North Macon All-Star teams eye state titles

sports@macon.comJune 18, 2014 

Three North Macon Park All-Star teams will travel to Locust Grove this weekend with a chance to earn a berth to the USSA World Series in Gulfport, Mississippi.

All three teams won the sub-state tournament last week in their respective age groups to set up a best-of-three series with the winner of the North sub-state tournament. The 6-and-under team cruised to a 14-3 win over Locust Grove in its title game last weekend, while the 8-and-under team defeated Pike County 10-4. The 12-and-under team defeated another team from North Macon to advance to the state championship series.

“We have had a great year playing baseball at North Macon Park, and we are looking forward to some good baseball this weekend,” said league president Jason Buckner, who is also the manager of the 8-and-under team. “I think most of these kids started to believe that we could get to the World Series when our 10-and-under team last year won the World Series and kind of got us on the map.

“Hopefully we can win all three state championships this weekend.”

The 6-and-under team rolled through the sub-state tournament, using a dominant defense and solid offense to outscore its opponents 90-16.

“I feel like it has truly been a team effort, and every player on this team has done their part to get us to the state championship series,” manager Brian Roper said. “The hardest thing at this age group is to keep the consistency and focus, and they have all done a great job in that area.”

The 8-and-under team had its work cut out for it in the sub-state tournament, having to play three games in one day before knocking off defending state champion Pike County in the title game.

“We held them scoreless over the last two innings, and that was the difference,” Buckner said. “We feel like we are strong from the top to the bottom of our order, and we have been a very good defensive team. We will play a team from Tyrone, Georgia, that we played last year, and we split with them, so we all think it will be a great series.”

Meanwhile, the 12-and-under team is loaded with experience and plenty of pitching, which manager Shannon Sheheane will count on to help them defeat Fairview.

“These kids have been all-stars since they were 6 years old, and now most of them are 12,” Sheheane said. “We will rely on that experience and the fact that we are seven deep as far as our pitching. Rossman Diaz does a great job of controlling a game as our catcher, while Kyle Johnson has done a great job as our leadoff hitter.”

North Macon Park All-Star teams

12-and-under

Chris Andrews

Trent Brown

Rossman Diaz

Landon Emery

Kyle Johnson

J.C. Murphey

Brooks Roper

C.J. Seymour

Gray Talton

Bryce Woods

Manager: Shannon Sheheane

8-and-under

Brody Ashley

Hayden Aulds

Hayes Bryant

Lucas Buckner

Cole Carr

Reynolds Handberry

Wills Handberry

Brycen Horne

B.J Hughes

Cody Strandmark

Gavin Williams

Elijah Wood

Manager: Jason Buckner

6-and-under

Camden Bailey

Gray Gleaton

Jack Lane

Trey Lawrence

Tinsley Lewis

Brandon Massie

Benjamin McElreath

Brady McHugh

Brett Roper

Wilson Senn

Carson Smith

Wyatt Waters

Manager: Brian Roper

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