A blistering start in spring training with Boston's minor-leaguers has earned Dacula grad Shannon Wilkerson a nice reward.
The second-year pro was promoted to the big league Red Sox last week, allowing him to get some game time with the organization's top players. A defensive replacement in his first game, Wilkerson didn't get an at-bat but went 1-for-1 with an eighth-inning single in his second game with Boston, which was on MLB TV. He got the hit off Tampa Bay's Mike Ekstrom, a pitcher with major league experience.
Wilkerson, an eighth-round draft choice last year, dressed with the Red Sox again Thursday, though any hopes of regular-season games with Boston's big-league club will have to wait.
The former Augusta State slugger will start the season with Greenville in the Class A South Atlantic League. He finished last season in Greenville after starting out with Lowell of the New York-Penn League. He hit a combined .253 with 17 doubles, seven triples, two homers and 23 RBIs in 60 games.
Wilkerson fared considerably better in minor-league spring games this year. He had four home runs and four doubles in his first five games of the spring.
Wilkerson isn't on Baseball America's list of Boston's top 30 prospects -- Parkview grad Brandon Jacobs is 30th -- but his stock should be rising with his impressive spring.
GAC's Bennetts beat up on Vandy
Though they aren't related, former Greater Atlanta Christian teammates Brock Bennett and Landon Bennett share the same last name and a penchant for enjoying Vanderbilt pitching.
Brock's Alabama team and Landon's Wofford squad both played Vandy in late March and the two former Spartans were a combined 13-for-18. Brock was 8-for-11 in a three-game series and Landon was 5-for-8 in a two-game series, teaming up for a .722 batting average against the Commodores.
Brookwood product Ross Heffley provided some heroics last weekend as Western Carolina swept a three-game series over the College of Charleston for the first time since 1999. Heffley's two-out single in the ninth inning of Game 2 in the series, drove in two runs for a 4-3 victory. ... South Gwinnett grad Chandler Snell, a senior at Georgia College, went 4-for-8 last weekend in a split with seventh-ranked USC-Aiken.
Young earns All-American nod
Collins Hill grad Mary Kate Young, a freshman at Wisconsin-Whitewater, earned All-American honors at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Championships. Young was eighth in the floor exercise with a score of 9.375.
Wiggins on a hot streak
Shiloh grad Megan Wiggins was 3-for-4 Wednesday night and hit her sixth home run of the season as Georgia defeated Kennesaw State 8-3. That game followed Sunday's 17-5 win over Kentucky that saw Wiggins go 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored.
Opata in region rankings
Former Central Gwinnett standout Anastesia Opata is among the top NAIA tennis players in the South Region, sporting at No. 8 ranking in singles play.
Opata, a senior, and doubles partner Angelina Callis also are third in the South in doubles.
Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting the achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or via fax to 770-339-8081.