Harlem's baseball team wrapped up its season with an awards banquet.
Players and parents were treated to dinner in the fellowship hall of Harlem Baptist Church while Bulldogs coach Jimmie Lewis recapped the team's season. Among the highlights mentioned were the team's first region championship since 2001 and its regular-season sweeps of Evans, Lakeside and Thomson.
"That means a lot," Lewis said. "You didn't win state championships all the time. A team like ours should win regions all the time."
Lewis and his staff then handed out team awards.
Most promising freshman -- Taylor Camp
Catcher played every inning for the Bulldogs' junior varsity squad and batted .447.
Most promising sophomores -- Jay Aplin, Derek Beasley, Zach Morris
Beasley batted .304, pitched and played outfield. Aplin logged the most innings of any junior varsity pitcher, finished with the lowest ERA on the team, and also picked up a varsity win. Zach Morris served as a courtesy runner and broke into the lineup against Worth County in the playoffs.
On Beasley: "He gets a lot of momentum out of a small body. He's got a bright future." -- Harlem assistant coach Lonnie Morris.
On Zach Morris: "He's just moving all the time. I was really afraid he was going to break something while swinging." -- Lonnie Morris.
Most improved -- Derek Clayon
Junior batted .370, pitched and played outfield.
On Clayton: "If he improves that much to next year, we're going to be in big business with him." -- Lewis.
Next most improved -- Carlos Beard
Senior batted .324 and hit a home run in the last at-bat of his high-school career.
On Beard: "I wish my last at-bat went like that. I went out of the park, but I struck out and walked out the gate." -- Lewis.
Coaches awards -- Mike Leverett and Trey Crain
Leverett, a third baseman, and Crain, a first baseman, were recognized by Harlem assistant coach Chris Waters for answering "Yes, sir" to every request.
On Leverett: "Nothing got by him, unless they hit a bullet by him." -- Lewis.
On Crain: "He had to learn a position he didn't play all that much, and he did an excellent job." -- Lewis.
Best defense -- Tyler James, Aaron Rachels
The sophomore James played shortstop, and Rachels played catcher.
On James: He made some big plays for us. He handles himself well in the infield." -- Lewis
On Rachels: "If you don't have a good catcher, there's no reason to go to the ballpark. He's nuts, but I love him to death." -- Lewis.
Clutch hitter -- Patrick Gamblin
Senior anchored right field, pitched and batted .465.
On Gamblin: "I hope he comes on even better. I hope he bats .565 next year." -- Lewis.
Best hitter -- Wesley Morris
Senior played second base and batted .513.
On Morris: "He's the first .500 batter I've had since 1986." -- Lewis.
MVP -- Steven Waters
Left-hander served as the Bulldogs' ace, finishing with an 8-4 record on the mound. The senior batted .390.
On Waters: "If he hadn't been on the mound, we wouldn't have won a region championship." -- Lewis.
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