VALDOSTA -- They dominated Region 1-AAAAA baseball this year. So it should be no surprise that the Lee County Trojans also dominated this year's All-Region selections.
Region player of the year Buster Posey headed five Lee players on the first team. Lee head coach Rob Williams was an easy choice as coach of the year, after his Trojans were a perfect 10-0 in region play, on their way to a state quarterfinals finish. Williams' last two Lee teams have won 18 region games in a row. Lee County took a 23-2 record into the postseason and finished 28-5.
Posey, who is just a junior, would have made the first team as either a pitcher or a shortstop. He batted .544, and his average went up in the postseason. He had a Lee County-record 56 hits, including nine doubles, three triples and seven home runs and drove in 46 runs, two short of the school record. And he struck out just nine times in 103 AB. On the mound, he went 10-1 with a 1.53 ERA. His only loss of the season was to Lassiter in the quarterfinals. He struck out 102 batters and walked 24.
Posey has been named to Junior TeamGeorgia and has been named to the AFLAC All-American team and will play in the East-West All-Star game on Aug. 6, in Aberdeen, Md.
Joining Posey on the first team were pitchers Jason Weaver and Gray Jones, catcher Justin Hall, and outfielder Jack Stripling. Weaver, who has signed with Columbus State, was a dominating 7-0 with a 0.83 ERA and 65 strikeouts. Jones finished 7-3, with one save. He finished with a 2.10 ERA that was lower before giving up nine runs in the first inning against Lassiter. He struck out 90.
Hall, committed to go to Darton with Jones, could also be drafted. He batted .359 as the team's leadoff hitter with eight home runs and 25 runs batted in. Stripling, an outfielder, batted .346 with nine doubles, four triples and three home runs.
Surprisingly, second-place Lowndes and third-place Valdosta combined for only one first-team selection, while Colquitt County and Tift County, the two worst teams in the region, had two players each.
Lowndes had the one local first teamer, Ryan Carpenter. Carpenter, the Vikings' shortstop and closer, batted .348 with seven doubles and went 3-0 with a 3.23 ERA and three saves on the mound.
The other first-teamers were: Tift County pitcher Matt Shurley (9-4, 1.50 ERA), Colquitt County shortstop Will Southwell (.400, 2 HR, 18 RBI), Coffee second baseman Randy Drew (.393, .527 OBP), Tift shortstop Matt Davis (.337, 2 HR, 17 RBI), Colquitt outfielder Sherard Reynolds (.341, 16 SB) and Coffee outfielder Will Brawner (.337, 4 HR, 30 RBI).
Jones, Stripling and Southwell are repeat All-Region first-teamers. Weaver, McElroy, Posey, Drew and Shurley were second-teamers last year. Davis and Reynolds also were named first-team All-Region in football this season.
Ironically, Drew, Shurley and Southwell have all signed with Georgia Southern.
Carpenter was one of seven Vikings named to either the first team, second team or honorable mention. Making the second team from Lowndes were: pitcher Clay Hamm (4-2, 2.78), catcher Jacob Jarvis (.323, .471 OBP), second baseman Derek Newham (.372), and outfielder Bo Love (.322, 8 SB). Infielder Shawn Riddle (.299) and pitcher Brandon Waller (2-2, 2.12) were honorable mention.
Austin Bennett was Valdosta's second-team selection. Bennett led the Wildcats in both hitting (.265) and pitching (6-4, 1.93, 77K), practically carrying the Wildcats into the playoffs. First baseman Garrett Rowe (.247, 1 HR, 15 RBI) was honorable mention.
The rest of the second team was: pitcher Brent Lastinger of Tift County, infielders Charlie Edwards of Tift County and Jimmy McElroy and Leo Rodriquez of Coffee, outfielders Israel Troupe of Tift County and Jordan Moore of Coffee, and designated hitter Thomas Tripp of Colquitt County.
Jamaal Smith of Coffee and Alan Manning of Tift County joined Riddle, Waller and Rowe as honorable mention selections.
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