Some of the best prep baseball talent the northwest Georgia area has to offer will take on their counterparts from the southeast Tennessee area in the 17th Annual Stump on Sports Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Baseball Classic this Friday night.
Nestled in the foothills of Lookout Mountain, Lookout Valley High School will serve as host for the Classic for the first time. Tickets will be $5 each for the nine-inning game, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. The game will feature recent graduates (Class of 2018) from both states.
Lookout Valley coach Lance Rorex, who played in the Classic himself back in 2008, will direct the Volunteer State club.
"Having played in this game 10 years ago, I understand what a privilege it is to be able to play in this game," Rorex said. "It will be a very competitive game and we are excited to watch the best baseball players in our area compete for their home states. I'm also excited to be to coach alongside some of the best coaches in our area."
This year's game will be played in memory of Stump Martin, the founder of the Classic, who passed away on May 10.
"When someone thinks of high school sports in our area, immediately we think of Stump Martin," Rorex added. "He spent his life giving back to high school athletes. With that being said, it is an absolute honor to be able to host this year’s Classic at Lookout Valley."
This year's roster for Team Georgia will include Dylan Minghini (Lafayette College), Caleb Hopkins (Hiwassee) and Austin Thompson (Chattanooga State) from Class 1A Public School state champion Gordon Lee.
Also scheduled to play for the Peach State are Blake Bryan (Carson-Newman), Bryce Bird (Young Harris), Justin Morris (West Georgia), Lance Dockery (Cleveland State) and Cole Wilcox (Georgia) from Region 6-AAAA champion and Class 4A state semifinalist Heritage and Nathan Camp (Louisiana-Lafayette), Gavin Hollis (Lee) and Ty Jones (Lipscomb) from Region 6-AAA champion and Class 3A state semifinalist Ringgold.
Allen Coley, assistant coach at Southeast Whitfield and director of Dalton-based Team Rawlings Baseball, will guide the Georgia squad.
"Being part of this particular game means more to me than any in the past," Coley said. "Knowing Stump's passion for this game and baseball alone makes me feel more privileged because I feel like I'm getting to honor Stump and his family."
Among the standouts for Tennessee will be Soddy-Daisy pitcher Dylan Perry (MTSU), Ooltewah infielder Andrew Manning (Chattanooga, football) and Baylor first baseman Teddy Lepcio (Army), who played select ball for Martin from 2010-2011.
Tennessee holds a 14-2 lead in the all-time series. The Volunteer State won last year's meeting, 14-5, at Ooltewah High School.