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Clayton County baseball players set for first annual all-star game

By Derrick Mahone

dmahone@news-daily.com

Four members of Clayton County's only state playoff baseball team will headline the inaugural Clayton County All-star Baseball game next week.

The teams, composed of players from all nine county schools, will hit the practice field today for their first practice for the June 5 game at Drew High School.

Jonesboro, the No. 3 seed from Region 4-AAAA, placed four former players from its team on the South roster.

Standout pitcher /shortstop Antonio Smith, centerfielder Jonathan Smith, catcher Mario Cummings and second baseman/pitcher Jesse Gardner will play for the squad coached Mundy's Mill coach Patrick Smith.

Allen hit .562 with 53 stolen bases and scored 45 runs for the Cardinals this past season.

Jonesboro lost to Lee County in the first round of the state playoffs earlier this month.

Mundy's Mill coach Patrick Smith will get to coach four of his players for the final time as Marvin Taylor, Pierre Bowles, Dwayne Jackson, Sean Moore and Robert Bell will get to suit up for the South squad.

The North squad will be coached by Doug Henry of North Clayton, who placed five players on the squad. Riverdale senior Samurai Portlock, an infielder/pitcher, has signed with Edward Waters College.

He hit .582 with 30 stolen bases and five home runs as a leadoff hitter.

"This will be good exposure for the kids," Henry said.

"It gives the kids some extra incentive to shoot for.

All the coaches in the county were on board for this idea."

The majority of the teams were composed of mostly senior and juniors, with Drew sophomores Devonte Lester and Anthony Walker being the exception.

Drew, a first-year school, highest grade level was sophomores.

"We made the exception for them since it is a first-year school," Henry said. "This is something that we hope to do every year."

At least two players from each of the nine county schools were placed on the teams.