After the team won a second straight SCISA state championship, four members of the Augusta Christian Schools baseball team still had one more game to play.
The 2006 SCISA North-South Baseball All-Star Game was played in Orangeburg, S.C. on May 20. Lion standouts Josh Whitaker, Josh Sizemore, Trey Crabill and Tyler Bourdo were all named to the roster and saw significant action as a part of the North team.
"It was a pretty relaxed atmosphere," Sizemore said. "There was really no pressure, and we were just able to play. It was more or less just having fun."
Sizemore, the Lions' top pitcher this year with a 9-1 record, threw one inning and struck out two batters. The North team took an early 1-0 lead, but then things got a little less relaxed.
The South team, the clear underdogs according to the Lions, rallied for six runs. That's when things got serious for the Augusta Christian-led North team.
"I hate playing in games when there's nothing on the line," Crabill said. "We were supposed to blow the other team out."
Still trailing, Crabill launched a home run in his second at bat. Bourdo hit a double off the wall to add to the rally. By the final inning, the North team had completed the comeback and forced the game into extra innings. Finally, in the 10th inning of what was supposed to be a seven-inning ball game, Whitaker stepped up to the plate.
The junior hit a game-winning home run to give the North team the victory.
"The third base coach from Hammond told me to hit one out," Whitaker said. "It was hot, and we were ready to go home."
After the game, the awards started pouring in for the Augusta Christian standouts. Sizemore and Whitaker were both named SCISA All-State. Crabill, Bourdo and Wayne House joined Sizemore and Whitaker on the All-Region team.
South Carolina's High School Sports Report named Crabill and Bourdo to its All-State team, and Whitaker was named SCISA Player of the Year. Finally, Augusta Christian coach Craig Johnson was awarded SCISA Coach of the Year.
Johnson said all the accolades were a tribute to his players.
"They're all good hitters," he said. "We knew our pitching wasn't going to be as strong this year, and we had to out-slug some teams. These boys did that."
The Lions will receive their awards at a banquet in Columbia on Sunday.
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