The Peach Belt has become one of the premier Division II baseball conferences in the country.
Year in and year out, teams from the Peach Belt compete for the national championship. Next year should be no different. As many as seven schools could be ranked when the pre-season national polls are released. This spring more than a dozen county products will hit the diamond for Peach Belt Conference teams. USC Aiken has the most players from Columbia County with seven.
The Pacers also added a former county standout to their coaching staff. Evans slugger Michael Holder comes to USC Aiken after a stint at Vanderbilt. Holder is the youngest son of Georgia coaching legend Terry Holder, who won eight state baseball championships from 1988-1999.
Augusta State also has recruited the county well. The Jags will have five county players on their roster. Below is a list of the players who will play in the Peach Belt this season.
Scott Wandless, Fr. Greenbrier
Nick Wandless, Jr. Greenbrier
Bob Hatcher, Sr. Harlem
Brandon Baranie, Sr. Evans
Robert Davis, Jr. Greenbrier
Steve Dunham, Sr. Evans
Chris Wilson, Jr. Greenbrier
Justin Walker, Jr. Evans
Preston Crews, Jr. Lakeside
David Steflik, Jr. Evans
Craig Arrington, Fr. Lakeside
Jeremy Armstrong, Fr. Greenbrier
Sammy Reed, Sr. Augusta Christian
Georgia College & State University
Michael Newman, Fr. Greenbrier
Marshall to be starter at Wofford
Former Greenbrier basketball star Eric Marshall had a solid freshman campaign a year ago at Wofford. Most people who followed Southern Conference Basketball felt like he was a star in the making. This season the 6-foot-4-inch sophomore has earned a starting spot in the Terriers back court.
Wofford is off to a 2-1 start with their lone loss coming by only three points at the ACC addition Miami during the season opener. Since then Wofford has posted a pair of blowouts, 90-64 over Milligan and 90-66 over Bluefield College.
So far Marshall is averaging eight points, but expect that to increase over the next few weeks. His time has been limited because the team's last two games have been so one-sided.
By the time you read this column Wofford will have played Tennessee and they play Auburn on Sunday.
Wofford could be one of the top teams in the always competitive Southern Conference.
Scott to redshirt
Columbia County's all-time leading scorer, Matt Scott, of Lakeside, will be redshirted this season at Georgia Southern. The 6-3 guard will have a chance to practice with the team all season and work on his game, while not losing any eligibility.
Scott will have four years after this season to play for the Eagles. This is not a big surprise. GSU returned most of its top players and Scott could really benefit from a redshirt year.
Also, it means that the Eagles have big plans for the sharp shooting guard. Coaches would not waste a redshirt season on a player unless they think he has a good future. If Scott uses this season to work hard on his game, he could push for playing time next season.
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