Summer league baseball is Coach Charlie Griffeth’s version of professional baseball’s spring training.
With summer league coming to a close, there have been a lot of different players seeing playing time, including some rising ninth graders. There’s a battle for positions for this coming season’s squad. The Raiders graduated seven seniors this past spring, six of whom were starters on the field and four of the six were pitchers as well.
The loss of seven seniors is giving other players, including the rising ninth graders, a chance to showcase their talent on the summer league squad. With four pitching spots vacated by Nick Alewine, Austin Dean, Lee Griffeth and Hayden Frey; Charlie Griffeth’s summer league is giving Zack Kerns, Bryce Nix, Jackson Williams and returning varsity starters Trent Azevedo and Sam Carey who finished as last season’s save leader with three, plenty of extra time and experience on the hill.
All of the above mentioned pitchers saw plenty of action this past week in a summer league tournament at Raider Field. Madison County opened play on Wednesday night against region 8B-AAA Hart County. The game was halted after two-and-a-half innings due to lightening in the area with the Bulldogs leading 5-0. The Raiders defeated Habersham Central (region 7-6A) 6-1 the following night after scoring five runs in the first two innings and won again on Friday night 13-7 over Commerce (Region 8-A).
In the final game of the tournament, the Raiders jumped out to a 3-0 lead only to have that lead and Bryce Nix’s five-strikeout night on the mound wiped out in a 4-3 loss to Jackson County (region 8B-AAA). The Raiders will close out summer league play next week.