The high school baseball season may have officially come to an end with the state championship series early this week, but there is still action on the diamond.
Some of the top players from around the county and beyond will gather for not one, but two, all-star games Wednesday at Georgia Gwinnett College.
The Gwinnett Senior All-Star Game, which has become a postseason staple the past several years, will be held once again, with an approximate first-pitch time of 7:30 p.m.
Unlike in past years, however, it will only be a single seven-inning game instead of a doubleheader so that an all-star game of a different kind can make its debut.
The 2016 Cobb-Gwinnett All-Star Game will pit some of the top underclassmen from two of Georgia’s most talent-rich counties in a seven-inning contest that will get underway at 5 p.m.
It’s a concept that is some 14 years in the making, with circumstances finally coming together to allow organizer Mike McGarrell’s idea come to fruition.
“About 14 years ago, was working with (East Cobb Baseball founder and president) Guerry Baldwin on it, but it kind of fell off the rails and we never followed through on it,” said McGarrell, president of Lawrenceville-based sports apparel company M2 Sports, the primary sponsor for the Cobb-Gwinnett underclassman game. “(Providence Christian head coach) Adam Cantrell has been a customer of mine for 15 years, and I knew he was the Gwinnett Dugout Club president this year. He said this might be the year to do it. … It’s a great collection of kids. I’m excited.
“For the first year, our first hurdle was to find a place to play. … Because the Gwinnett senior game (was using GGC), it made sense to piggyback on that. … Hopefully it’s going to grow into a phenomenal event.”
That is a feat the Gwinnett Senior All-Star Game has already become, and cutting back to just one game has allowed organizers to be more selective on which players organizers invite to participate.
And while some top seniors, such as Gwinnett Dugout Club Player of the Year Cam Shepherd of Peachtree Ridge and county batting title winner Brandon Marsh of Buford won’t play while attending pre-draft camps, other high-profile graduating seniors will.
Among some of the top names scheduled to play include Parkview’s Austin Biggar, Buford twins Austin and Nick Wilhite, Lanier’s Cam Coursey, Norcross’ Zach Walch, Collins Hill’s duo of William Holland and Cole Zabowski, GAC’s Andrew Schultz, Shiloh’s Myles Smith, Archer’s Rhian Mann and Hebron Christian’s duo of Ben Coker and Jake Hershman.
It’s a trend organizer’s hope continues in the coming years.
“We want to make sure the best of the best are represented,” said Lanier coach Jonathan Wyman, who is co-coordinating this year’s event along with Cantrell. “Shepherd and Marsh really wanted to be part of this game. … That tells me we’re moving in the right direction.”
Among some of the top names from Gwinnett tentatively scheduled to play in the Cobb-Gwinnett underclassmen game include Wesleyan’s Colin Hall, Norcross’ Baron Radcliff, Archer’s Crews Taylor, Parkview pitchers Caleb Mitchell and Cody Collett, Grayson sluggers Nick Clarno, Oscar Serratos and Parker Meadows and Brookwood catcher Will Banfield.
Tentative Gwinnett rosters for baseball All-Star games at Georgia Gwinnett College on June 1:
Team 7-AAAAAA/ Buford/Lanier/Wesleyan
OF Zach Walch, Norcross; OF Andrew Martin, Mill Creek; OF Cameron Hankins, Mountain View; OF Nick Wilhite, Buford; OF Matt Andryusky, North Gwinnett; IF Patrick Hutton, Norcross; IF Graham Parris, Duluth; IF Trey Harris, Duluth; IF Austin Wilhite, Buford; IF William Holland, Collins Hill; IF Cam Coursey, Lanier; IF Chandler Powell, Mountain View; IF Drew Aspinwall, Wesleyan; 1B Cole Zabowski, Collins Hill; 1B Wes Brooks, North Gwinnett; C Randall Watson, North Gwinnett; C Alec Cargin, Collins Hill; P Griffin Jolliff, Buford; P Justin Glover, Buford; P Alan Carter, Duluth; P Spencer Douches, Collins Hill; P Sam Freitas, Mountain View; DH Robert Kwiatkowski, Mountain View; DH Cole Mannion, Wesleyan
Team 8-AAAAAA/ GAC/Hebron/ Providence/Discovery
OF Cooper Morgan, Dacula; OF Brian Barrett, Berkmar; OF Savion Thompson, Discovery; OF Grayson Galauvic, Grayson; OF Andrew Schultz, GAC; OF Mikey Lee, South Gwinnett; IF Brandon Perez, Berkmar; IF Nic Laracuente, Grayson; IF Brock Tate, Grayson; IF Wes Whitehead, Dacula; IF Gabe Davenport, GAC; 1B Carey Spratlin, Providence Christian; 1B Mitchell Krystopa, Central Gwinnett; C Austin Biggar, Parkview; C Myles Broughton, Shiloh; P Ben Coker, Hebron Christian; P Myles Smith, Shiloh; P Rhian Mann, Archer; P Jake Hershman, Hebron Christian; P Cole Waites, Archer; DH Johnathan Whitmer, Parkview; DH Jacob Carlsen, South Gwinnett
Will Banfield, Brookwood; Austin Hohm, Brookwood; Brennan Berger, Mountain View; Steven Casey, Hebron; Michael Cherwenka, Dacula; Ryan Vigue, Dacula; Nick Clarno, Grayson; Parker Meadows, Grayson, Oscar Serratos, Grayson; Cody Collett, Parkview; Joey DeMasi, Parkview; Caleb Mitchell, Parkview; Colin Hall, Wesleyan; Cade Heil, North; J.P. McGuire, GAC; Erik Smith GAC; Jack Oesterle, Discovery; Donald Perteet, Archer; Crews Taylor, Archer; Baron Radcliff, Norcross; Davis Sharp, Mill Creek; Cameron Turley, Mill Creek; Nick Tanner, Lanier; Cabrera Weaver, South