Going into the season, most baseball fans in Columbia County knew that Augusta Christian's Jordan Belcher would be a favorite for Area Player of the Year. What they probably didn't consider, however, was that his biggest challenge may come from teammate Will Reese.
Don't get me wrong - Reese has been a standout throughout his career with the Lions, but this year he has really come into his own.
AC's dynamic duo has helped the Lions to yet another region title by putting up some mind-boggling numbers. As a matter of fact, Belcher is closing in on some county and Augusta-area records. He also has a great chance to win the area's Triple Crown - a feat that, to my knowledge, has never been accomplished.
For the season, Belcher leads the entire area in batting average at .562, home runs at 16 and runs batted in at 41. As if that weren't enough, he also is tops in the area with 34 runs scored and five saves on the mound. He's also averaging one home run per each 3.875 at-bats. That's astonishing: I realize it's high school ball, but - to put it in perspective - Babe Ruth only averaged 1 long ball per 10 at-bats.
By no means, however, is Belcher a one-man show. Shortstop Will Reese also is having a banner senior season. On the mound, he has been virtually flawless going 7-0 with an area-best 0.72 ERA. He also had 48 strikeouts in just 39 innings.
Reese has been no slouch at the plate either. He is second only to Belcher in hitting (.528) and runs scored (33) and is third in home runs (10) and RBIs (29).
Is it possible teammates could finish 1-2 in the Triple Crown category? you wouldn't think so, but Belcher and Reese have a realistic chance of accomplishing this feat.
Whether or not Belcher is having the best individual season in county history is up for debate, bit there is no question he and Reese are among Columbia County's best duos ever. They should be added to the list that includes Lenny Springs and Todd Greene from the 1988 Evans Knights, Tydus Meadows and Shane Pangle from the 1995 Knights, Mark Thornhill and James Shanks from the 1997 Greenbrier Wolfpack and Chad Thornhill and J.J. Johnson from the 2000 and 2001 Pack.
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