Former Cartersville and current Georgia Tech junior shortstop Connor Justus is lighting it up for the 11-0 Yellow Jackets to begin the season.
Justus went 7-for-13 in four games last week — one against Georgia State and three against Western Carolina — scoring at least one run and driving in at least one in each game. He had seven runs scored, six RBIs, three doubles, two triples, four walks, a hit by pitch, a sacrifice bunt and stolen base in 18 plate appearances in the four games.
He went 3-for-5 Saturday with two triples, two runs scored and three RBIs in a 14-3 win. With the two triples, he tied the school record for most in a game and is the 17th Yellow Jacket to hit two triples in a game.
Georgia Tech is ranked No. 9, 17, 20, 21 and 22 in various national polls as Justus starts at shortstop and bats in the No. 2 hole. He has started all 11 games at short and was leading the team among regulars entering Tuesday’s game with Auburn with a .465 batting average in 43 at bats. He has a .540 on-base percentage and a .698 slugging percentage with six doubles and two triples. He has scored 13 runs and driven in nine. He also has a .971 fielding percentage at shortstop.
Also highlighting last week’s Bartow college baseball action, Adairsville’s Tristan Smith produced in four starts at shortstop for Young Harris. For Cartersville, the 2014 DTN and Class 3A player of the year Clifton Dempsey went 6-for-14 in four games for Maryville, while 2014 DTN pitcher of the year Hunter Osborn did not allow a run for the third time in five starts.
For Georgia Highlands, the Cass trio of Brandon Etheridge, Bradley Hood and Chris Morton continue to produce. Etheridge scored a run in each of the Chargers’ four games last week, and Hood and Morton combined to throw 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
As for Woodland, Robert Harris threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief for Troy.
Clifton Dempsey (Maryville College So., Cartersville) — Justus’ successor as the Canes’ shortstop, Dempsey went 6-for-14 over four games — one March 1 against Emory & Henry and a three-game conference series over the weekend against Covenant. In the game Friday against Covenant, he went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Dempsey has taken over as the regular second baseman for the Scots and is hitting .421 with two walks, two doubles, four stolen bases, six runs scored and five RBIs in 38 at bats. He also holds a .961 fielding percentage.
Ty Fowler (Tennessee Wesleyan College Jr., Cartersville) — Fowler saw one appearance last week as he threw 1 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and one run. That was the first run he has allowed this year as he has now thrown 5 1/3 innings and given up five hits, no walks and has seven strikeouts.
Bo Edwards (University of North Georgia Sr., Adairsville) — Edwards went 0-for-2 in his lone appearance last week on March 4, but drove home a run in a start at designated hitter.
Robert Harris (Troy University Sr., Woodland) — Troy played a game March 2 against UAB and three games in the Cox Diamond Invitational against Auburn, Southern Mississippi and Michigan State. Troy went 1-3 in the week with the win coming against Auburn Friday. Harris threw a scoreless 1 1/3 in the game, allowing one hit and one walk with a strikeout. He then pitched a scoreless inning in relief against Michigan State, allowing two baserunners but needing just nine pitches to get out of the inning. Harris has pitched 10 1/3 innings on the year and has allowed just one earned run (0.87 ERA). He has a .205 batting average against with 12 strikeouts out of the bullpen.
Harrison Hatfield (Shorter University So., Cartersville) — Hatfield started all three games at second base during a weekend series against Mississippi College. He went 1-for-7 with two walks, a double, an RBI and a sacrifice bunt.
Bradley Hood (Georgia Highlands Fr., Cass) — Hood pitched 2 2/3 over the course of two outings this weekend and allowed no runs on three hits with two strikeouts. Hood has thrown 6 2/3 innings on the season across seven appearances. He has allowed a run in just one of those appearances and has six strikeouts.
Tripp Jamieson (University of Cumberlands Jr., Cartersville) — Jamieson saw action in four of his team’s six games last week. He went 1-for-11 with an RBI. For the season, Jamieson is hitting .278 with a .341 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage thanks to two doubles, a triple and two home runs. He has 12 RBIs and 12 runs scored in 36 at bats on the year.
Sean McDermott (Cleveland State CC Fr., Adairsville) — McDermott went 1-for-5 with a double and a run scored in a game against Gordon State March 2. On March 5, he went 1-for-2 with a walk. In four games last week, McDermott went 1-for-13 with a walk, a double and run scored. In 14 games played this season, McDermott is hitting .283 with seven runs scored and five RBIs in 46 at bats while starting at first base and hitting in the middle of the order. He holds a .346 on-base percentage and a .348 slugging percentage.
Chris Morton (Georgia Highlands Fr., Cass) — Morton threw two innings across two appearances this weekend and did not allow a hit or a run and recorded three strikeouts.
Hunter Osborn (Reinhardt University So., Cartersville) — Osborn continues his strong start to the season as he pitched another six scoreless innings in a start during a three-game set with Union College. He allowed four hits, two walks and struck out one in a no decision. Reinhardt eventually won the game in extra innings. In five starts so far this season, Osborn is 2-0 and has not allowed a run in three of his outings, and no more than two in any of the five starts. He has allowed three runs in 26 2/3 innings and has a .186 batting average against with 16 strikeouts.
Mason Robinson (Wallace State-Dothan CC So., Woodland) — Robinson started all three games for Wallace State last week. His best game came March 3 against Faulkner when he went 3-for-5 with a triple, three RBIs, a stolen base and a run scored. He had three walks, a stolen base and a run scored a day earlier against Pensacola State. For the three games last week, Robinson went 3-for-10 with three walks, three RBIs, two stolen bases, two runs scored and a triple. For the season, he is 9-for-48 with a .339 on-base percentage and a .354 slugging percentage. He has scored seven runs and has six RBIs.
Tristan Smith (Young Harris College So., Adairsville) — Smith started all four games last week at shortstop, his first starts of the year. He made the most of the opportunity as he went 5-for-15 with two doubles, two walks, four runs scored and an RBI. For the season, Smith is 6-for-18 with a .400 on-base percentage and a .444 slugging percentage.
JoJo Underwood (UNC Greensboro Jr., Cartersville) — Underwood went 0-for-3 in two games played last week. He is 1-for-6 on the year with a double and two RBIs.
Tyler Will (Berry College Jr., Cartersville) — Will threw two innings in a game Saturday against Transylvania. He allowed one earned run on three hits with two strikeouts. For the season, he has thrown six innings, allowed three earned runs, has struck out three and has earned one save.
Asa Williams (Reinhardt University Sr., Cartersville) — Williams started at catcher and went 0-for-3 in Game 2 of a weekend series with Union College. He hit what would have been the walk-off game-winner on a drive to the outfield wall, but was injured on the play and could not run it out. Reinhardt still won in the eighth inning and swept the series with Union. Williams is 7-for-31 on the year with six RBIs and a .314 on-base percentage.
Chaz Wilson (Columbus State University Jr., Cass) — Wilson pitched three innings across two appearances last week as the No. 13-ranked Cougars went 4-1. Wilson pitched the last two innings in a March 2 game against Auburn-Montgomery, allowing no hits and two walks with three strikeouts. He then pitched a scoreless final inning of a 10-3 win over Saginaw Valley State Saturday. He has now pitched 10 1/3 innings in six relief appearances, allowing five hits, six walks and has struck out 11. He holds a 1.74 ERA and a .152 batting average against on the season.