County all-stars are state champs

NC'S 13-un­der all stars cap­ture Ju­nior Dixie Boys state ti­tle

The Covington News - - Frontpage - jbriggs@cov­news.com

It’s been a while but New­ton County has a state base­ball cham­pion. The 13-year old New­ton County All-Star cap­tured the Ju­nior Dixie Boys state ti­tle Tues­day with a 23-9 win over West Ge­or­gia White in Colum­bus and will rep­re­sent Ge­or­gia in the Dixie Boys World Se­ries.

New­ton County won

NC RE­CRE­ATION

its open­ing games 109 and 10-6 on Satur­day and Sun­day re­spec­tively in the dou­ble-elim­i­na­tion tour­na­ment.

“It is the work ethic,” head coach Tins­ley Bai­ley said. “These kids had two-and-a-half hours of prac­tice ev­ery day for two weeks lead­ing up to the tour­na­ment. They’ve worked hard to get here and we’re not done yet.”

The 13-un­der team will rep­re­sent the state at the Ju­nior Dixie Boys World Se­ries is in Seneca, S.C. New­ton County plays Vir­ginia at 1 p.m. July 30.

The team is made up of many of the play­ers who fin­ished sec­ond to Troup County at last year’s state tour­na­ment. New­ton County lost the champi- on­ship game a year ago 3-2.

The team con­sists of play­ers D.J. Pow­ell, Phillip Rowe, Mar­quell Stevens, Au­gus­tus Mur­ray, Gray Ritchey, Jared Jones, Jake Jones, Blake Shope, Hunter Phillips, Austin Tay­lor, Ja­son Cloer, Stephen Jor­dan, Hunter Ed­mond­son. Coaches Lee Banks, Jessie John­ston, Bai­ley guided the team to

a per­fect 3-0 record at the state tour­na­ment.

New­ton County got it done at the plate but it was per­haps their pitch­ing that made the dif­fer­ence.

“The pitch­ing is prob­a­bly the strength of our team,” Bai­ley said. “Blake, Austin and Gray are our most dom­i­nant pitch­ers and we have a lot of other kids that can pitch. But this was a to­tal team ef­fort.”

New­ton County has two weeks to pre­pare for the Ju­nior Dixie World se­ries where Bai­ley said he feels this team will be as good as any at the tour­na­ment. They’ll play a tune up tour­na­ment next week­end be­fore a week of prac­tice in prepa­ra­tion for re­al­iz­ing their ultimate goal.

“I’d be dis­ap­pointed (if we didn’t win),” Bai­ley said. “We haven’t done what we set out to do. We feel very good and we think we can win it. I think this group is play­ing solid enough that they can win it.”

photo cour­tesy of Ge­orge Mcduffie

The Ge­or­gia Ju­nior Dixie Boys ti­tle re­sides in Cov­ing­ton thanks to the New­ton County All-Star team's 23-9 win over West Ge­or­gia White in Colum­bus Tues­day.

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