Former ABAC Pitcher Selected For Athletics Hall of Fame
TIFTON—During his baseball career, he was a Blue Devil, a Stallion, a Dolphin, and a Pirate. And now, Z.B. Hamilton is a member of the Athletics Hall of Fame at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
Hamilton, who helped to lead Coach Tom Moody’s Stallions to the 1986 state baseball championship, will be inducted on March 2 at 1 p.m. in the annual Hall of Fame luncheon in Gressette Gym as a part of the Celebrate ABAC Alumni Weekend.
Other members of the 2013 Hall of Fame class include the members of the 1999 national championship men’s tennis team, Henry Will Jones from the 1936-37 baseball, basketball, and football teams; former women’s basketball coach Julie Conner, and former tennis player Derrick Racine.
Tickets are now available at a cost of $30 per person for the induction luncheon on March 2. Tickets can be purchased from the ABAC Office of College Advancement at (229) 391-4895. Tickets will be sold only in advance. No tickets will be available on the day of the event.
Hamilton had a standout career at Tift County High School, going 11-3 on the hill for the 1985 Blue Devils while compiling a 2.18 earned run average (ERA). He pitched for ABAC in 1986-87, compiling an 18-7 record. He was on the mound in the 1986 state playoffs when the Stallions knocked off Middle Georgia when the Warriors were ranked number one in the nation.
In fact, Hamilton got two wins in two weeks against Middle Georgia that year, one during the regular season and the other in the state tournament. Since the Warriors lost only a handful of games all season, the radio announcer for Middle Georgia actually interviewed Hamilton to discover his secret formula for beating the nation’s top-ranked team.
On the day after his pitching arm helped to beat Middle Georgia in an early round in the state tournament, Hamilton was on the bench for one of the most bizarre games in ABAC baseball history. The Stallions defeated Middle Georgia for the 1986 state championship when a Warrior pinch hitter hit a three-run homer to seemingly win the game only to pass the runner ahead of him on the base path to nullify the run and give ABAC the victory.
In the Southeast Regional tournament in Montgomery, Ala., ABAC defeated Chattahoochee Valley and lost to Brevard. Hamilton was named to the District All-Tournament team.
His pitching heroics at ABAC earned Hamilton a scholarship to Jacksonville University where he collected nine wins against only three losses as a junior. He saved the best for last in his senior season with the Dolphins when he rolled up an 8-2 record with two saves for the 1989 Sunbelt Conference champions who earned an NCAA tournament berth.
During his stint with the Dolphins, Hamilton had huge wins on the mound over the University of Georgia and over the University of Florida, a week after the Gators had been ranked number one in America. Jacksonville was ranked as high as 13th in the nation at one point during the 1989 season.
Hamilton played professional baseball with the Princeton, W.Va., Pirates of the Appalachian League in 1989 where he had a 2.59 ERA.