Bartow standouts continue strong play into summer
by Jason Greenberg
Jun 21, 2014 | 1657 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Even though the baseball season has ended, several Bartow County baseball players are still in action in the travel ball season and in all-star games.

Six Bartow players competed Wednesday in the Georgia-Tennessee All-Star Classic in Tennessee, while two more had success last week at the Perfect Game Invitational.

Former Cass players Brandon Etheridge and Alex Yauslin were members of the Team Elite squad that finished as the runner-up in the Perfect Game Invitational.

Etheridge, who went 4-for-8 at the plate during the event, made the all-tournament team and picked up the win on the mound against the Georgia Banditos when he threw four innings, allowing no earned runs and no hits while striking out five.

Yauslin then competed in the Georgia-Tennessee All-Star Classic alongside Clifton Dempsey, Brent Arnold and Garrett Rutledge from Cartersville and Hunter Smith and Tristin Smith from Adairsville.

The county’s talent was on full display as five of the six Bartow players started for Team Georgia, including Arnold, Dempsey, Rutledge, Hunter Smith and Yauslin.

Hunter Smith started in the outfield and then came on to the mound in relief to throw 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and he went 1-for-1 with a single and a walk at the plate.

“He did what he basically did during the season,” Adairsville head coach Billy Roper, who was in attendance at the game, said of Smith’s base hit in his second plate appearance. “He put the ball in play, went opposite field and hit a ball through the second baseman and first baseman.”

Although Smith had the only hit among the Bartow County players in a 4-0 loss to Team Tennessee, Bartow put six of the 25 all-stars on Team Georgia, demonstrating the talent in the county.

“The county was represented well,” Roper said. “It’s good to see the players one more time and show off for the program. It gets Adairsville out there with that caliber of talent. They represented the school very well and showed that we have the talent up here in Adairsville.”

Rutledge, meanwhile, pitched two innings and gave up two runs. Continuing to show the defensive prowess he displayed during Cartersville’s season, Dempsey made two nice defensive plays, according to Cartersville head coach Stuart Chester, who also was at the game.

“Clifton fielded a slow roller and then made one play in the hole,” Chester said. “He made a couple of good plays.

“It’s just one of those games. Everybody’s playing really for themselves and Tennessee, I’m sure, was a little more loaded than Georgia, but they represented very well. It was very good to see them in a Cartersville jersey again.”