Few teams in Georgia have been as hot as the 13-and-under Columbia County Cyclones baseball team. Heading into this weekend's USSSA State Tournament, the Cyclones were coming off of back-to-back tournament titles, having won events in Greenville, S.C., and at Diamond Lakes in Augusta.
So, for good reason, the Cyclones were playing with confidence as the state tourney got under way this past Friday in Dublin. After five games in just three days the Cyclones had come out on top and were crowned state champs.
In the title game Sunday afternoon, the Cyclones led Houston County 10-6 in the final inning of play. Just then, a ball was hit into the gap and it looked as though Houston County might have been primed for a rally, but fleet-footed center fielder Tevin Nelson had other plans. The speedster got on his horse and not only made a spectacular catch but also spun and threw the ball to Michael Brantley at first base for the game-ending double play.
Brantley also helped provide some power for the Cyclones by hitting one of the team's two homers during the tournament. Zach Hayden also went deep for the state champs. Cyclones standout Derek Beasley was selected as the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
It looks as though the incredibly rich baseball tradition that thrives in Columbia County is in good hands. Congratulations to coaches Steve Beasley, Lenn Brantley and Randall Crook and the entire Cyclones team.
I had the chance to play for five state championship squads from Little League through high school, and I can attest that this is something these kids will remember for the rest of their lives. If you know a member of the Cyclones family, make sure to let them know that you are proud of their accomplishment.
Glover shines at North-South All-Star Game
Kristan Glover could not settle for leading Greenbrier High to the school's first state title in softball, or being named the state Pitcher of the Year. She holds virtually every record possible in Columbia County softball history, including more than 100 career victories on the mound and more than 1,000 career strikeouts.
No, none of that was enough. She had one last feather to stick in her cap. The Tennessee Tech signee led the South squad to a two-game all-star sweep in the annual North-South State All-Star Game by throwing a three-hit shutout in the first game, a 2-0 victory for the South. In Game Two, she homered to help her team to a 3-1 victory.
In addition, her former Greenbrier coach, Garrett Black, was the winning coach for the South squad.
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