Considering the scenario, let's give the Warner Robins (Ga.) Houston County High senior center fielder a free pass for flipping his bat in celebration. Plus, if ever there was a baseball name worhty of such an epic bat flip, it's Hunt Smith. Might as well start calling him Hunt & Destroy after this performance.
Here's the situation: Fayetteville Whitewater led Houston County 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning in the decisive Game 3 of Georgia's Class AAAAA state championship series when Smith stepped to the plate facing a full count with the bases loaded, two out and his team's state title dreams on the line.
Then, the Georgia Southwestern State University signed drilled a grand slam that might still be traveling and proved to be the difference in Houston County's 8-6 state championship victory over the weekend. The adrenaline surely pulsing through his veins sent the bat all the way to the first base coach's box.
“I was trying to make contact and work my way to a fastball,” Smith told the Macon Telegraph in the game's aftermath. “Off the bat, that’s one of the best swings I’ve ever put on a baseball. With the hype, I couldn’t help but flip the bat a little bit. It was the turning point in the game.”
Not just that. It was a turning point in the history of bat flipping, too, setting a new standard for all. Often considered a violation of baseball's unwritten rules, the bat flip is becoming more and more commonplace in the sport. In Smith's case, however, the entirety of the moment almost required such a dramatic response.