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Prep spring baseball preview


12:00 AM, Mar. 06, 2013 EST

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Will Haynie, Brentwood Academy, Sr., C-P: The Alabama signee hit .433 with 15 homers, 37 RBIs and 28 walks.

Brad Jarreau, Pope John Paul II, Sr., CF: The mid-major prospect hit .458 with 22 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.

Jordan Sheffield, Tullahoma, Sr., SS-CF-P: The right-handed Vanderbilt signee went 6-1 with a 0.99 ERA and hit .373. The major league prospect is consistently in the 93-95 mph range.

Justus Sheffield, Tullahoma, Jr., P: The left-handed Vanderbilt commitment and Jordan's younger brother went 9-0 with a 0.79 ERA and hit .311.

Hayden Stone, Columbia, Sr., P: The Vanderbilt signee went 7-2 with a 2.10 ERA, 98 strikeouts and seven walks in 61 innings.

NOTEWORTHY

Nationally ranked: After losing one-run games in the last three Class AAA sectionals, Tullahoma may return to the state tournament this season. The Wildcats are ranked 22nd nationally by Baseball America. Tullahoma has 13 seniors and plenty of speed. Third baseman Dalton Davis returns after hitting .380 last year. Two games to watch: Columbia at Tullahoma, April 23; Tullahoma at Columbia, April 24.

DII-AA parity: Battle Ground Academy, Brentwood Academy, Father Ryan and Pope John Paul II boasting strong teams. BGA lost 10 key players to graduation from its 2012 state champion team. Four college prospects are likely to anchor the Wildcats: shortstop Tucker Beathard (.328, 40 RBIs), pitcher Mac Crawford (5-0, 0.44 ERA), pitcher-first baseman Ross Grosvenor (.310, 29 RBIs, 5-1, 0.76 ERA) and catcher Nick Egli (32 RBIs).

Defending title: Goodpasture graduated 26 wins from its 2012 Class AA champion team, so the Cougars will build their pitching staff around J.P. Brenzie (9-2) and Drew Hall (2-0). Juniors Carter Wiseman, Alex Junior and Caleb Wilson form coach Richie Estep's fastest outfield ever. Trevecca signee Brandon Ashworth leads the infield. The Cougars return seven starters from last year's 38-3-1 team. Lipscomb, CPA and Spring Hill are likely to be strong again.

 

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