Tifton Gazette


June 23, 2014

Devils visit Braves as summer ball wraps up

TIFTON — Kyle Kirk had no complaints Monday morning. Considering where the head coach of the Tift County Blue Devils baseball team said he was calling from, it was hard to blame him. Kirk was at Turner Field in Atlanta, where he was working as a coach with the Braves Kids Baseball Clinic. Helping out were Hunter McAllister and the recently graduated Zack Bullard.

Kirk was given short notice to attend. He said he received a call Friday asking if he could be there. It just so happened that he had an opening in his schedule after weather had forced a delay in a scheduled summer league game with Coffee.

The clinic was a one-day event. The Braves website said it was a chance for kids ages nine-12 to receive "personalized pitching, hitting and fielding instruction by Braves alumni." Coaches confirmed by the Braves to appear were Brian Jordan, Charlie Leibrandt and Marquis Grissom, though Kirk also said Terry Harper was there.

Three morning hours were spent working with the former Atlanta players and Kirk and assistants in the morning and he said they would be playing games during the afternoon. An unnamed current Braves player was scheduled to make an appearance as well, according to the site. Monday was an off day for the big club, as they were traveling from Washington to Houston.

With much of his varsity roster playing travel ball, Kirk had been working with much younger Blue Devils during the summer season, several of them upcoming ninth graders.

Last Wednesday, he said, one group of young players dubbed the "blue team" split games with Cook. Blake Webb had the winning hit in a 5-4 win and Wilkes Webb was on the mound. They lost to Cook, 5-4, in the other contest. Zach Abbott and Austin Haskins were among the pitchers who worked.

A day later, they defeated Fitzgerald, 4-1 and 2-0. Keenan Webb won the former and Blake Becton took the latter.

The coach has been seeing positive things out of his younger players. "They had a good week in the weight room," he said of his rising ninth graders. He said he believes they will have a good season next year after some ups and downs in middle school.

Kirk and crew were hopeful of one more game before the GHSA dead week hit, ending their opportunities to play in 2014.

They are scheduled to play Coffee today at home, but he said he was still working on securing umpires. If he was unable to get it to work out, "that's it," he said, and the summer season would be over.

Text Only
Local News

Local Sports
Police Reports
Your Agenda
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content
Business Marquee
Weather Radar
Sen. Chambliss addresses farm bill in Tifton
Riding the Steam Train at Ga. Museum of Agriculture
Nature's Beauty in a Tifton parking lot
Peanut Prices Remain Strong