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Stewart Breaks Gwinnett County Record for Home Runs

The Providence junior has lofty goals.

Living in Lawrenceville, Christin Stewart would have been an Eagle at Collins Hill and then a Bear once opened. But his family decided to take him to Providence, since his mother worked in that area.

"We checked out the school and just loved it and took Christin there and he's been there every since," said Yolanda Stewart, Christin's mother.

And Providence is glad they did.

Stewart hit 13 home runs as a freshman, 15 as a sophomore and in the last series against Kings Ridge, Stewart broke the 1-year old county record of 23 home runs held by Wesleyan shortstop Kevin O'Leary, by cracking four home runs to have 24. That's 52 home runs and Stewart still has a year left and at least two games in the state semifinals.

"He has been a joy to have but he is a better person. His parents have raised him right and he is respectful, works hard and treats people right," said head coach Adam Cantrell. "He plays hard and plays with confidence. He's a great kid all around and a joy to coach and I'm sure he is a joy to have as a teammate."

Stewart plays catcher and when Nick Stidham catches, Stewart will play first base. "He's a very humble kid and the kind of kid that recognizes the blessings that he has the talent," Cantrell said. "He works his tail off while giving other people credit. He's calm and down to earth. You wouldn't know if he had a great game or a terrible game unless you saw the game. He is a rare find with his approach to the game."

Stewart should get some looks from major league scouts next year and that is something Providence hasn't seen at their school. "Being a single-A school it will be our first time (to have major league scouts)," Cantrell said. "We're not Parkview. We've had plenty from college but never major league. But if we do it should be fun."

Stewart is small by major league credentials. "You can get away with being small at first base more than at catcher," Cantrell said. "He has good hips and good legs and can play either well. He is very strong but we have a good outfield and we need him behind the plate and at first base."

Stewart has only been to private school and came to Providence in seventh grade. He played junior varsity as an eighth grader and made the varsity as a freshman. "Some people undermine A baseball but we still have good competition," Stewart said. "We're not 5-A or 3-A but we still have good competition and we work really hard. We have a great group of guys."

Providence lost 8-7 to South Gwinnett but came back to beat North Gwinnett this year.

Stewart has played baseball all his life as his mother didn't want him playing football and he knew his talent was more with baseball than basketball. He admires Jason Heyward of the Braves.

"He's a great player," Stewart said. "It's definitely a goal of mine. I am going to work very hard. It's any baseball players goal is to make the major leagues. I heard a lot about my size but I have the size and speed and have been practicing playing the outfield but I will play catcher and first base for now. I have a strong arm and I can make the throws."

Stewart credits his parents for his upbringing. "They brought me up right," Stewart said. "I go to church (Fairfield Baptist in Auburn or 12-Stone), they took me to Providence and made the sacrifice to pay the tuition to get me there."

He wants to get a degree if he doesn't end up playing baseball and go into the medical field; either a physical therapist or an anesthesiologist.

But for now, he wants to pursue his dream of helping his team win the state championship. Next season he can worry about records as the state record of home runs is held by current St. Louis Cardinal Micah Owings, who played at Gainesville.

The bats next year will be different as the GHSA will use what is similar to a wooden bat. "It sounds totally different," Stewart said. "You have to hit it solid, there won't be any more pop out home runs."

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