After the first regular-season state coaches poll was released last week from GaSports.com, two Columbia County baseball teams are earning state recognition.
Greenbrier, previously ranked No. 4 in the state preseason poll, is now the top team in the land. The Wolfpack entered the week undefeated at 3-0 and averaged 13 runs per game.
Evans, previously ranked No. 7, took Greenbrier's old spot at No. 4 by starting the season 4-1 with wins over Burke County, Cross Creek, Lincoln County and Harlem.
The Knights' win over Harlem, an 11-1 blowout, came on a Tuesday night when Evans could do no wrong.
In only 4 innings, the Knights took care of the Bulldogs with 11 runs on seven hits.
The offense was highlighted by a home run off the bat of Shawn Ward, who ended the night batting 2-for-3, which included a double.
Evans baseball coach Ricky Beale said the increased offense and high state ranking are nice, but the real season has yet to begin.
"We've been fortunate with swinging the bats, but these first seven games are just getting us ready for the region," Beale said.
The Greenbrier Wolfpack took the first part of the week off after earning a 17-1 win over Cross Creek last weekend.
Augusta Christian transfer Nolan Belcher saw his first action on the mound for the Wolfpack and gave up no runs in two innings.
Augusta Christian kicked off their season with plenty of state recognition thanks to last year's South Carolina Independent Schools Association state championship title.
The Lions started the season without missing a beat Monday with an 8-4 win over rival Augusta Prep.
Augusta Christian pitcher Josh Sizemore pitched four innings with six strikeouts and gave up one unearned run.
The senior's biggest contribution came at the plate. In his first at bat of the year, Sizemore launched a grand slam in a five-run first inning for a comfortable lead.
"He did what you want a good hitter to do on a 3-1 pitch," Augusta Christian baseball coach Craig Johnson said. "He grooved a 3-1 down the middle, and Josh got it."
Sizemore also got his first win of the year. Augusta Christian survived a fifth inning that saw a pair of Lions relievers give up three runs on four walks and two infield errors.
Sophomore reliever Tyler Bourdo set down the Cavaliers in order to seal the win in the sixth inning.
"We're still in a little bit of a transition," Johnson said. "We've got to come out and be more consistent. We gave them too many extra outs."
The Lakeside Panthers improved to 3-1 on Tuesday with a 16-9 victory over Cross Creek.
Lakeside junior Zach Lawson not only earned his first win of the season on the mound but also batted 3-for-5 with a double in the win. Junior J.C. Huffman also got into the act with his fourth home run in as many games.
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