Ex-Westside star delivers parting blast

Georgia State celebrates Bradley Logan's walk-off home run to beat William & Mary 7-6 on Sunday. It was the former Westside star's final home game.

They came to bid their own kid adieu Sunday, and Georgia State's Bradley Logan delivered like Ted Williams in the end.


Appearing on his home field in front of Panthers fans for the last time, the former Westside star delivered a walk-off, two-run homer to lift Georgia State to a 7-6 victory over William & Mary. It was a fitting goodbye for a player considered the best in school history.

"It was pretty cool," Logan said of his parting shot. "You couldn't really script it any better."

Logan has been scripting a pretty remarkable career ever since Georgia State coach Greg Frady plucked him out of an all-star lineup in Augusta and made him his first recruit four years ago. The former high school pitcher and catcher for Gerald Barnes at Westside has been a standout third baseman in college and figures to continue as a pro once this postseason is over.

"Bradley has been an amazing player for Georgia State baseball," Frady said. "One of the best players I've ever coached and I've had several very, very high draft picks including first-rounders. He's meant everything to Georgia State."

He's certainly done everything at Georgia State. Logan will leave the school with 10 career records and is the winningest player in the history of the program. He was named Most Outstanding Performer in the 2009 Colonial Athletic Association Championship after leading the Panthers to the league title and the school's first-ever berth in the NCAA regionals.

The senior also stands in the top 10 in CAA history in seven career categories, and this week becomes the only player in Georgia State history to play in three conference championships.

It's enough for Frady to declare that Logan is the best player to ever don the Georgia State uniform.

"You can never make a statement like that lightly," Frady said. "A lot of things have to be taken into consideration. But his numbers and winning percentage that we've accomplished speak for themselves. In my opinion he's the greatest baseball player to ever play at Georgia State based on his numbers, based on his winning percentage and based on his leadership and the impact he made on every person he came in contact with here."

Logan calls the praise "flattering," but said the team achievements mean the most to him.

"The individual records don't mean as much as the championships," he said. "The one record that I really am proud of is being the winningest player at Georgia State. If you play winning team baseball, the numbers will take care of themselves."

Sunday was the perfect example of Logan's value to that team success. Somewhat overwhelmed by the emotion of the senior day that included pre-game recognition with his parents and step parents in attendance (Lance and Marylynne Logan and Jim and Debra Diarenzo), Logan was 0 for 4 at the plate entering the ninth. It was uncharacteristic for a player who until April 2 reached base in 41 consecutive games dating back to May 1, 2009.

Frady had a talk with Logan in the middle of the game to shake him out of his funk.

"If you know Bradley, he saves it all up for the special moments anyway," Frady said. "He's just a clutch guy. When we need Bradley the most is when Bradley emerges."

That moment came in the bottom of the ninth with the Panthers trailing 6-5. Fellow senior Carl Moniz singled up the middle with two strikes. Logan followed him with a homer to straightaway center.

"For all that Bradley has meant to Georgia State baseball and all he has done for us, to see him walk off as a winner on a home run is beyond Hollywood," Frady said.

The same word kept echoing in the aftermath of Logan's run.

"Everybody kept saying that was awesome," said Frady, who spun around in an embrace with his star player as he rounded third. "It was as awesome as you can create awesome."

Logan relished the moment.

"I didn't want to go out that way," he said of his struggling at the plate before his last at-bat. "When I hit it I knew it was gone. As I was running around the bases a million things were going through my mind. It was unbelievable."

Georgia State -- with its 34 wins second only to last year's 39 -- enters the CAA Championship on Thursday in Wilmington, N.C., as the No. 2 seed for the second season in a row.

The Panthers will look to become the first repeat champion since VCU won back-to-back titles in 2002-03, a feat that would earn them another NCAA shot.

"I can't even fathom how fast it has flown by," Logan said of his four years. "I can't believe I might have only one week of my college career left."

That end will be just a beginning. Frady -- who has coached 21 All-Americans and 86 players who have been drafted -- believes some pro franchise will get more than they expect from Logan when they sign him.

"What makes him so special are not his tools to become a professional player -- and he's got all the tools," Frady said. "It's the day-to-day things that he brings to the team in the way of leadership. His value grows every day he's within your organization."

Logan said he has a commitment to winning that "can get you a long way."

"I'm not going to wow you with anything," he said. "They always look at those five tools, but I really care about winning and a lot of hard work put forth with competitiveness. ... I just want a chance. If I get a shot I think I think I can prove to a team that I can play on that level."

Frady knows that better than anyone. Now it's his task to fill Logan's shoes.

"I need another boy from Augusta just like Bradley Logan," he said.

Bradley Logan
Hit by Pitch341st
Sacrifice Flies181st
Total Bases4671st
Team Wins1321st
Stolen Bases422nd
Home Runs384th

Source: www.georgiastatesports.com



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