Bittersweet Ending for Surging Lee Baseball Team

Friday, March 27, 2020
The 2020 Flames were just hitting their stride when play was cancelled.
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.

Coach David Payne Wins At Tazewell $10,000; Eldora's Stream 100 Replaces Dream 100

Mark McCarter: Ray Deering Was The Soul Of Good Nature As We Almost Missed Hank Aaron's Historic Homer

Trio Of Moc Runners Honored As CoSIDA Academic All-Americans


Six days post the Tazewell (TN) Speedway 2020 season opener Gary Hall and his family and staff welcomed the IRONMAN series to the Ultra-High Banks for the $10,000 to-Win "Toyota of Knoxville ... (click for more)

It's April 8, 1974, and traffic is horrendous as we exit the freeway in downtown Atlanta, back in the day when the blue dome atop the Hyatt was the most visible landmark. The Atlanta cops ... (click for more)

Nathan Watson, Jonathan Boyd and Abbey Bateman were named to the 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team, as voted on by sports information directors around the country, for their excellence ... (click for more)



Sports

Coach David Payne Wins At Tazewell $10,000; Eldora's Stream 100 Replaces Dream 100

Six days post the Tazewell (TN) Speedway 2020 season opener Gary Hall and his family and staff welcomed the IRONMAN series to the Ultra-High Banks for the $10,000 to-Win "Toyota of Knoxville 50" Super Late Model event Saturday night. Another packed grandstands and live Internet broadcast on dirtondirt.com witnessed high school basketball coach David Payne (#8) of Murphy, N.C., lead ... (click for more)

Mark McCarter: Ray Deering Was The Soul Of Good Nature As We Almost Missed Hank Aaron's Historic Homer

It's April 8, 1974, and traffic is horrendous as we exit the freeway in downtown Atlanta, back in the day when the blue dome atop the Hyatt was the most visible landmark. The Atlanta cops are overwhelmed. We’re in the wrong lane to turn right, to head down toward Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, so we’re forced into a lap around the capitol building. Finally we’re in the proper ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Tennessee Aquarium Announces Phased Reopening Plans

After standing empty for more than three months, the Tennessee Aquarium’s galleries will soon echo with the laughter and excited chatter of guests once again. The aquarium will begin a phased reopening to the public with exclusive opportunities for members beginning June 12-14. The Aquarium will then close for a few days to ensure new processes and safety protocols are operating ... (click for more)

County Courthouse Employees Go Home At Mid-Day Before Protestors Arrive; Hamilton Place Closes Early

Employees at the Hamilton County Courthouse on Monday shut down at mid-day ahead of another wave of expected protestors. Trustee Bill Hullander said the action was taken after there was word that a protest would be held at 1:30 p.m. on the Courthouse grounds. He said, "We did not want to take a chance on something happening to one of our employees as they left to go home." ... (click for more)

Opinion

When Violence In America Was Affirmed And Praised: Understanding And Solving Racial Injustices

One man’s violent anti-government protests is another man’s just war. First, let me say I do not condone the rioting and violence that is occurring across our nation, following the murder of George Floyd at the knees of white police officer Derek Chauvin. As someone who values that Jesus taught us to “turn the other cheek” I believe there are other ways we must respond, even ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden This June

On this, the first day of a new month, I pause during my monthly trip to the garden as I mourn for my country. The protests that morphed into ugly, race-fueled riots are worse than the COVID virus that continues to plague our nation. By this I mean we were helpless to the virus – there was no way to stop it and therefore we must endure. Criminal rioting is altogether different. ... (click for more)