Locals named to Senior Team Georgia

A week after Junior Team Georgia finished third in the Sunbelt Baseball Classic, the senior team will try to equal or better that finish in the same tournament beginning today.

It will have help from four Gwinnett County players in trying to do so, including three from the recently crowned Class AAAAA state champion Brookwood Broncos.

The trio of shortstop Jordan Erisman, pitcher Alex Beebe and catcher/first baseman Ronnie Freeman will be joined by Collins Hill pitcher Nick Squeglia on Team Georgia when it begins play against Team Texas at 4 p.m. today in Norman, Okla.

In addition, Drew Payne from nearby Class AAAA state champion Loganville is also on Team Georgia's 20-man roster.

"There's a bunch of talent on this team," said Beebe, who was a first-team All-County selection by the Daily Post after going 10-1 with a 1.94 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 69 innings for Brookwood this spring. "It's fun to know you're playing with the best."

Among "the best" Beebe referred to are a trio of Atlanta Braves draft picks in Matt Price of the Walker School and Walton's Mark Pope and Billy Burns. Also on the team are Division I college signees Price (Virginia Tech), Pope (Georgia Tech), Burns (Mercer), Earl Daniels of Valdosta (Georgia), Zach Laughlin of Columbus (Georgia), Parker Sutton of Sequoyah (Kennesaw State), Daniel Watts of Troup (Eastern Kentucky), C.J. Lusted of Centennial (Georgia Southern) and Georgia State-bound Squeglia.

It's an even more uncommon opportunity for Freeman, the only junior selected for the team.

"It's pretty tough being the only junior," said Freeman, who was a second-team All-County selection after hitting .459 with six home runs and 34 RBIs for the Broncos this spring. "But having a couple of (Brookwood) teammates on the team - that does make it easier.

"It's pretty cool because these guys love baseball."

They also love winning, something Team Georgia hopes to continue a long tradition of, including claiming last year's tournament led by several players, including former Collins Hill standout Justice French.

In addition to Beebe and Freeman, Team Georgia should also get a boost from Erisman, who joined Beebe as a Daily Post first-team All-County selection with a .410 average, 14 homers and 43 RBIs, plus Squeglia, who was 2-3 with a 4.02 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 311/3 innings.