All-state honors for players
Published 1:11 pm Thursday, June 7, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Chandler Lott was a lock-down pitcher who was at his best in the most important games, and Braelin Mitchell was a slugging first baseman who came up with arguably the biggest hit of the season.
Those two players who helped lead Callaway to the state semifinals are both first-team members of the Georgia Dugout Preview Class AA all-state team that was announced this week.
Also for Callaway, Kyle Campbell and Wesley Marchman were second-team all-state players.
Troup, meanwhile, was well-represented on the Class AAAA all-state team, with Ryan Bliss and Colby Williams both earning first-team honors.
Troup’s Garrett Casey and LaGrange’s John Morgan were second-team selections, and Troup’s Cooper Doughman earned an honorable-mention nod.
It was a special season for Callaway, and Lott and Mitchell both did their part.
Lott, who has signed with Georgia Highlands College and was the Region 5-AA player of the year, had a fantastic senior season.
On the mound, Lott was 12-3 with a 1.18 earned run average, and he lead the team with a .404 batting average and 32 RBIs.
Mitchell, a junior, hit .322 with four home runs and 32 RBIs.
Three of Mitchell’s home runs came in the playoffs, including a game-winner in the second and deciding game of a second-round series against Rabun County.
In a tie game, Mitchell’s two-run home run gave the Cavaliers a 9-7 lead in the top of the seventh inning, and that was the final score.
“All night, they were pitching me away, off-speed pitches away,” Mitchell said. “He hung that one and I put a good swing on it, and it flew out of here.”
Campbell made the most of his senior season, and he did a little bit of everything for the team.
Campbell was a catcher, infielder, outfielder and pitcher, and he hit .296 with 10 doubles and 21 RBIs.
Campbell will get to keep playing baseball after signing a letter of intent with Albany State.
Marchman had a fantastic sophomore season as a pitcher, going 9-1 with a 2.64 ERA, and he also had two saves.
For Troup, Bliss, Williams, Casey and Doughman helped led the team to a 25-9 season that ended with a loss to Blessed Trinity in the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.
Bliss, a senior shortstop, had a remarkable senior season, leading the team in nearly every offensive category while getting it done defensively as well.
Bliss had a batting average close to .500, and he hit eight home runs, many of them leading off a game.
Williams was the staff ace, and he was mostly untouchable this season, and he was also one of the team’s leading hitters.
One of Williams’ most memorable performances came in a 5-1 victory over Cartersville when he pitched a complete-game three hitter with 10 strikeouts, and he didn’t allow an earned run.
In the first round of the playoffs against Ridgeland, Williams pitched a two-hitter with 15 strikeouts in a 7-0 victory over Ridgeland.
When he wasn’t pitching, Williams either played shortstop or third base.
Casey transferred to Troup before his junior season, and he teamed with Williams to give the team one of the state’s most dynamic one-two pitching combinations.
The left-handed Casey delivered a memorable performance in the first round of the playoffs against Ridgeland when he threw a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in an 8-0 win.
Doughman was behind the plate for nearly every game this season, and he was a rock defensively and a steady force in the lineup.
For LaGrange, Morgan had a fine senior season, and the team had a chance to win nearly every time he was on the mound.
Morgan, in fact, pitched complete games in two 1-0 victories, one against Columbus, and the against Cedartown in the region opener.
In the first round of the playoffs against Northwest Whitfield, Morgan threw a complete-game six hitter in a 5-1 victory.
Ryan Bliss, Colby Williams
Chandler Lott, Braelin Mitchell
Wesley Marchman, Kyle Campbell