Former Harlem baseball standout Patrick Gamblin is closing in on the end of his freshman season for Winthrop University. It looks like he is going to finish with a bang.
In a recent three-game series against Presbyterian College, Gamblin showed flashes of his high school days for the Bulldogs, where he flirted with batting .500 as a sophomore. In the series opener against Presbyterian, Gamblin tied a school record by going 5 for 5 at the plate as Winthrop slugged out a 15-12 victory.
For the series, Gamblin was 8 for 14 with a pair of homers and six RBI as Winthrop took two of three from Presbyterian.
Gamblin followed up his big weekend with a pair of hits and an RBI in a 14-6 loss to No. 13 South Carolina on Wednesday.
For the season, Gamblin is third on the team with a .344 average. He has appeared in 25 games with 15 starts, but it looks like he has earned a spot in the lineup for the remainder of the season. He has four home runs and 18 RBI this season for the Eagles, who are 21-22.
Junior college trio having solid seasons
A trio of county products are having solid seasons for Georgia junior college programs.
Former Harlem infielder Wesley Morris has put together a solid freshman campaign for South Georgia. He is currently hitting .333 with four homers and 25 RBI. South Georgia is 39-19 on the season.
Also, a pair of former Greenbrier pitchers are doing well now that they are out of the huge shadow cast by Nolan Belcher and Brandon Cumpton. Patrick McGowan is 7-3 on the mound this season for Gordon Junior College. The lefty has 6.38 ERA, but leads Gordon in victories and is a big reason they are 34-20 on the season.
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise is Mitchell Knox. He leads the Georgia junior college ranks with eight wins. He is 8-2 with an impressive 3.80 era for Young Harris, helping the team to a 39-13 record, tops among Georgia junior college teams.
High school golf teams looking good
We have high expectations for our county teams as the soccer and baseball playoffs are underway.
However, it is getting harder to ignore what our young golfers are doing. At the recent GHSA State Championships, a pair of county teams nearly pulled off an incredible double-dip.
In the AAAA State Championships in Jekyll Island, Lakeside stunned the hometown favorite Glynn Academy squad thanks to a spectacular performance by Kennesaw State signee Kelby Burton. Burton picked a great time to go low, firing 5-under-par 67 to earn medalist honors by a whopping seven shots. The performance also led the Panthers to a six-shot win and their fourth state title in golf.
Burton said the Panthers got serious in a practice round before the final.
"We were in the middle of a practice round, and we were not taking it seriously, then Jack's dad (Lakeside sophomore Jack Gibbs) joined us and we split up into three-man teams," Burton said.
"We got serious and it came down to the final hole. I needed to make about a 40-footer for our team to win. I made it for the win, and that gave me a lot of confidence heading into the final."
Gibbs (77), Tyler Duke (78) and Brant Patton (78) rounded out the Panthers' scores.
While Lakeside was busy claiming the AAAA crown, Greenbrier was trying to do the same in AAAAA. The Wolfpack played in Greensboro, Ga., at Reynolds Plantation. Greenbrier, which does not have a senior on the team, played like savvy veterans as they posted 8-over 296 to force a sudden-death playoff with two-time state champion Harrison High School of Kennesaw, Ga.
The Hoyas claimed the title on the first extra hole, but the 'Pack earned a great deal of respect from everyone in attendance. Evan Usry finish third in the individual race with even-par 72, Cody Shafer carded 73, Taylor Gove shot 74 and Robert Robertson fired 77.
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