After a year's absence due to coronavirus concerns, the Stump Martin Memorial Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Baseball Classic will return to the field on Thursday, June 10 at Ridgeland High School.
It will be the 19th all-time meeting between recent graduates from the metro-Chattanooga area and northwest Georgia. Tickets are $7 at the gate with those 65-and-older receiving a $2 discount. Kids 12-and-under are free, as are current military personnel and veterans.
The night will begin with a homerun derby at 6 p.m. before the nine-inning contest gets going at 7:15.
Team Georgia will be led by a quartet of coaches, featuring Cedartown's Gevin Johnson, LaFayette's Chris Base, Ridgeland's Scott Harden and Southeast Whitfield's Brad Lofton. Johnson was recently named the 2021 Coach of the Year in Region 7-AAAA.
They have assembled a 34-player roster stocked with talent and representing 14 schools in the northwest Georgia area. Of those 34 players, 27 earned awards from their respective regions this past season, while 22 played in the GHSA state playoffs.
Included in that list are players from Cedartown and Heritage, whose teams advanced to the quarterfinal round in Class AAAA, and Ringgold, who played in the Class AAA state semifinals.
Among the notables scheduled to suit up for the Peach State include Region 7-AAAA Co-Player of the Year, Bryson Lofton. The recent Southeast Whitfield alum, who will play for Cleveland State (Tenn.) Community College next year, batted .500 this past season with eight doubles, eight homers and 31 RBIs. He also drew 30 walks and stole 12 bases.
Other All-Region 7-AAAA players who will be in Thursday's game include Cedartown's Cade Dingler and Corben Cuzzort, Heritage's Cade Kiniry, C.J. Robertson, Caden Snyder and Alex Mixon, Northwest Whitfield's Matthew Redmond and Ridgeland's Robert Jent.
A large contingent of All-Region players from 6-AAA will also be in action. Those players include Adairsville's Logan Hunt, LaFayette's Davis Richardson and Dylan Deering, LFO's Devan Hinton, Josh McAfee and Matthew Shields, Murray County's Kaleb Jones, Ringgold's Chase Ghormley, McCain Mangum, Eli Norris and Kenyon Ransom, and Sonoraville's Tanner Folds and Hayden Holsomback.
Luke Owen, who was named to the All-Region team in 7-A Private, will represent Christian Heritage in the game, while Region 7-AAAAA will be represented by Calhoun's All-Region contingent of Bryse Ingle, Braden Saunders, Dante Morton and Barrett Saunders.
The rest of Team Georgia's roster will include Adairsville's Kyler Smith and Elijah Padgett, Calhoun's Owen Hall and Cole Greeson, Christian Heritage's Nash Bingham, Coahulla Creek's Luke Reed and Northwest's Damien Banta.
The roster for Team Tennessee had not been finalized as of press time.
Ridgeland's Jay Smith Field, which hosted the first Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Baseball Classic nearly two decades ago, hosted the last meeting in 2019. In that game, the Volunteer State scratched out two runs in the top of the ninth to score a 4-2 victory and give Tennessee a 15-3 lead in the overall series.
Georgia's last win came in 2018 as they walloped Tennessee, 19-1, at Lookout Valley High School in the biggest margin of victory in Classic history. Cole Phillips (Trion) had a record-setting night as he went 3 for 5 with two homeruns, three runs scored and eight RBIs.
The Classic was named for Martin, the game's founder, who passed away on May 10, 2018.
TEAM GEORGIA ROSTER
(scheduled to appear)
Coaches: Gevin Johnson (Cedartown), Chris Base (LaFayette), Scott Harden (Ridgeland), Brad Lofton (Southeast Whitfield)
Damien Banta - Northwest Whitfield (undecided)
Nash Bingham - Christian Heritage (Virginia-Wise)
Corben Cuzzort - Cedartown (Wallace State-Hanceville)
Dylan Deering - LaFayette (undecided)
Cade Dingler - Cedartown (undecided)
Tanner Folds - Sonoraville (Penn State)
Chase Ghormley - Ringgold (Motlow State)
Cole Greeson - Calhoun (undecided)
Owen Hall - Calhoun (Shorter)
Devan Hinton - LFO (uncommitted)
Hayden Holsomback - Sonoraville (Shorter)
Logan Hunt - Adairsville (undecided)
Bryse Ingle - Calhoun (North Alabama)
Robert Jent - Ridgeland (The Apprentice School)
Kaleb Jones - Murray County (uncommitted)
Cade Kiniry - Heritage (Truett McConnell)
Bryson Lofton - Southeast Whitfield (Cleveland State)
McCain Mangum - Ringgold (LaGrange)
Josh McAfee - LFO (undecided)
Alex Mixon - Heritage (uncommitted)
Dante Morton - Calhoun (Bryan)
Eli Norris - Ringgold (Carson-Newman)
Luke Owen - Christian Heritage (undecided)
Elijah Padgett - Adairsville (Toccoa Falls)
Kenyon Ransom - Ringgold (undecided)
Matthew Redmond - Northwest Whitfield (Truett McConnell)
Luke Reed - Coahulla Creek (Johnson)
Davis Richardson - LaFayette (Truett McConnell)
C.J. Robertson - Heritage (Lipscomb)
Barrett Saunders - Calhoun (Shorter)
Braden Saunders - Calhoun (Shorter)
Matthew Shields - LFO (undecided)
Kyler Smith - Adairsville (uncommitted)
Caden Snyder - Heritage (Cleveland State)