Current baseball players learned from previous generation of Bearcats

Published 6:45 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Three starters on the 2015 Bainbridge High School Bearcats baseball team are second generation Bearcats.

Freshman third baseman Will Kelley, son of Bainbridge Leisure Services Director Al Kelley, senior left-handed starting pitcher Stanton Long, son of local artist Dargan Long, and senior first baseman Seth Hall, son of Michael Hall, are all second generation players covered by Post-Searchlight sports editor Joe Crine.

Kelley, who graduated in 1977, played for coach Rick Anderson’s Bearcats as a teammate of Bearcats shortstop Ernie Riles, a Climax native and member of the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame who was USA Today American League rookie of the year with the Milwaukee Brewers and hit the 10,000th home run in the history of the Giants franchise in New York and San Francisco.

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“I played some shortstop growing up, but when Ernie came along and was such an outstanding player I moved to the outfield,” he said.

Long was also an outstanding quarterback on coach J.B. Roland’s, Bearcats football team in 1971. He graduated in 1972. He remembers playing with outstanding battery of pitcher Gene Smith and catcher Reese Rollins.

Hall, who graduated in 1992 and played for coach Ell Willis, played for coach Ell Willis, and like his son, was a first baseman. The three first-generation Bearcats all played on different fields.

Kelley played on the former Bearcats Field where the Decatur County Memorial Coliseum now sits, Long played on a field at the Earle May Boat Basin and Hall played on the former Bearcats Field which is now the Bearcats Middle School Field.

Long, who threw and batted right handed, said his son always just a natural left handed-thrower but is a switch hitter at the plate. “Stanton hits equally well from both sides of the plate,” his father said.

Bearcats coach Brian McCorkle said the three former Bearcats’ sons have assumed strong leadership roles on the team.