Around the Region: Benjamin Follet-Smith has big Choo Choo golf lead

Around the Region: Benjamin Follet-Smith has big Choo Choo golf lead

July 27th, 2017 by Staff Reports in Sports - College

Benjamin Follet-Smith shot 66s the first two days of the Chattanooga Choo Choo Invitational at Council Fire Golf Course and added a 69 Wednesday for a 15-under-par 201 and a seven-stroke lead. The tournament, which ends today, was cut Tuesday to 39 golfers from the original field, most with recent college playing experience. Follet-Smith, who is from Zimbabwe, concluded his Mississippi State career this year. Former Baylor School state champion Blake Maum is tied for second at 208 with Kansas State's Jacob Eklund, and recent University of Tennessee at Chattanooga homegrown player Brooks Thomas is fourth at 210 with Lipscomb's Mikey Feher from Signal Mountain tied for fifth at 211.

- UTC's Wes Gosselin and Stuart Thomas from Knoxville and Phillip Hickam from Olive Branch, Miss., were named Wednesday as 2017 Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholars by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Another Division I selection was Mikey Feher from Signal Mountain, who just finished his Lipscomb career, and Lee University rising senior Corey Sheppard was a Division II All-America Scholar. It was the second such honor for Gosselin, who ended his Mocs career with a 3.83 grade point average on a 4.0 scale and degrees in psychology and exercise science. Thomas and Hickam both were juniors in eligibility this past season, and the All-America Scholar criteria include junior or senior status, a cumulative GPA of 3.2, participation in at least half of a team's competitive rounds and, in Division I, a stroke average under 76.0. Gosselin's stroke average was 72.31 in 2016-17, 73.13 for his career. Thomas had a 74.14 average this season, Hickam a 74.97.

- Incoming UTC freshman A.J. Lintunen continued his strong summer in Europe by tying for second in the Finnish National Championships, according to a school release Wednesday. He was low amateur with an 11-under 273, one shot behind winning pro Lauri Ruuska. Lintunen also was second in an Audi Finnish Tour pro event in June.

- The Golf Capital of Tennessee Women's Open starts today at Stonehenge Golf Club in Fairfield Glade, and UTC rising seniors Cristina Perez and Megan Woods and junior Monica San Juan are in the 122-player field — along with a number of Chattanooga-area residents — for the 54-hole tournament. The Mocs' coach, Colette Murray, breezed to victory with a three-day 222 in the Chattanooga Women's Amateur event last week at Valleybrook. It was her first tournament of 2017.

Baseball

- After three seasons as a Kent State University assistant coach in Division I, Barrett Serrato has joined Mark Brew's baseball coaching staff at Lee University. The Golden Flashes won the Mid-America Conference East Division all three years Serrato was at the Ohio school and were the MAC overall champions the last two springs. Drafted by the Miami Marlins out of high school, Serrato went on to Purdue University and was All-Big Ten in 2011 and 2012 as well as an Academic All-Big Ten selection. He then signed with the Texas Rangers and played three seasons in their organization, reaching Class AA with the Frisco (Texas) Roughriders. "He is a rising star in the coaching ranks, and he has quickly gained a reputation as an excellent hitting coach and infield instructor while at Kent State," Brew said in a Lee release. "His passion for growth, ability to teach the game and past experiences at the highest levels of baseball have prepared him for this opportunity. He has excellent communication skills, is an excellent evaluator of talent and possesses an extremely high level of energy, which will serve him well leading our recruiting efforts. More importantly, he is a person of high character and integrity, and he will be an excellent fit into the culture of our program and university." Serrato is getting married Saturday in Ohio. With the Flames he replaces Justin Dedman, a high valued Brew assistant for seven years who has joined the Miami (Ohio) staff in the MAC.