Pepperell High School

3 Dragon Drive

Lindale, GA 30147

Pepperell dedicates field in honor of late coach Gilbreath, beats Murray Co.

Source: Rome News-Tribune; April 17, 2013

Alex Rickman, Sports Contributer

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Karsyn Gilbreath, 4, great-granddaughter of Otis Gilbreath, throws out the first pitch before a game in a dedication ceremony for Otis Gilbreath Field at Pepperell High, April 16, 2013. (Brittany Hannah/RN-T)

The Pepperell baseball team had plenty to celebrate Tuesday — both past and present. The Dragons opened the day with a special ceremony, during which the Pepperell program named the field in honor of the late Otis Gilbreath, who led the Dragons to a whopping six state titles during his legendary career in Lindale.

After the ceremony, the Dragons went out and continued their season-long surge by downing Murray County, 5-0, in a Region 7-AA game.

The victory pushed Pepperell to 19-2 overall and 11-0 in the region. Pepperell pitcher Tyler Smith — who is putting together a terrific season and compiling a massive amount of strikeouts — worked five innings of one-hit ball and rang up 12 strikeouts. Smith said he and the Dragons wanted to pay tribute Gilbreath with their performance on Tuesday.

“There was extra motivation today because Otis was a great coach and he meant a lot to this community. We got the win today in his honor.”

Gilbreath coached at Pepperell from 1947 to 1989 and has since been elected to the Rome Floyd Sports Hall of Fame, among other honors.

And from now on, his name will be even more closely linked to the Pepp-erell program when an opposing team visits “Otis Gilbreath Field” in the future.

“This was great for the community,” said Pepperell coach Wright Edge. “Otis deserved this and I’m glad that when we play here we can announce his name as the place that we play.”

Smith and Jamie Kelley combined on a one-hit shutout. After Smith threw five innings, Kelley worked the final two innings, finishing with three strikeouts and not allowing a hit.

“(Our) pitching was stellar,” said Edge. “We were throwing the ball in the strike zone and I just let the pitchers do whatever they had to do to get us the win.”

Offensively, Caleb Jackson went 1-for-3 with double and Bradley Adams was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Evan Ashley, Jackie Harwell, and Smith contributed one RBI each.

Edge wasn’t overwhelmed with his team’s production from the plate, but said it did the trick.

“Our hitters did enough to win,” he said, “but that is something we will continue to work on at practice.”

Adams drove in the first run of the game in the bottom of the third, and the Dragons then scored three more on runs on bases-loaded walks. Pepperell added its final run on an error.