When Chance Smith was a senior at Evans High School two years ago, he was a solid player. There was no denying his athletic ability, and scouts loved his blazing speed. When people talked about the premier players in the area, however, Smith usually was not mentioned among the top four or five.
Well, if the 2005 season he turned in for The Citadel is any indication, Smith was highly underrated. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound outfielder red-shirted in 2004, but as a red-shirt freshmen this spring he was solid and at times spectacular. For the season, Smith played in 38 games, starting 22 and leading the Bulldogs with a batting average of .400 (46 points higher than his closest teammate). He also had three triples, two homers, and 11 RBI. Smith also swiped eight bases in 10 chances. He played more and more as the season went on and should be a major contributor for The Citadel for the next three seasons.
Dunham inks pro deal
Former Evans hurler Steve Dunham wrapped up a impressive senior season for USC Aiken this spring and appeared to have his baseball days behind him.
All that changed last week. The big right-hander signed a pro contract with the Joliet Jackhammers of the Independent Northern League. The Jackhammers are based in Joliet, Ill., and are at the halfway point of their 96-game schedule.
Dunham closed out his college career on a high note at USC Aiken. He was one of the top pitchers in the Peach Belt Conference. He finished 7-4 with an ERA of just 2.74 in 15 starts. He also led the Pacers in complete games (4), Strikeouts (88), and innings pitched (111.2). His innings pitched mark broke a 12-year-old school record. For his efforts Dunham was selected Second Team All South Atlantic Region.
He becomes the 33rd Pacers player to sign a pro contract, joining fellow Columbia County Native Bradley Key who was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds following his junior season at USC Aiken.
Shepherd has nice showing at State Am
Kris Shepherd, another Evans grad, made news this week. The rising senior at Kennesaw State got off to a hot start at the 84th Georgia State Amateur Championship. The event, which was played at the Savannah Golf Club, wrapped up this weekend with one of the most heralded young golfers in the world taking home top honors.
Shepherd opened with a 1-under 70, which put him in a tie for fourth place heading into the second round. Unfortunately, Shepherd was unable to sustain his hot play and fell back on day two with a 76. However, he battled his way to a respectable 19th place finish. He had rounds of 71 and 74 over the weekend to finish at 7 over for the Tournament.
Savannah's Brian Harmon, the top-ranked junior player in the U.S., finished 8 under with rounds of 72-65-71-68 to claim the title by two shots. Harmon will begin his college career for defending national champion Georgia this fall.
Shepherd's solid play should give him some confidence as he gears up for his final season of college golf for the Owls this season.
Other local players to make the cut included: Jeff Knox, T19, 7 over; Michael Green, T22, 8 over; Jefferson Murray, T48, 16 over.
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