Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 13 Etowah


Phil Kerber
Georgia Scouting Director

The Georgia High School Association has announced that opening day of the 2020 season will commence on Feb. 10. Programs were allowed to begin practicing in an official capacity on Jan. 13, meaning it's time for the PBR Georgia staff to break down the high school baseball scene in the state in the countdown to the first pitch thrown in 2019.Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we will be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2019 spring season, touching on programs spanning multiple state classifications, counting down the official PBR Georgia Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Our Preseason Power 25 rankings coverage starts today.

Team: Etowah
Preseason Rank:
13
2019 Record:
24-14
Region: 4-7A 
2019 Region Finish: 4th
GHSA Classification: 7A
Head Coach: Greg Robinson
Playoff Run: Quarterfinals
Returning Starters: 5
Returning Pitchers: 2

KEy Players Lost
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Conor Bowen GA Etowah 2019 C  
Bryant Madden GA Etowah 2019 OF/LHP Maine
Nick Block GA Etowah 2019 OF Walters State
Ryan Lobus GA Etowah 2019 RHP/INF Chattanooga State
Tyler Freas GA Etowah 2019 OF University of Pikeville
Jacob Fletcher GA Etowah 2019 RHP South Georgia State
TOP Players
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Adam Metivier GA Etowah 2020 LHP Georgia College & State
Michael Sharman GA Etowah 2021 LHP  
Nick Wilson GA Etowah 2020 RHP Georgia Highlands
Blaise Fischer GA Etowah 2020 LHP Newberry
Jake Lefevers GA Etowah 2020 OF  
Colby Flaig GA Etowah 2021 INF  
Michael Straub GA Etowah 2021 INF  
Taydan DeVargus GA Etowah 2020 INF  
Cole Ellis GA Etowah 2021 INF  
Top Newcomers
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Davis Newman GA Etowah 2022 C
Athan Ribley GA Etowah 2021 INF  

X-Factor
Relief pitchers transitioning into starting roles. The Eagles lost three of their main pitchers to graduation in LHP Bryant Madden (2019; Maine), RHP Ryan Lobus (2019; Chattanooga State), and RHP Jacob Fletcher (2019; South Georgia State). The top of the rotation is still in good hands with southpaws Adam Metivier (2020; Georgia State & College) and Michael Sharman (2021) back to reprise their roles. However, the rest of the rotation is up for grabs. 

Two of the Eagles top relief pitchers last seaosn, RHP Nick Wilson (2020; Georgia Highlands) and LHP Blaise Fischer (2020; Newberry), are the top candidates to enter the rotation and have a big impact. Wilson is an athletically built 5-foot-11, 160-pounds who works into the mid-80s with his fastball. Fischer offers a bit of a different look. A crafty lefty, he stands 6-foot, 150-pounds. Working in the low-80s, he has good feel for a 12/6 curveball, that he has shown the ability to flip over for a strike in any count. highly competitive, he goes right after hitters, challenging them at all times.

Outlook
Coach Greg Robinson believes his team has the right mix of returnees and youth to challenge for the region title this year, and maybe more. The Eagle have a veteran pitching staff that will be led by Metivier and Sharman. Metivier is a finesse pitcher who relies on his ability to control the zone with a three pitch mix. He can get his fastball up into the low-80s and complements it with a curveball and a changeup.

Only a junior, Sharman may be the best of the group. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound two-way player sits in the mid-80s and can touch the upper-80s when he needs to. What is even more impressive is his ability to command a tight spinning cutter that misses barrels. It is a deceptive pitch, as he maintains arm speed and slot. Sharman also was a standout at the plate for the Eagles, hitting daily out of the three hole. His abilities as a two-way player will be an integral part of Etowah's success this spring.

In addition to the pitching staff, the defensive side of things will be a strength for the Eagles. Nearly the entire infield is back for another go around, many of them only juniors. Offensively, OF Jake Lefevers (2020) will be looked upon to carry some of the weight, along with Sharman. Newcomer C Davis Newman (2022) will have big shoes to fill behind the dish, as All-State C Conor Bowen (2019) was lost to graduation. Coach Robinson is confident though that the sophomore can step in and be an immediate contributor.

Despite finishing fourth in their region last season, Etowah made some noise in the state playoffs advancing to the quarterfinals. They pulled off back-to-back upsets over Lowndes and Kennesaw Mountain, before meeting a juggernaut in North Gwinnett. The Eagles nearly pulled off a shocking upset, taking North Gwinnett to a winner-take-all third game. This year, Etowah will be a favorite to take the region, although it will not be easy with the likes of Walton and Woodstock looking strong.  

Make sure to follow @PBRGeorgia on Twitter for the most-up-to-date coverage throughout the 2020 season.

Find more information on the 2020 Eagles below:

+ Full Schedule
+ Team Website
+ Team Twitter

Preseason Power 25 Countdown

 
Chase Dollander GA Greenbrier 2020 RHP Georgia Southern
Sam Roebuck GA Greenbrier 2020 OF/RHP  
Dalton Wesley GA Greenbrier 2021 1B  
Brayden Collett GA Greenbrier 2021 SS/RHP  
David Bell GA Greenbrier 2022 C/IF/RHP  
Avery Boyd GA Greenbrier 2020 LHP  
Dylan Carter GA Greenbrier 2020 OF/RHP