Originally created 05/18/99

Pack, Marist similar



When Greenbrier meets Marist in the Class AAA baseball state championship series that begins on Friday, the two teams on the field will closely resemble each other.

Greenbrier has just four seniors on its squad and a bumper crop of underclassmen. Marist is the same -- four seniors and a wealth of underclassmen.

The Wolfpack started the season slowly before making a late-season run. Marist did the same.

So when the two schools meet on Friday for Game One of the Class AAA state championship series, something has to give.

The first game of the best-of-3 state championship series begins on Friday with the first game scheduled for 5 p.m. Games two and, if necessary, three will be played on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Brier Patch.

"Marist has a good ball club because they are there," said Greenbrier coach Terry Holder. "They have a lot of baseball history, they know what it's all about and they had two come-from-behind wins against Columbus (in the semifinals).

"I don't know a whole lot about them personnel-wise, but I know their coaching staff is a great coaching staff, and they are a very good athletic program, and we're going to have our hands full."

Both schools met each other in the Class AAA state semifinals two years ago, with Greenbrier sweeping the War Eagles 6-4 and 10-8.

The strong point for Marist this season has been solid team pitching behind senior right-hander Nick Economos and junior Ben Collinger, who came on strong since recovering from an early season broken leg.

The War Eagles boast two of the top middle infielders in the state in sophomores Michael Trapani at shortstop and second baseman Chris Burhans. Burhans can also hit for power and is chasing the school home run record.

Speed isn't a problem either for Marist. Junior right fielder Brandon Russell, one of the state's top football prospects at running back, runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.

Tim Morse covers Georgia high school sports for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached At (706) 823-3216.