CONYERS -- It was a tough year for the baseball teams at Heritage and Salem, but the county rivals still had a number of players named to the all-Region 8-AAAAA team.
Salem's Zach Bailey was the only area player to be named to the region's first team, joining four other outfielders. Bailey hit .500 with 26 RBIs and 26 stolen bases for the Seminoles in 2013, and the Gordon College signee graduated with school records in hits (134), stolen bases (87) and batting average (.473).
"Zach was the only one (on the first team) from a team that didn't make the playoffs. I thought that was a pretty good indication of how good a player Zach was and how much he was respected around the league," Salem coach Chad Kitchens said. "That was pretty big for him. Zach has got all the talent to go as far in baseball as he wants to go. It'll be interesting to see how far he can get."Though Bailey was alone on the first team, Heritage and Salem occupied six spots on the second team.
Heritage had catcher Anthony Williams, who hit .342 with a .484 on-base percentage, first baseman Domenic Bazzani (.321, .407 on-base percentage with a team-high 25 RBIs) and outfielder Ryan Sutton (.315 batting average and .463 on-base percentage), while Salem put infielders Garrett Needham (.379 average with 18 RBIs) and Jordan Scott (.362 average and 18 stolen bases) and designated hitter Reed Hill (.417 average, 14 stolen bases) on the second team.
Gainesville won the region championship and head coach Jeremy Kemp was rewarded as the league's coach of the year. Kemp's ace, Michael Gettys was named the pitcher of the year and seven other Red Elephants were first-team honorees. Loganville's Clint Frazier, expected to be a high draft pick in the upcoming Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, was named the region's hitter of the year.