After a successful trial run a year ago, Columbus State will once again host the Bi-City All-Star game.
The game, which is not connected to the Ledger-Enquirer's All-Bi-City team, will be played at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Ragsdale Field and feature teams from Alabama and Georgia.
The game drew a capacity crowd a year ago--Columbus State assistant baseball coach Patrick Collins said it was the most he had ever seen present at Ragsdale Field--and similar numbers are expected again this year.
Admission is $5, and even if they don't sell out, coaches and players have a chance to play and represent their high schools and communities, Collins said.
There are no noticeable changes to this year's game, though they will extend batting practice and provide players with a t-shirt for playing in the game.
They tried to extend participation beyond the immediate area, as well, offering invitations to Valley, Auburn, Opelika and Beauregard. Two of those, Opelika and Beauregard, will have players in the game.
The Georgia team will be coached by Hardaway's Chris Gilstrap, who played
college ball at Columbus State.
It will feature players from eight different area schools. Keith Pridgen will represent Brookstone, Trent Burns for Calvary Christian and Isaiah Arnold for Shaw.
Columbus will have three players: Will Bice, Will Kilgore and Nick Poskey. Hardaway will feature the post from a Georgia team, with Trent Abrams, Josh Anthony, Blake Meadows and Bryan Pate all participating. Harris County, Hughes Massengale and A.J. Willoughby, and Jordan, Chance McKinnon and Javier Vizcarrondo, will both feature two.
Northside will send three: Cam Hopkins, Vic Ballesteros and Michael Rossi.
The Alabama team will be coached by Glenwood's Tim Fanning, who led his Gators to an AISA state championship this season.
Central has an area high of six players participating. They are Tanner Davis, Jesse Ford, Troy Jackson, Coleson Taylor, Blake Johnson and Jamal Howard. Johnson and Howard have both signed Division-I scholarships at UAB and Alabama, respectively.
Glenwood features five players: Matthew Brabston, Dylan Denny, Luke Hammock, Chad Silvani and Tanner Thomason.
Smiths Station will send two, Ty Galliher and Cody Harrison.
Outside the Bi-City area, Beauregard will send three (Ryan Hargett, Nathan Langley and Jake Weaver) and Opelika, four (Doss Arnold, Garrett Brown, Casey Senn and B.J. White).
Collins said that last year, by the fourth inning the game became more about bragging rights and representing the home community than anything else.
That expectation will remain this time around, as well.