In less than ideal conditions, the Banks County High School summer baseball team played on.
Traveling to Lumpkin County Saturday, BCHS battled two opponents as well as temperatures which hovered near 100 degrees. The Leopards, in addition to having to deal with the blistering heat, had to battle quality Class AAA programs.
“It was good for us to go up and play against quality opponents like that,” Lord said. “We were without several of our returning varsity players who had other commitments. However, it was a great opportunity for some other players to get some time against good competition.”
BCHS fell to Lumpkin County 5-1 and dropped a 6-2 decision to Franklin County. However, despite the coaches and players’ always present competitive nature, the real goal of summer play is to gain experience and to get all players on the roster game time.
Lord said Justin Gibbs and Chris Porter both swung the bats well against Lumpkin County while Bill Redmon, Eli Autry and Wesley Angel handled the pitching.
“Each of our pitchers did pretty well and helped keep Lumpkin in check,” Lord said. “They threw a lefty at us who went the distance, which is kind of odd for summer baseball. He was a good pitcher though and seeing him will help us down the road.”
Against Franklin County, BCHS faced another strong pitcher for six innings. Zack Dale, Redmon, Gibbs, Autry, Kyle Smith, Kasey Hudgins and Jessy Hudgins paced the offense. Redmon and Gibbs both scored runs.
Kasey Hudgins, Dale and Porter each pitched in the second contest.
The BCHS summer team played a nine-inning game against Elbert County Monday night and fell 14-2.
“This game was good practice for both squads,” Lord said. “Both teams had plenty of offense, but Elbert was simply much better at cashing in with runners on base. Elbert has a good team and I am impressed with them. They don’t have many power hitters, but they have batters who make contact and have good bunters and a ton of speed.”
Tyler McEntire, Autry, Porter and Jeff Smith each saw time on the mound for BCHS.
“McEntire continues to do a good job of throwing strikes and letting the defense work,” Lord said.
At the plate, Porter, Autry, Dale, Jeff Smith, Justin Bowen, McEntire, Angel, Andrew Berry and Gibbs each provided a spark in Monday’s contest.
“It’s hard not to want to be on the winning side,” Lord said. “However, we know in the summer we have to take a look at everyone.
These players are giving up their summer to be a part of this team and we want to work them in as much as possible. The kids have responded well.”
The summer roster is comprised of players who were on the varsity and junior varsity rosters this past spring.
Tyler McEntire and the Banks County High School summer baseball team continues to play on this month. Coach Joe Lord is using the summer schedule as a jumpstart to next spring for the Diamond Leopards. Photo by Randy Crump