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Greenbrier heating up at right time

Standout honored

Posted: April 14, 2013 - 12:06am

The Greenbrier High School baseball team made it all the way to the state finals last year, but narrowly missed out on winning the school’s sixth state baseball title since 1997. That 2012 squad piled up 31 wins, thanks in large part to a late-season surge that produced a 21-game winning streak.

Well, Chris Wilkins’ team seems to be ready for another late-season run. This year’s team had plenty of question marks with the loss of last year’s county player of the year Jordan Hunt (Georgia Tech) and key contributors Hunter Boose (Augusta State University), Jake Sandlin (Georgia College) and Spencer Duffie (Mercer). Also, the team started the season with a few shaky performances.

However, the ’Pack is definitely back, and the key has been pitching and defense. With senior Austin Robinson leading the way on the mound and shortstop Connor Hoover pacing a stellar defense, this ’Pack team is making runs hard to come by for its opponents. The team has won five games in a row, and during that stretch it has allowed a total of eight runs while scoring 46 times. The Wolfpack have also won nine of their past 10 contests.

The team has been even better against its region foes in Columbia County. After an early 2-1 region loss to Evans, the ’Pack have won seven consecutive region games. Their pitching and defensive prowess has been on full display during that stretch, as they have yielded just six runs in the seven-game region winning streak and outscored their county rivals 55-6.

Overall, the team is 13-3 (8-1 in region play) and has only one loss to an in-state opponent. The ’Pack have allowed more than three runs in a game just four times all year, with only two of those instances coming versus schools in Georgia. The ’Pack also have allowed more than three runs in a game just once in their nine region contests. The team is 9-1 overall versus in-county competition on the season and 18-1 versus in-county rivals over the past two years.

For baseball, and in a county so good on the diamond, that is an astounding record that all Wolfpack faithful should be proud of.

Who knows how far the 2013 Greenbrier team can go.

The regular season wraps up this week and anything can happen in the playoffs, but I think this team has performed far better than many fans and supporters thought it would. Wilkins’ squad seems to be more fundamentally sound than most everyone it faces, and that can take you a long way in high school baseball. Hopefully it will lead the ’Pack to another deep playoff march.

Standout honored

Junior point guard Malia Kency played her first two seasons of high school basketball at Grovetown High School. I have to admit, I hated hearing that she had transferred this summer to attend private Briarwood Academy near Thomson. She had a chance to be a very special player for the Lady Warriors, having already been a two-year starter and all-county performer.

As expected, she dominated Georgia Independent Schools Association competition this year. The 5-5 jitterbug averaged 21.7 points per game for the Lady Bucs and also led the team in assists and steals.

For her efforts, Kency was named The Augusta Chronicle Independent School Girls Player of the Year. I have no clue what Kency plans to do in 2013-14, but I have to admit it would be fun to see her battling Columbia County Player of the Year Jasmine Stone, of Evans, next season.

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