2017 TCHS Baseball Banquet- The Bulldogs celebrate their Final 4 run

The 2017 Toombs County High School baseball season certainly didn’t end like it started. The Bulldogs opened up the season playing .500 ball and then it got worse before it got better. After a 8-7 eight inning loss at Metter the Dawgs were 6-13 overall and 2-7 in Region 2. If the boys did not win their next five region games than the season could have ended on April 21 with a non region game at SEB.

Instead of coasting through those final games the Bulldogs responded by not only winning five straight, but instead an impressive 12 in a row and only three games were played at home. TCHS made the playoffs as the number four team from Region 2 and in the post season they swept three straight best-0f-three road series in two games to make the Final 4. Toombs County lost in two games to Jeff Davis and those Yellow Jackets swept Elbert County to win the Class 2A GHSA State Championship. Toombs County High School Baseball Page

All pictures for the past three seasons by Salain Meadows. Thank you very much for all the great shots both home and away.

It took a team effort to finish 2017 with a 18-15 record. On Thursday, June 15 all those Bulldogs celebrated their accomplishments at their banquet at the Durden House at Partin Park.

The MVP’s – George Lucke, D.R. Meadows and Lane Adams with the Bulldog coaches Brian Fitzgerald, Hunter Adams, Nick Hayes and Patrick Craft

The big award at the banquet is the team MVP. In 2014 Jeremy Beasley and James Ethredge shared that award. In 2017 three senior Bulldogs, D.R. Meadows, Lane Adams and George Lucke, were key contributors to the team’s success and all three are MVP’s.

D.R. Meadows- Senior pitcher and shortstop

D.R. Meadows
D.R. Meadows in the early innings of his 15 K game against Metter

Meadows earned many honors in his fourth and final season starting for the Bulldogs. D.R. was named All-State and perhaps even more impressive he was selected by the coaches as the Region 2 Player of the Year in a region that produced three Final Four teams and a state champion. Meadows was also the Bulldog Pitcher of the Year.

D.R. Meadows strikes out his 7th of 13 Bryan County Redskins

D.R. pitched 68 1/3 innings and allowed 57 hits and only 16 earned runs. He struck out 76 batters and
walked 30. The righty posted a 1.63 ERA and teams only hit .214 against him. D.R. struck out a career high
15 Metter Tigers and he also KO’ed 13 Bryan County Redskins.

Meadows went 7-5 and beat Bryan County, Metter, Vidalia and Swainsboro in Region 2 games he started.
He also defeated Laney, Banks County and Dodge County in the state playoffs while being matched up
against the other team’s number one.

Head coach Brian Fitzgerald greets D.R. at third base after his 8th inning homer at Brantley County

At the plate Meadows started off the season in the middle of the lineup and then he moved to the leadoff
position for the rest of the season. D.R. batted .385 and had an on base percentage of .520. He hit a home
run in the eighth inning to beat Brantley County on the road and he belted one over the fence in his last trip
to Vidalia.

Meadows hit nine doubles and drove in 19 runs and he led the team in runs scored with 37. Lifetime in four
years as a starter he hit .391 and had 104 hits with 23 doubles and 47 RBI.

D.R.’s baseball career will continue in 2018 at Chipola down in Florida. Those Indians won the 2017 National
Junior College Championship.

Lane Adams- Senior Pitcher and shortstop

Lane Adams
Lane Adams doubles to lead off the second inning at Banks County
Lane Adams singles to lead off the fifth in game one at Dodge

Lane Adams opened his senior season going 4-22. However, that .188 batting average began to soar once
the region schedule began. A seven game hitting streak raised his batting average to .410- the first time he
had ever hit over .400 in his Dawg career. Lane wound up hitting .347 with 10 doubles, 18 RBI and 31 runs
scored. In the state playoffs Lane had five straight two-hit games and he hit .440 during the post season.

Lane Adams gets ready to deal the final pitch of his 7 inning gem against Tattnall

On the mound Lane stepped up in his final season and he won seven games. Lane showed he could pitch
against the big boys when he threw a complete game early in the season, at home, against Tattnall County.
Lane allowed only five hits and one earned run and he struck out eight batters. Lane also took care of Bryan
County by pitching seven innings on the road allowing only one earned run. Lane pitched TCHS to home wins over
Vidalia and Swainsboro and he struck out a career-high 10 batters on Senior Night.

Lane Adams ends the second inning with back-to-back K’s leaving runners at second and third base at Dodge

In the playoffs Lane was the winning pitcher at Laney and he took no decisions against Banks County and
Dodge County. Both games went eight innings and Lane pitched 7 1/3 in each.

Lane was named the Clutch Player of the Year and he was an All-Region Player and All State.

George Lucke- Senior Center Fielder

George Lucke
George Lucke doubles in a third inning run in game 2 at Laney

George Lucke raised his batting average 22 points from his junior to his senior season. Lucke hit a very
productive .390 from the third spot in the Dawg batting order. He led the team in RBI with 34 and he scored
23 runs and hit nine doubles and hit his only career home run- a shot over the center field fence at Bacon County.
In the state tourney George batted .407 and of his 11 hits none was bigger than his walk off single to right
field to end the Banks County series in Homer.

George Lucke singles in the first inning in game 1 at Jeff Davis

.After his sophomore season when he batted .123 with 10 strikeouts, Luke became a very tough out. In his final two seasons he hit .383 and he only struck out eight times in 162 at bats including just three times in
2017 in 105 at bats. George went an amazing 69 at bats without striking out until Jeff Davis ace Cody Ogilvie
got him in the second game of the Final Four.

George Lucke leaps and makes a fantastic catch in the fourth inning at Bacon County

Defensively George, the center fielder, opened the season making two amazing diving catches at Tattnall
County. He also made a fantastic snag at Bacon County.

George was named the 2017 offensive player of the year and he was All Region 2 and All State player.

Other Awards

Coaches Awards- Senior Tyler Johnson and junior Dalton McBride

Tyler Johnson
Dalton McBride

Tyler Johnson was the consummate teammate. The senior was a supportive and positive presence on the Final Four team. McBride moved to right field on a full time basis in his junior season and he made some diving catches and showed a strong arm on many occasions. Dalton had two-hit games against Vidalia and Laney and had six hits during the post season.

Most Improved Defensive Player- Junior Noah Anderson

Noah Anderson

Noah Anderson was Toombs County’s starting second baseman for all region and state tournament games.

Most Improved Offensive Player- Sophomore Brock Harrison

Brock Harrison
Brock Harrison singles in a third inning run at Laney

In 2016, as a freshman, Brock Harrison went 5-for-26 with the varsity. In 2017 he improved his batting average by 83 points to .277.  He went on a 10-game hitting streak late in the season and batted .500 during that span. In the state tourney he drove in six runs and scored nine. For the season he drove in 23 runs and scored 21 and hit eight doubles.

Mr. October Award- Junior Martin Stephens

Martin Stephens
Martin Stephens ends the second Laney game with a two-run triple and gets doused by Dalton McBride (#18) and Dalton Lynn

This is a new award named for Reggie Jackson’s post season accomplishments for the New York Yankees. Martin was hitting .232 at the end of the regular season. However, in the post season he was 12-for-24- that’s .500. He had at least a hit in every state playoff game but the last. Martin had three two-hit games and one 3-for-4 in the tourney. He drove in eight runs and scored six. He tripled in two runs to end the second Laney game in three innings and he had a two-run double and a RBI single in the eight inning win at Banks County. Martin hit .316 for the season with a homer at Vidalia and 16 RBI and 16 runs scored.

Defensive Player of the Year Award- Sophomore Cole Graham

Cole Graham
D.R. Meadows tags out Levi Blizzard on Cole Graham’s throw at Metter

Cole took over the catching chores as a freshman and in his sophomore season he showed teams all over Georgia that your odds of stealing a base against him are no more than 30%. Cole threw out 70% of the base stealers in both the regular season and during the playoffs. At the plate, offensively, his most memorable swing was in the bottom of the eighth inning at Dodge County when he singled to win the game and send the Dawgs to the Final Four. Cole was the best bunter on the team and he hit .262 with four doubles and 14 RBI. He also had more walks than strikeouts- 14 to 13.

Region 2 Honorable Mention- Brandon Helton

Brandon Helton
Brandon Helton drives the ball to deep left center at Laney

Brandon saved his best swings for the most important time of the season. He hit .197 during the regular season and .318 during the post season. He had two hits in the Laney series including a long RBI double and he had two hits in the second Dodge game. Brandon, who missed his junior season with an injury, was Tombs County’s starting left fielder as a senior.

Junior Varsity MVP and Best JV Offensive Player- Chandler Lynn

Chandler Lynn (middle) went 3-for-3 against Vidalia
Chandler Lynn makes a difficult catch in center against Jeff Davis

Chandler was the JV leadoff hitter and as an eighth grader he energized the offense with his bat and his speed. Against Vidalia he went 3-for-3 with two walks, at home, and 2-for-3 on the reservation as the Bulldogs won both games. Chandler also hit an inside the park homer down the right field line and had another hit later in the game as the Bulldogs beat Islands 9-2.

Best Junior Varsity Pitcher- Sophomore Brandon Dennis

Brandon Dennis
Brandon Dennis entered in the sixth and was the winning pitcher against Vidalia

Brandon improved his velocity in his sophomore season and yet he continued to throw strikes. He threw a three up, three down fifth to end a run rule home victory over Metter. He also threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief in a home win over Vidalia and allowed only two hits and he struck out three with no walks.

Best Defensive Junior Varsity Player- Trey Cloud

Trey Cloud dives for a ball in left field against Jeff Davis
Trey Cloud also pitched against Jeff Davis

As a freshman Trey Cloud was a versatile defensive player. When he wasn’t pitching as a starter or a reliever with the junior varsity team he was playing left field. In past Trey had usually been a first baseman. Cloud made his high school debut by striking out the first two batters he faced in a varsity scrimmage game at Liberty County. Trey pitched the junior varsity to a 10-1 home win over Tattnall by allowing only five hits and one earned run. He also pitched the JV to a win over Metter and he struck out five Tigers and allowed only two hits.

Junior Varsity Coaches Award- Chase Musselman

Chase Musselman scoops up a grounder against Jeff Davis
Chase Musselman singles up the middle in his first JV at bat at Vidalia

Chase Musselman was one of three Toombs County Middle School students who played for the Toombs County junior varsity team as eighth graders. In his Bulldog debut Chase was the cleanup hitter and he went 2-for-3 in a win over the Vidalia JV team at Greg James Field. Chase was a solid defensive presence playing on the left side of the infield at both shortstop and third base.

Other honorees

Kim Stephens (right) honors Ray Meadows for his work in the press box during home games as the public address announcer and the scoreboard operator
Salain Meadows and Brian Fitzgerald present a picture of coach Rusty Beasley to Nancy Beasley and Lenna Crosby (Coach Beasley’s mother and sister in law)