Columbia’s retiring coach Dennis gets 400th win; Arabia Mountain takes region title

Columbia coach Steve Dennis, who is retiring after this season, has a career record of 400-324-5.

Retiring baseball coach Steve Dennis got his 400th career victory this week in Columbia’s 7-5 victory over Arabia Mountain on Wednesday, but Arabia Mountain came away with the Region 5-AAAAA championship with a 3-2 win on Thursday.

The DeKalb County schools will enter the state playoffs next week seeded No. 1 and No. 2.

In the region-clinching win, Arabia Mountain’s Corey King pitched a complete-game five-hitter with 11 strikeouts, and Jaylin Hawkins was 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored.

Arabia Mountain is 17-8 overall, 12-2 in the region, under coach Eric Hoxie. King (.492), Silas Butler (.405), Chris Sims (.411) and Joshua Campbell (.446) are all hitting over .400. King is 4-0 with an 0.90 ERA as a pitcher.

Columbia is 24-5 overall and 11-3 in region play. The Eagles are hitting .400 as a team headed by Elijah Hammonds at .505 with 44 runs scored. Also over .400 are Marvin Lloyd (.433), Fred Chapman (.411), Jamal Huff (.410) and Kameron Marshall (.407 with 20 extra-base hits). Marshall (7-2, 1.85), Huff (6-1, 1.79) and Dennis (5-2, 1.76) are the top pitchers.

Columbia once scored 31 runs in an inning this season. Columbia beat Salem 32-0.

Dennis, who took over the Columbia program in 1989, stands at 400-324-5 and is second all-time in wins in DeKalb County behind Marvin Pruitt, who was 447-252 in stops at Lakeside, Stephenson, Southwest Redan DeKalb and Redan. Pruitt also coached at Rockdale County to have a career total of 510-333.

Columbia has reached the state playoffs on five occasions under Dennis in 1994, 2003, 2013, 2014 and now in his final campaign. He has also posted winning records in 14 seasons prior to 2017 including 1991 (11-10), 1994 (18-11-1), 1995 (15-6-1), 1996 (21-5-1), 2002 (13-10), 2003 (19-9), 2006 (14-12), 2007 (14-12-1), 2011 (16-10), 2012 (15-10-1), 2013 (18-6-2), 2014 (22-7), 2015 (21-9) and 2016 (15-11).


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