Home runs are nothing new in Columbia County, but one was hit last week that deserves a little more recognition than others. It came from a seventh-grader at Columbia Middle School.
"We've had a few hit out of our field, but not from a seventh-grader," Columbia Middle athletics director Bill Dunham said.
The young power hitter was Jordan Rice, and the home run easily cleared the fence at the Columbia Middle baseball field in a game against Harlem Middle School last Wednesday. Raiders baseball coach Steven Dunham estimated the home run at 365 to 370 feet.
"You don't hear about many middle school home runs, period, and it's especially rare coming from a seventh-grader," he said. "Our field is the biggest middle school field there is (in Columbia County), and this one would have gone out of any high school field. Once he hit it everybody knew it was gone."
Rice's home run came with a runner on base and gave Columbia Middle a 6-5 lead. The Raiders went on to beat Harlem Middle 10-5, and Rice finished the day batting 3-for-4 from the plate.
Greenbrier gets rare loss
Greenbrier's baseball players aren't accustomed to losing games.
After last season's 35-1 record and a 21-0 regular season, any loss is hard to swallow. That included Saturday's 3-2 extra-inning loss at Class AAAA No. 3 Heritage.
"It bothers them to lose, and that's a good thing," Greenbrier baseball coach Rodney Holder said.
Junior starter Nolan Belcher went six strong innings against Heritage and left the game with the lead. His first chance at earning a win this season turned into a no-decision after the home team tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Heritage scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth to hand Greenbrier its second loss in 38 games.
"I felt like we pitched well enough to win and we played defense enough to win, but we didn't hit enough to win," Holder said.
Greenbrier left 16 runners on base in the loss and fell to 1-1 on the season.
Evans High remains undefeated
The Evans Knights remained undefeated this season with two more wins during the weekend at their Diamond Day festivities Saturday. The Knights knocked off Elbert County 7-0 thanks to a complete-game shutout from senior Matt Fleenor and a home run off the bat of senior Robbie Bryant.
Evans followed up with a 9-6 victory over Washington County with sophomore Rob Williams picking up his second win of the year in relief. Five Knights doubled in the game that saw Evans score three runs to break a 6-6 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning to improve to 4-0 on the season.
Augusta Prep Cavaliers split
Augusta Prep's baseball season began last week with a double-header against the CSRA Warriors home-school team. The Cavaliers lost the first game 3-1 but won the second game 7-3, thanks to a complete game four-hitter from pitcher Brad King.
Augusta Prep will hit the road to face Briarwood Academy on Thursday.
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