The Owls were placed in the Tallahassee, Fla., region with nationally-ranked Florida State, Alabama out of the Southeastern Conference and Georgia Southern.
Kennesaw State faced Alabama on June 2 for a spot in the Super Regionals. With the Owls up 3-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, KSU head coach Mike Sansing inserted freshman infielder and East Paulding alumnus Jeremy Howell as a pinch hitter to secure the victory. Howell proceeded to hit a single to centerfield which scored teammate Chris McGowan, providing a crucial insurance run. Kennesaw State proceeded to win the contest 4-2 and advance to the program’s first-ever Super Regional.
“I didn’t start the game but stayed focused during the contest,” Howell said. “I was able to get a full count and knew I wasn’t going to strike out. It felt great to get a big hit and was one of the most amazing moments of my career.”
Howell appeared in 47 contests for Kennesaw State this season. The success of the Owls this season was felt throughout Paulding County.
“I’ve received calls and text messages from kids I graduated with and even older alumni,” Howell said.
The journey to Kennesaw started at East Paulding where Howell was a four-year letter winner for the Raiders and was named the county’s player of the year as a senior.
“Jeremy is a great kid, a very good player for our program and [I’m] so happy for his success,” East Paulding baseball head coach Tony Boyd said.
Louisville eliminated the Owls from the postseason on June 7 but still KSU still won a program-record 41 contests in Division I.
“It was awesome representing Paulding County and I enjoyed it,” Howell said.
Howell will play this summer for an East Cobb-based team in the Sunbelt League for collegiate players.