this baseball season. The 6-4, 230-pound righthander, now a junior at Francis Marion University, was recently named the Peach Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week.
In two appearances last week for the Patriots, Stoner was sensational. He worked 14.2 innings with 18 strikeouts and zero walks. He also held opposing hitters to a .140 batting average. First, he worked 6.2 innings in relief in FMU’s 11-6 victory over Newberry on Feb. 6. Then he got the start four days later vs. St. Rose. Stoner was dominant once again. He allowed only four hits and one earned run in a 3-2 FMU win. He went eight innings in the game, struck out 10, and did not walk a batter.
For the season, Stoner leads the conference in inning pitched (16.2) and strikeouts (21). Stoner has yielded only one walk, which gives him an incredible strikeout-to-walk ratio of 21:1. He is 1-0 with a 1.62 ERA.
Stoner is not the only Columbia County product off to a torrid start in Peach Belt Conference baseball. Here is a look at several other players who are representing the county well.
Evans/Augusta State University
The junior infielder is leading the entire Peach Belt with an incredible .562 batting average. Through five games, Rice has three doubles and a .750 slugging percentage.
Only a freshman, Boose has quickly made his presence felt for the Jags. Known primarily for his hitting during his prep career, Boose has settled in as ASU’s starting shortstop and in just six games he has already made several head-turning defensive plays. He is also tearing the cover off the ball, currently hitting .409 with four doubles and six runs scored.
Lakeside/Armstrong Atlantic State University
Miller is one of the standout catchers in the conference and is off to another great start for the 26th-ranked Pirates. He is hitting .421 with a pair of doubles and six runs scored. He has also thrown out the only runner who has tested his arm.
Black, a sophomore righthander, has appeared in two games for the Pacers. He has worked 4.2 innings with five strikeouts and no walks. He also has an impressive 1.93 ERA. His Pacers are currently ranked No. 5 in the nation.
Beasley is 1-0 in a pair of starts for the fifth-ranked Pacers. He has worked 8.1 innings with 10 strikeouts. The junior lefthander’s ERA is 5.40. He will be counted on heavily for a team that has a good chance to contend for a conference title in arguably the nation’s top baseball conference.