Prep Baseball Report

Game Notes: River Ridge vs Valdosta Game 1.

Blake Davis
State Director, Georgia



Woodstock, GA- Valdosta High School made the 260-mile trip north Wednesday to take on a talented River Ridge team in the elite eight of the GHSA 6A Baseball State Playoffs. Both pitchers were put on notice early, that these two clubs were going to swing the bat, as the scoring came early and often. Valdosta junior right-hander Avery Stephens did not back down against a strong opponent, and River Ridge 2019 right-hander Brandon Smith (a Tennessee commit) featured a lively fastball without his best command.  In the end, River Ridge proved to be too much, as production came from all over their line-up and led to a 12-5 final score. The home team would then go on to take a big lead in game two before stranding the tying run at third base in the seventh inning to advance to the semifinals, where they will face the winner between Pope and Houston County.

Valdosta had a uncommitted prospects that stood out from the rest in game 1.  2019 right-fielder Colby Thomas made an impression in the loss.

Colby Thomas OF / Valdosta, GA / 2019

Athletic looking outfielder from Valdosta, GA is strong below the elbows with fast hands and some finish to his swing.  He hits out of a pull approach and looks to do damage.  Has an idea of what his zone is but will expand east and west at times. Defensively he profiles as a solid corner OF.  I see success on the next level for this 2019 and has a chance to grow into significant power down the road. This is a sleeper in the 2019 that is still on the board. 



Brandon Smith of River Ridge also left a strong impression. The right-handed pitcher (Tennessee commit) battled through less than ideal command, but showed he will be one of the better arms in Georgia in the 2019 class.


Brandon Smith RHP / River Ridge, GA / 2019

Brandon Smith has a good pitchers frame, with a strong lower half, broad shoulders and long arms.  He can really sink a fastball, and has a chance to be an ground-ball machine down the line. The breaking ball is still developing.  In this outing he struggled with command at times but made adjustments and battled through.  While Smith will have to develop a true out-pitch to be a major factor in the 2019 draft.  His fastball and frame will make him one of the better arms in the state in 2019.



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