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ABAC Baseball Team Finishes Second in State Tournament

May 16, 2017

When the Golden Stallions of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College lost their first game in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association state tournament last week, a quick trip back to Tifton seemed inevitable.

That’s when the true grit, the will to play on, and the perseverance of the ABAC nine kicked into high gear.

“After losing that first game, nobody would have expected us to play for the championship,” Brandon Reeder, head coach of the Stallions, said.  “We battled, and we played hard the rest of the way.”

ABAC lost in the title game by an 8-3 score to the Georgia Highlands Chargers, who captured their first league championship.

“We played five games in three days, and that’s more baseball than we’re used to,” Reeder said.  “I was proud of my guys for battling the heat and then holding up through the rain delay on that one day.”

Entering the tournament as the number three seed, ABAC found itself facing a huge uphill climb after losing the first tournament game to sixth-seeded Andrew 7-1.  But in 10 innings, the Stallions bounced back to nip fourth-seeded Gordon 8-7 in their second game.

ABAC then knocked off Andrew 5-2 and fifth-seeded South Georgia 6-1 before coming up short against the second-seeded Chargers.

The Stallions compiled a 32-28 overall record on the year, the most wins in Reeder’s three years as the ABAC diamond boss and the most wins for the Stallions since the 1997 team rolled up a 35-16 record.

Centerfielder Bryce Shupe, a sophomore from Loganville, was named to the All-Tournament Team along with pitchers Blake Howell, a freshman from Schley County, and Blake Durrence, a freshman from Tattnall County.

Shupe was also named First Team All-Conference along with second baseman Justin Russell, a sophomore from Marietta.  First baseman Josh Jackson, a sophomore from Wilcox County, was selected Second Team All-Conference.

Additional honors went to Shupe, Russell, and shortstop Brett Usry, who were named to the GCAA Gold Glove Team.  Usry is a freshman from Schley County.

“We are returning 10 or 12 for next year, and we’re bringing in about 15 new faces, so I think we have a good nucleus for next season,” Reeder said.
 Printable News Release