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Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School

Bamberg-Ehrhardt falls in Lower State Final Four

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Bamberg—After struggling with injuries and inconsistency a year ago, the Bamberg-Ehrhardt baseball team bounced back in a big way this spring.

 The Red Raiders captured the conference title and went on to grab the District 5-AA championship over Barnwell. However, Bamberg-Ehrhardt lost consecutive games to Batesburg-Leesville and Buford and was eliminated in the Lower State Final Four.

“It was good to win the region, but once we got into the playoffs, we made some crucial errors at some bad times that cost us,” head coach Tracy Fleming said. “We had a good year so I can’t complain too much.”

With the season coming to an end, the team will say goodbye to its seniors – pitcher/first baseman Perry Fleming, second baseman Hunter Etheridge, catcher Shane Hanks, third baseman Corey Beard and left fielder Kenley Griffith.

“I’ve got five seniors this year so I felt good for them. One of them was my son so it was emotional at the end of the year,” Fleming said. “They’re a good group. They’ve been in the program for a long time and they knew what I expected from them. We’ll miss all of them and they’ll be tough to replace.”

The Red Raiders may struggle next season as they try to rebuild, but they have some pieces returning to help ease the transition. Noah Sweatman was the No. 2 pitcher and played first base while Reese Zeigler pitched and played shortstop.

Outfielder/pitcher Blaze Bunch, infielder/pitcher Luke Harper, outfielder Jerald Manigault and pitcher Will Wilson are others that will be back along with freshmen Bryce Chandler and Dashonta Banks. The junior varsity team also had some talent that Bamberg-Ehrhardt can draw from.

“I don’t think pitching is going to be that much of a problem next year. The biggest thing is finding a catcher and some middle infielders,” Fleming said. “I’m excited about the young talent we have coming up. We had a couple of freshmen gain valuable experience in the playoffs.”

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