Daniel Braswell

Loganville’s Daniel Braswell ran away with the county home run title this season, leading Walton with four before the season was canceled due to COVID-19.

Looks like the local prep baseball record books are safe for another season.

Already crippled by rainouts, the 2020 season was recently cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, most area teams played less than half of the games on their schedules, leaving fewer at bats and starts for players to beef up their final stats.

That’s unfortunate for several players, who were on track for outstanding seasons.

For the third time in the past four years, a Monroe Area player won the county batting title. Ethan Phillips, one of six seniors who had the Hurricanes on track for a historic season, finished with an area-best .438 average. He also led in RBI with 14.

Compared with his numbers from just a year earlier, he was one of county’s most-improved players.

As a junior, in his first season as a full-time varsity starter, he finished with a paltry .179 average, collecting just 12 hits all year. He had already compiled more than that when the season was ended after just 13 games.

“He’s always had the talent,” Monroe Area manager Chad Kitchens said. “He just had some bad luck last year. But the hits that weren’t falling last year were going in this time.”

He also made a smooth transition on defense from second to third and was the third pitcher in the starting rotation, finishing with 12 strikeouts, ranking him 10th in the county.

Loganville’s Ian King, who was ninth in the county in hitting last spring (.371), moved up to second with a .385 average. Fellow Red Devil Maven Farmer was third at .375.

Loganville’s Daniel Braswell was the county’s home run king with four, and he finished eighth in hitting with a .333 average.

On the mound, Loganville’s Riley Cruce ascended to the role of ace after pitching behind Connor Bruce and Caleb Garner, who combined for 22 wins last year.

Cruce picked up wins in three of his six starts and led the county in strikeouts with 25. He allowed just two earned runs and walked only five.

Cruce also led the county in ERA, posting a 0.68 average in 20 innings of work. Walnut Grove’s Owen Morgan joined Cruce as the only other pitcher in the county with an ERA under 1.00. Morgan posted a 0.87 ERA in 16 innings of work.Morgan’s teammate Austin Little finished the season with an ERA at 1.00.

Little, who compiled 44 strikeouts last year, was well on his way to besting that with 23 this year, good for second in the county. Monroe Area’s Hunter Redden was close behind with 22.

Loganville Christian managed to play just two games this year before the season was called so they had no qualifying stats to report.

BATTING AVERAGE

Player/School                      Avg

Ethan Phillips, MA                .438

Ian King, LHS                      .385

Maven Farmer, LHS             .375

Silas Griffeth, MA               .367

Hunter Redden, MA            .353

Koby Dunn, GWA               .348

Gabe Jones, SC                 .346

Daniel Braswell, LHS          .333

Garrett Dove, MA               .333

Will Bailey, GWA                .326

RBI

Player/School                       RBI

Ethan Phillips, MA                    14

Garrett Dove, MA                    12

Daniel Braswell, LHS                11

Koby Dunn, GWA                     10

Jackson Daniel, LHS                  9

Dylan Hawley, SC                     9

Ian King, LHS                           9

Jackson Ford, LHS                     8

Will Bailey, GWA                       7

Tony King, GWA                        7

HOMERUNS

Player/School                     HR

Daniel Braswell, LHS              4

Walker Bell, MA                     1

Jackson Daniel, LHS              1

Nathan Hooks, WG                1

Ben Howard, GWA                 1

Coby Wilkerson, WG              1

PITCHING RECORD

Player/School                          W-L

Riley Cruce, LHS                        3-0

Austin Little, WGHS                   3-0

Owen Morgan, WGHS                3-1

Dylan Hawley, SC                      2-1

Trenton Burnett, LHS                 2-2

Justin Carroll, WGHS                 1-0

Cody Cook, MA                         1-0

Silas Griffeth, MA                      1-0

Koby Dunn, GWA                      1-2

Jake Lance, GWA                      1-2

Brady Head, SC                        1-3

STRIKEOUTS

Player/School                   Ks

Riley Cruce, LHS                 25

Austin Little, WG                23

Hunter Redden, MA            22

Brady Head, SC                 21

Dylan Hawley, SC              17

Noah Brown, WG               15

Dawson Coe, LHS              14

Silas Griffeth, MA              14

Koby Dunn, GWA              13

Ethan Phillips, MA             12

Walton County ERA (Min. 15 innings)

Athlete              School           ERA

Riley Cruce          LHS             0.68

Owen Morgan      WGHS          0.87

Austin Little         WGHS         1.00

Dylan Hawley      SCHS           1.16

Brady Head         SCHS           2.22

Koby Dunn          GWA            3.34

Trenton Burnett   LHS             3.42

Aiden Rainey       GWA            4.01

Hunter Redden    MAHS          4.03

Jake Lance          GWA          5.35

David Johnson is a correspondent for The Walton Tribune.

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