Bittersweet Ending for Surging Lee Baseball Team
Friday, March 27, 2020
The 2020 Flames were just hitting their stride when play was cancelled.
"It's a bittersweet ending for us all. We were all really excited about how the team was playing at the time the season was cancelled. I felt we were trending upward with our recent play and we had seemed to figure some things out with line-ups and the rotation. We were getting healthier as a team and getting more key pieces back. It's tough, especially for those that played their last game as a Flame, but we understand the safety issue at hand and it was 100 percent the right call to stop play," said Lee Coach Mark Brew after all spring sports were canceled.
The Flames, after 10-9 start to the season, had won four straight, including a sweep over ranked Valdosta State and a midweek non-conference victory over Young-Harris, improving to 14-9 overall and 6-3 in the GSC.
They were primed to host another GSC ranked opponent, West Florida in a three-game series.
"Logan Workman, a junior right-hander, was having one of the best seasons I can remember by a Flame pitcher. His numbers were astonishing and he was leading the conference and was ranked nationally in most pitching categories," noted Brew. Workman was 5-0 with a 0.21 ERA over 42 innings pitched. The 6-foot-4 hurler had 53 strikeouts and just 18 walks.
"He should have a strong chance to be called in the Major League Baseball Draft in June," admitted Brew. "Some questions swirl around how MLB will handle the draft. Many think it will go forward as usual, while some think they will have some abbreviated version of the draft with reduced rounds. Regardless, I think Logan will have a chance to get his name called whenever it takes place."
Alan Smith, who battled injuries last season, was also having a tremendous season at the plate. His batting average had reached .384 with nine doubles and three homers. Smith had a .593 slugging mark and .471 on-base percentage. "He's a great hitter and was showing why he was in the top of the conference in several offensive categories," pointed out Brew. "Freshman Dylan Standifer was also hitting his stride when the season was called. He certainly has a bright future as a Flame." The versatile former Bradley Central standout, was hitting .301 with five doubles and three home runs. Senior Ryan Beamish had struggled to find his spot with the Flames during his career, but had settled in at first base, hitting .310 with eight doubles and a team-leading five blasts over the right-field wall.
"The NCAA granted a season of competition back to all players that played in 2020. That means the seniors will have another shot at a senior season. "It was the right thing for the NCAA to do and I am glad they made that choice. Each senior will have a different reason to play or not to play, but having that choice will change the landscape of college baseball for at least a year," explained Brew. "All division-rosters will tend to be a little larger due to this revelation. Personally, I am excited to get those seniors that want another shot back in a Flames uniform. I really feel with our nucleus of returning players, incoming recruits, and the potential returning seniors, we can pick up where we left off in 2020," concluded Brew.
Seniors who will have the opportunity to return are Alan Smith, Parker Stahlman, Cody Smith, Keshaun Smith, Alex Harper-Cook, Justin Fragale, Andy Rivera, Brandon Bolt, Michael Hendricks, Ryan Beamish, Alan Rickman, Landon Silver, Randall Coxwell and Nate Sumner.
"I am hopeful and prayerful this COVID 19 virus can be contained quickly and be eliminated so we can all return to some normalcy and we can eliminate the health threat that currently exists," concluded Brew.