Callaway baseball players honored
Published 11:34 am Friday, May 25, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
If it was a big game, if the stakes were high, the Callaway Cavaliers knew they were in good shape with Chandler Lott on the mound.
Lott was at his best when the most was on the line, and in the final start of his high-school career, he threw a shutout in a victory over Benedictine in the state semifinals.
Lott was also Callaway’s top hitter, and he finished with a batting average above .400.
For his good work, Lott was selected as the Region 5-AA player of the year.
Lott is one of a handful of Callaway players to make the all-region team, a group that includes his fellow senior, Kyle Campbell.
Also making the team was Wesley Marchman, who was the region’s pitcher of the year.
Other all-region players are Braelin Mitchell, Drake Wade, Trent Sheppard, Bryce Kurian and Austin Barber.
Those players helped Callaway win the region championship and reach the state semifinals before losing to eventual state-champion Benedictine.
Lott had a remarkable senior season.
On the mound, Lott went 12-3 with three saves, and he had a 1.18 earned run average.
In the playoffs, Lott was the winning pitcher in victories over Douglass-Atlanta and Benedictine, and he also pitched twice in relief.
In game three against Thomasville, Lott pitched 1 1/3 innings in a 9-6 win that propelled Callaway into the semifinals.
At the plate, Lott hit .404 with 44 hits, six doubles, a triple, two home runs and 32 RBIs.
Lott transferred to Callaway for his junior season, and he was thrilled to be able to help the team get to the state semifinals for the first time since 2007.
“It’s real special,” said Lott, who will play college baseball at Georgia Highlands College. “All of those guys are special to me.”
Marchman teamed with Lott to give Callaway a formidable one-two punch on the pitcher’s mound.
Marchman, a sophomore, was 9-1 with two saves and a 2.64 ERA.
Marchman’s most memorable performance came in the quarterfinals of the playoffs against Thomasville.
After Callaway lost the first game, it had to win the second game to force a third and deciding game.
Marchman was untouchable.
He pitched nine innings, giving up five hits and one unearned run in a 2-1 victory.
“I’ll tell you what Wesley did,” Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard said. “He put his whole team on his back and carried them. That’s exactly what he did.”
Marchman was calm and poised throughout the game, despite the incredible pressure of the situation.
“We’re down in the series, and I feel confident all the time,” Marchman said. “I wasn’t going to let anything get to me.”
Kyle Campbell, who transferred to Callaway at the same time as Lott, is a first-team all-region player.
Campbell hit .296 with 32 hits, 10 doubles, two triples, a home run, 21 RBIs and 20 runs scored.
Campbell, who is headed to Albany State to play baseball, was the most versatile player on the team.
During his senior season Campbell was a catcher, third baseman, outfielder and pitcher.
In the series-clinching win over Thomasville, Campbell got the final two outs to get the save in the 9-6 win.
Braelin Mitchell, Callaway’s first baseman, hit .322 with eight doubles, four home runs and 31 RBIs.
Mitchell hit three of his home runs in the playoffs, including a game-winning solo shot in the top of the 10th inning of game two against Thomasville.
Drake Wade, Callaway’s outstanding shortstop, hit .336 from the leadoff position with six doubles, one home run and 17 RBIs.
Wade led the team with 44 runs scored.
Trent Sheppard, Bryce Kurian and Austin Barber were all second-team all-region players.
Barber was Callaway’s top relief pitcher.
Barber had 16 appearances, all in relief, and he had a 1.80 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 27.2 innings.
Sheppard, an outfielder, hit .294 with six doubles, two triples, 22 RBIs and nine stolen bases.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Drake Wade, Braelin Mitchell, Kyle Campbell
Trent Sheppard, Bryce Kurian Austin Barber