Greenbrier's Michael Newman smiles as he heads for the dugout after hitting a home run in the second inning of a game against North Forsyth. Newman was picked as Top Pitcher and Player of the Year.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Once again, Columbia County was blessed with some incredible baseball in 2004. All four of the county's public schools and one private school earned state playoff berths, with Greenbrier and Augusta Christian advancing all the way to the state semi-finals. Also, there was an amazing array of young players who have area baseball fans excited about the future. So, without further ado, the 2004 All Columbia County Baseball Team.
Catcher - Mike Armstrong, senior/Evans
This 6-4, 215-pound standout (and three year starter) was tremendous behind the plate for the Knights. At the plate his power numbers were down, but he managed to hit .356, despite being pitched around all year. Signed with Mercer
Scott Wandless pitches against Harlem
during a game last
season. He hit better than .400 for three consecutive seasons and likely will start for USC Aiken next year.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
First base - Rich Poythress, sophomore/Greenbrier
Poythress has a chance to be just the second four-time all-county performer (joining Bradley Key). His averaged dipped to .333 (from .372 as a freshman), but he led the Pack with eight homers. He also drove in 29 runs. Obviously, he has a big future.
Second base - Jonathon Crawford, senior/ Lakeside
Crawford may not have had the numbers he did as a junior, but he was still the Panthers leader. Has a quick bat and a great baseball I.Q.
Third base - Ken Raborn, junior/Evans
Raborn hit .357 and paced the Knights and the County with 32 RBIs. He also had 10 doubles. A player to watch for next year.
Shortstop - Paul Bordon, sophomore/Lakeside
Team really started to click when Bordon took over at SS. Hit around .350 and was stellar at short.
Left field - Carl Burrow, junior/Lakeside
Burrow is a tremendous talent with all the tools to be a star. Hit well over .300 with some pop. Should have a big senior season.
Center field - Scott Wandless, senior/Greenbrier
Had a spectacular career for the Pack. His senior season was no exception. The sweet swinging lefty hit a team best .467 with three homers and 29 RBIs. He also scored a team best 30 runs. Struck out only six times in 90 at bats. Has signed at USC-Aiken.
Right field - Brad Ramsbotham, senior/Greenbrier
What a difference a year makes. Raised his average by .136 points to .432 (second on the team). He also drove in 29 runs and was a key reason the Pack won 28 games
Lakeside left fielder Carl Burrow has all the tools to be a star in his senior year.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Designated hitter - Brooks Robinson, senior/Greenbrier
I had to get Robinson onto the 1st Team. He had a huge senior season hitting .424 w/three homers and 24 RBI's. He also led the team in stolen bases (8), hits (42) and runs scored (30). He will play FB and BB at Western Carolina.
Michael Newman, senior/Greenbrier
Had a dominant season for the Pack. Went 12-0 and helped guide Greenbrier to the Final Four. Pitched in every big game for the Pack and was pretty much unhittable.
Jonathon Crawford, senior/Lakeside
Crawford was his best against the best competition. Was almost unhittable in Region contests.
Hank McCladdie, junior/Evans
Great potential. Was 6-2 with an ERA of 3.09 vs. some stiff competition. 56 strikeouts in 70 innings pitched. Tall, lanky build that scouts love.
Brad Freeman, junior/Evans
Freeman got better as the season went on. He finished the year only 5-4 but had an ERA of 2.86. He threw a no-hitter in the first round of the state playoffs.
Scott Wandless, senior/Greenbrier
Not as sharp as he was a year ago due to tendinitis, but still tough. 5-3 with a 2.69 ERA. 59 Ks in 54 innings pitched.
Carl Burrow, junior/Lakeside
Turn into a big time pitcher for the Panthers. Late in the season, he was pitching as good as anyone in the area.
Jeremy Armstrong, senior/Greenbrier: Hit .337 and was great behind plate.
Chris Banker, Lakeside: Best hitter among the catchers.
Josh Whitaker, freshman/Augusta Christian: Led Lions with 4 home runs and 26 RBIs. Ninth-grader!
First base - Doug Wylie, Evans: Solid all-around for the Knights
Second base - Ryan Wallace, Greenbrier: Steady as they come. A coach's dream.
Jonathon Herrimon, Augusta Christian: Hit .360 and had a .989 fielding pct.
Third base - Chris Johnson, Greenbrier: Got better as the season went on. Has an extremely bright future.
Shortstop - Adam Mckinney, Augusta Christian: Walked a team record 25 times. Hit .420 with 17 RBIs
Left field - Jeff Rowland, freshman/Lakeside: Just a ninth-grader. Superb Defensively. Has big time potential.
Center field - Shawn Ward, sophomore/Evans: Like Rowland, he is outstanding with the glove.
Right field - Ben Hill, senior/Harlem: Tough, hard nosed kid. Hit over .350
Designated hitter - Tie
Sam Pitts, senior/Greenbrier: Moved over from ACS and hit .378 with four Homers.
Ryan Pressley, junior/Evans: 6-6, 240-pound Junior with big upside. Hit .333 With four homers and 19 RBIs
Ben Dukes, junior/Greenbrier: Was 7-1 with 2.32 ERA
Hunter Hensley, Augusta Christian: Finished 6-2 with 1.52 ERA.
Dustin Tyra, senior/Lakeside: Will play at Georgia Southwestern State. Terrific Hitter as well. Hit over .350
Zack Baker, junior/Evans: Great all-around player. Hit .324 at the plate. Plus he was 5-1 with an ERA of 3.32.
Jordan Whitaker, senior/Harlem: Was the Ace for Harlem's staff
Ben Palacz, senior/Augusta Christian: Ace for the Lions' staff. Only 4-3 but had a 1.23 ERA. O.57 ERA in the post season.
Clayton Bruce, senior/Harlem: Helped guide Dogs to second round of the state playoffs.
Top Hitter - Scott Wandless
Model of consistency for the Pack over the course of his career. Hit over .400 for three straight seasons, including .467 this season. Will likely start right away for USC-Aiken next year. He is a true gamer who does whatever it takes for his team to win.
Top Pitcher and Player of the Year - Michael Newman
Stud for the Pack this season. He was an astonishing 12-0 on the mound with an ERA of 1.79. Also, had 68 strikeouts and only 15 walks on the year. Stepped up in every big game. Will pitch at Georgia College & State University next season. Was not bad at the plate, either, hitting .339 with four homers.
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