Local players make trip to Oklahoma
Published 2:32 pm Thursday, June 21, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
He was a busy man.
Last week, LaGrange’s Trent Bailey was a member of Team Georgia, which was one of 10 teams participating in the Junior Sunbelt Classic in Oklahoma.
Team Georgia played 10 games, and Bailey started six of them, and that’s especially noteworthy considering he plays catcher, the most physically-demanding position on the field.
Bailey was joined on Team Georgia by Troup’s Colby Williams, who was the starting pitcher in two games, including an 8-0 victory over Tennessee where he threw a one-hitter.
One of the team’s coaches, meanwhile, was David Smart, who was the head coach at LaGrange for the past three seasons.
“It was cool. It was nice to meet all kinds of new people,” said Bailey, who had a big junior season for LaGrange. “We didn’t do that good winning games, but the experience was fun.”
Georgia finished with a 4-6 record, although it closed strong with back-to-back wins over Oklahoma Blue.
The 10 games were compacted into six days, so Bailey didn’t get a whole lot of time off.
“I caught a lot,” Bailey said.
Bailey also got an opportunity to go up against elite pitchers who were throwing gas.
“Almost everybody there was throwing 88, 89 (m.p.h.),” Bailey said. “It was a bunch of good pitchers there. It was good to see everybody.”
Bailey was behind the plate for both of Williams’ outings, including the memorable one against Tennessee.
Williams, who has been one of the state’s top pitchers the past two seasons, was in command from the get-go, and he limited Tennessee to one hit.
Bailey and Williams will both return for their senior seasons in 2019.
Smart was LaGrange’s head coach for the past three seasons, and he led the team to the state quarterfinals in 2017.
Smart has left LaGrange to take over the baseball and softball programs at Denmark High.