Barons defeat Shorter in tourney opener, GSW in 2nd round


So far so good for the Brewton-Parker College baseball team in the Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference postseason tournament.

The No. 3 seeded Barons won their opening game Wednesday, April 21, defeating the No. 6 Shorter College Hawks 8-5 in Dahlonega.

“It was a tough game but we struggled through it,” said Barons head baseball coach Chad Parker. “The players showed how much they wanted to win.”

On Thursday, the Barons won their second-round game, 7-3 over No. 7 seeded Georgia Southwestern State University – which had surprised No. 2 seed and tournament host North Georgia College and State University in Wednesday’s first round.

That win put Brewton-Parker (27-17) into Friday’s 4 p.m. championship semifinal against No. 5 seeded Southern Polytechnic State University (28-26). The Hornets advanced with a 9-8 win over No. 1 seeded Faulkner University (Ala.).

A win against Southern Poly would propel the Barons into Saturday’s 4 p.m. championship game, while the loser plays in the consolation final Saturday at 1 p.m. A second championship game would be Sunday at 1 p.m. if necessary.

Against Shorter, Barons right-hander Jason Halstead (4-0) of Carterville, Ill., provided a sterling example of senior leadership, going 8-2/3 innings while allowing only five hits and striking out seven to earn the win.

Junior right-hander Ashley Hooks (3-5) of Swainsboro came on in the final inning to record the last out of the game and get a save.

Offensively, junior Chris Brown of Bowden was 2-for-5 at the plate with a double and home run for two RBI. Freshman Randy Jo Griffin of Guyton also went 2-for-5, hitting two RBI doubles. Hooks helped his own cause going 3-for-4 with one RBI.

The score was tied 4-all in the seventh inning when Brown hit a two-out double to score two runs, followed by another double by junior Jeremiah Barrow of Eldorado, Ill., that drove in one more to make it 7-4.

After the Hawks scored another run, Brown struck again with a solo home run in the ninth to give the Barons all the insurance they would need. Taking the loss for Shorter was sophomore right-hander Josh Link. “Halstead pitched a great game,” said Parker.