Tift, Crisp to battle at Turner Field - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tift, Crisp to battle at Turner Field


The Crisp County Cougars and Tift County Blue Devils are moving from the fields of south Georgia to a major league ballpark.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," says Crisp County catcher Chris McGinnis.

The two south Georgia baseball powers will collide Saturday morning at Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves.

"I've had people say, 'You're going to be playing in the same spot as Jason Heyward. What's that going to feel like?'" says Tift County outfielder Will Booth. "Well I'm going to take some grass up, put it in my pocket and take it home."

It's not just the players excited about the opportunity. The coaches are also ready to take the field.

"We've been cutting up with each other like we're going to arm wrestle over who's going to get to be in the coaching boxes on the field," laughs Crisp County head coach Bill Pate.

Both teams are ranked in the top five in their respective classes in the latest polls, Crisp is second, Tift is fifth, amping up the intensity for this game even more.

"We have to get ready for the playoffs, so it'll be good to face that pitching and that quality a team," says Cougars infielder Taylor Walls.

Even though the game will take place on a Major League field, both teams are trying to just focus on baseball and not let the moment get too big.

"When it comes down to it, it's just baseball," says Walls. "Hit the ball, run the bases, catch the ball, that's it."

"We talked about it being the same size field. The bases are still the same, the mound's still the same. You're just going to have a little more room to run around," says Tift County head coach Kyle Kirk. 

But, he adds, they're still playing at Turner Field.

"Come the 5th inning, they'll still be breathing hard," he laughs.

First pitch between the Cougars and Devils at Turner Field is set for 10:00 a.m. Saturday.

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