Two former Fort Mill High baseball players have been reunited as part of the Gateway Grizzlies baseball team of the Frontier League.
Charlie Lisk, a 2001 graduate and catcher for Fort Mill, and Brandon Williams, a 2002 graduate and seldom used pitcher for the Jackets, will now be teammates again with the Grizzlies. Williams was a junior the year Lisk graduated.
Williams, 23, who played two seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor-league system, was picked up by the Grizzlies April 2 after being released by the Pirates organization.
"All I have ever really asked for is the opportunity," Williams said. "All I really want to do is play."
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Williams was 4-2 in two seasons with a save and a 3.14 ERA between Class A State College and Williamsport. He even played in two games with the Double A affiliate the Altoona Curve last season. He was released March 28.
Lisk, 25, who played in 65 games last year with Gateway, had his option picked up by the team in December for the 2008 season.
In his time with the team last year, Lisk hit .201 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs. He signed with the team after being released by the San Diego Padres' Class A minor league team in the California League.
The Frontier League is an independent baseball league filled with guys trying to get picked back up by a minor-league team. Both Lisk and Williams are now in that group.
"That is always the plan," Lisk said. "I am just trying to keep playing. It's a pretty highly scouted league."
The Frontier League has had nearly 30 players picked up by minor-league organizations since the turn of the century.
"That is the goal of every player to play in the big leagues," Williams said.
When he heard that Williams had been released, he contacted the Grizzlies about looking into getting him.
"He is a hell of a player," Lisk said. "He can be a great addition to our team."
Williams is looking at the opportunity to work with Lisk as a great one.
"He is a great catcher," he said. "I'm excited to work with and grow under Charlie. He has a lot more experience and knows a lot about the game."
Now in his seventh season playing professional baseball, Lisk said it's still not easy, but he loves it.
"There are big differences in leagues," Lisk said. "There are guys here that have a chance."
Lisk said that even for as long as he has been playing baseball, the game is now different for him.
"I am now able to think three and four batters ahead of the guy who is at the plate on what we are needing to do," he said. "It's not easy by any means. But the game starts to slow and the knowledge of baseball catches up."