published Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

McCallie hosting Tennessee-Georgia baseball

  • photo
    Tennessee’s Scotty Moses, top, of McMinn Central, leaps over the slide into second by Georgia’s Brandon Blome, of Adairsville, during the 2011 Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Baseball Game.
    Photo by Tim Barber.
    enlarge photo

Host coach Greg Payne of McCallie says tonight's Tennessee-Georgia all-star baseball is both a showcase and an opportunity.

The nine-inning game starts at 6 and will be preceded by a 4 p.m. home run derby. Price of admission is $7, and children under 11 get in free.

"I love the game because it showcases the kids," said Payne, who in the past has been a coach for both Tennessee and Georgia teams. "Last year at Ridgeland I saw several college coaches that were there looking for players. The game is a great opportunity for guys who haven't been seen to get signed."

East Hamilton's Steve Garland, whose days with the event go back to the early games at Engel Stadium, is Tennessee's coach this year, while the Georgia coach is Gordon Lee's Mike Dunfee.

"To the fans it's similar to a showcase game," Garland said. "It's been my experience from inside the dugout that the guys enjoy playing alongside a friend from summer ball or with a guy they've played against and finally get a chance to play with."

Dunfee agreed.

"It's a great opportunity for these kids to play another game. It's good for them to get the uniform back on," he said. "Some will go on to play in college, but for others this may be their last time to compete."

Tennessee leads the series 11-1, including a 5-4 win last season, and has a four-game win streak. Five of the games have been decided by two runs or less.

A concession stand with hamburgers, hot dogs, candy, soft drinks and water will be open.

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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