Palmetto Hitmen take 2nd in Braves Country Championships
by The Press and Standard | July 31, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: July 31, 2019 at 8:54 am
By CINDY CROSBY
The Palmetto Hitmen took second place in a 12-team bracket in the Braves Country Championships presented by Mizuno held July 18-21 in Atlanta, Ga. The Hitmen went 2-2 in the tournament, earning wins over the Georgia Legends (17-0) and Pro Concepts Baseball (7-4) and falling to the Ball Ground Indians (14-5) and the Gwinnett Bats (10-2). The Hitmen were also able to attend a Braves game and meet Eddie Perez.
Launched in 2019, the Atlanta Braves youth tournaments are held in each state in Braves Country as part of the “Growing the Game” initiative. The tournament focuses on creating a fun baseball experience in a friendly yet competitive atmosphere. Proceeds from the battles are reinvested in communities to help grow the game, including free clinics, uniforms, equipment grants, donations and field refurbishments.
Friday evening several Hitmen competed in skills events that included a homerun derby, fleet feet base-running and a golden arm pitching competition. Daveon Varner captured first place in the pitching competition of 55 competing pitchers.
Against the Ball Ground Indians, the Hitmen compiled 10 hits in the five-inning game. Landon Carpenter was 2-2 scoring once and Hammie Mays was 2-3 with an RBI. Devin Miller was 1-2 with 2-RBI’s. Daveon Varner, Wylan Sheffield, Braeden Hiers, Collin Hiers and Alejandro Marin each had a hit.
Sheffield started on the bump for the Hitmen, allowing four earned runs on three hits, striking out three and issuing four walks in two innings. Oxner and Collin Hiers provided relief.
In game two, the Hitmen shut out the Georgia Legends in a run-ruled shortened game. Four pitchers saw action including Varner, Mays, Bryce Kinard and Braeden Hiers. Mays went 3-3 at the plate with 2-RBI’s and scored twice. Britton Phillips, Carpenter, Varner and Miller recorded multiple hits.
On the second day of the competition, the Hitmen defeated Pro Concepts Baseball after Carpenter got things started in the first inning when he homered on the first pitch he saw. Carpenter was 2-2 at the plate in the game, with 3-RBI’s and scored twice. Phillips, Sheffield, Miller, Marin and Oxner had hits. Varner went the distance on the mound, allowing three earned runs on seven hits.
After falling behind early in the championship game against the Gwinnett Bats, the Hitmen struggled to contain the high-powered offense of their competition. Carpenter started for the Hitmen and allowed six earned runs on six hits, striking out one and issuing two walks. Varner provided relief, allowing three earned runs on two hits. Carpenter, Varner, Sheffield, B. Hiers and Oxner recorded hits.
The Palmetto Hitmen are coached by Mike Phillips and Bill Kinard.