Ken Raborn was expected to have a solid senior season for USC Aiken. The former Evans High School slugger was selected to the Pre-Season All-Conference Team after a monster 2008.
Raborn was an All-Conference performer at second base after hitting .339 with 17 homers (fourth in the Peach Belt Athletic Conference) and 69 RBI (fifth in PBAC) and ranked in the top 10 in the conference in six categories overall.
However, I do not think USC Aiken Coach Kenny Thomas expected for Raborn to begin the season this hot. He moved to first base this season, but apparently the move has had no negative affect on the former Knight.
He earned the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week award after his incredible start in the Pacers' first four games. Raborn went a sizzling 11 of 15 at the plate, good for a .733 batting average. He leads the PBAC in hitting, on-base percentage (.810), slugging percentage (1.200), and doubles (four). Raborn also has a homer and nine RBI.
No one can be expected to keep up this amazing pace, but the slugger has certainly put together a week he will never forget.
Six county natives on roster for ASU
It is hard to believe, but we are nine games into the college baseball season at Augusta State University. The Jags opened the season with four consecutive losses, but have since won four of their last five.
Six players who hail from Columbia County suit up for Skip Fite's Jaguars this season. That group is headed up by senior left-handed pitcher Ben Dukes. The former Greenbrier standout has 12 career wins for ASU and currently holds down one of the spots in the ASU starting rotation.
Dukes has made two starts thus far in 2009 and has a 0-1 mark. He has an impressive 2.79 ERA. Unfortunately, ASU has had eight unearned runs while Dukes has been on the mound. In 9.2 innings of work, he has yet to yield a walk or give up an extra base hit.
Joining Dukes on the ASU roster are a pair of catchers. Sophomore Alex Sickman (Evans) is back after starting in 43 games a year ago. He is the Jags' starting catcher, but has struggled a bit at the plate in the early going. Sickman is hitting .130 with two RBI. That should improve; Sickman hit .324 last season and was among the team leaders in most offensive categories.
While Sickman handles the catching duties for the Jags, Greenbrier product Adam King, also a catcher, has cracked the lineup as a designated hitter. He is off to a terrific start. He is fourth on the team with a .348 batting average. He also has a homer and three RBI. King has played in all eight games and started in seven.
Former Lakeside star Carl Burrow is back after missing nearly all of last season with an injury. The red-shirt junior will play in the outfield and get some looks on the mound this season. Two other players, Loren Collins and Ernest Murray, are from Evans, but graduated from Westminster. They are likely red-shirt candidates for the Jags this season.
Next week I will have an update on the rest of the Peach Belt and look at several other area natives who are playing on the college diamond.
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