One last ride: Johnson Central duo reunite for college summer league

Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 6:05 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - They’ve been two peas in a pod for a while now.

“Probably before high school, we spent almost every day together,” Braxton Kelly said, a 2018 Johnson Central graduate and current pitcher at Ohio University.

Kelly and his partner-in-crime Geordon Blanton go way back.

“I think the first time we met, we played you guys out in that little league field. You guys were like the - it’s that Martin County league?” Blanton said, a 2017 Johnson Central graduate and current infielder at Marshall University. “Your team was like the crabs or something like that, I don’t know.”

“Yeah so that was like seven years old, yeah,” Kelly added.”

The two have been inseparable off the diamond and a force on it.

“I probably lived with you for like four months straight when we were playing in that Martin County league. I stayed with Braxton every day for four months in a row,” Blanton said. “I’m comfortable with him on the mound. He’s comfortable with me at shortstop.”

That was until 2017, the year Johnson Central won back-to-back 15th Region titles.

“We had a lot of momentum going in. It was a lot of fun. That whole season was just a lot of fun and that was one of the closest teams I’ve ever played on,” Blanton continued. “Coach Hall got in on the fun with us and kinda like started loosening up a little bit.”

Once the season was over, Blanton headed to Marshall University. A year later, Kelly ended up at Ohio University.

“For me it’s a lot different because I’ve always had him back there,” Kelly said. “I’ve always had that comfort in knowing that if anything goes to the right side of the infield, it’s played by Geordon.”

The two thought that their loss in the state tournament in 2017 was the final time they’d share a diamond until an opportunity arose, and the Macon Bacon came calling.

“I kinda had the idea and I was like that would be a little bit - that would take a lot of factors for that to happen,” Kelly said. “I called Geordon up. I was like why not have one last go-around.”

Now the two will get to share the diamond again this summer in the Coastal Plain League with the Macon Bacon. It’s an opportunity both will relish.

“It’s gonna be awesome. I mean it’ll be a lot of nostalgia for sure,” Kelly said.

“That’s way too big of a word for you to ever use again,” Blanton responded as the two laughed.

The two former teammates and best friends now get to relive the good ‘ole days one more time. They report to Macon on June 24. Their first game is on July 2 against when they travel to take on the Savannah Bananas.

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