Monday proved to be a huge day for former Cartersville High baseball players.
In the afternoon, former Canes Elliott Anderson and Devin Warner earned a berth in the College World Series, as Auburn defeated North Carolina in Game 3 to win its Super Regional series.
That evening, Anthony Seigler made his return to the minor leagues after a few months spent at Extended Spring Training. The New York Yankees' first-round draft pick in 2018 debuted for the Class-A Charleston RiverDogs in their series opener at the Rome Braves.
They weren't the only ex-Cartersville standouts to shine on the diamond this week. Sam Howard made it six appearances in a row without any earned runs allowed. Connor Justus also broke out of a slump, hitting .300 with five walks.
Sam Howard (Albuquerque Isotopes, Colorado Rockies organization; Cartersville) — Howard made a pair of one-inning, scoreless relief appearances last week. Howard gave up a hit but fanned two batters in the eighth inning of a 5-1 loss last Wednesday at Omaha. The southpaw was then called upon to walk two batters intentionally in the 10th inning Saturday night before getting out of the frame as the Isotopes went on to defeat the Iowa Cubs 8-7 in 12 innings. He also struck out the side Monday afternoon in a one-inning showing against the Cubs in a 13-4 defeat. Albuquerque (30-35) remains in third place in the PCL’s Southern Division 11 1/2 games behind first-place El Paso.
Connor Justus (Mobile BayBears, L.A. Angels organization; Cartersville) — Justus saw action in four games last Monday through Wednesday at Chattanooga and Sunday at home against Birmingham. He was 3-for-10 with five walks and three RBIs. He scored three runs and stole his sixth base of the season. Justus has a .193 batting average with one homer and 11 RBIs through 52 games and 151 official at-bats this season. As a defender, the infielder carries a .949 fielding percentage in 178 total chances with 28 starts at shortstop, 12 at third base and 11 at second base. Mobile (23-37) is fourth in the SL South, 13 1/2 games behind first-place Biloxi.
Anthony Seigler (Charleston RiverDogs, N.Y. Yankees organization; Cartersville) — Seigler hit second and started at catcher, finishing 0-for-3, in Charleston's opener in a three-game series Monday on the road against the Rome Braves. It marked the A-ball debut for the switch-hitter after he had spent the past few months at Extended Spring Training in Tampa. Seigler, who was drafted in the first round in 2018 by the New York Yankees, joins a team that entered Monday in first place in the SAL Southern Division with a 34-28 record in the first half. The SAL first-half schedule finishes up this coming Sunday. The second-half league schedule runs June 20 through Sept. 2 with playoffs continuing in early September. Seigler, who will turn 20 on June 20, played 24 games in 2018 — 12 each with the Gulf Coast League Yankees West and Rookie League Pulaski Yankees. He hit .266 with one home run and nine RBIs. As a professional, Seigler has a .379 on-base percentage, .342 slugging percentage and an OPS of .721 in 79 official at-bats.
Elliott Anderson (Auburn Jr., Cartersville) — Anderson made a pair of appearances in the Tigers’ Super Regional series win at North Carolina. The 23rd-round selection of the Kansas City Royals less than a week ago, Anderson picked up the pitching win in Game 1 with the Tar Heels in a two-inning relief appearance. Anderson worked the sixth and seventh innings for the Tigers, allowing one earned run on a pair of hits and no walks. The southpaw struck out one of the seven batters he faced. Anderson took the mound with Auburn trailing 4-2 and ended the seventh behind 5-2, but he was the benefactor of the Tigers’ five-run top of the eighth inning, when the Tigers took a 7-5 lead over the Tar Heels. Teammate Cody Greenhill closed out the final two frames in the 11-7 win. Anderson also entered in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 2-0 loss. The former Cane entered the game with the Tigers trailing 2-0 and worked the final three frames. He allowed no runs with two strikeouts and the same number of hits and walks allowed. Auburn (38-26) scored 13 runs in the top of the first inning Monday en route to a 14-7 win to secure a berth in the College World Series, which begins Saturday in Omaha.
Devin Warner (Auburn Fr., Cartersville) — Warner didn't feature in Auburn's best-of-three Super Regionals against North Carolina. However, he and the Tigers will be headed to the College World Series after winning two out of three over the Tar Heels. Auburn, which entered the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the Atlanta Regional, will open its bid for a first national title against SEC rival Mississippi State. The matchup with the Bulldogs will mark the Tigers' first game in Omaha since 1997.
— Charles Wilson of Bartow Sports Zone contributed to this report.