Lexington native headed to CWS with Gators

By Thomas Grant Jr.

The state of South Carolina will have at least one representative at the College World Series.

Shortstop Colby Shelton, a native of Lexington, earned a trip to Omaha, Neb. with the University of Florida this past weekend at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Returning to his home state, Shelton helped the Gators sweep the Super Regional against Clemson University.

After winning 10-7 on Saturday, Florida outlasted the Tigers 11-10 in 13 innings on Sunday. The five-hour contest featured five home runs, four lead changes and three ejections (Clemson first baseman Jack Crighton, head coach Erik Bakich and program assistant coach Jack Leggett).  

“This is the craziest game I’ve ever been a part of,” Shelton said afterward. “The longest game I’ve ever been a part of. Both teams going at it back and forth.”

Florida shortstop Colby Shelton – Photos by University of Florida Athletics

Shelton was one of four players who batted seven times in the contest. While striking out four times, joining Clemson outfielder and former Lexington County Blowfish Tristan Bissenta, who fanned five times, in earning a “Golden Sombrero,” Shelton had two hits and drove in three runs.

“It just shows how tough of a team we are,” Shelton said. “No matter what the score is, no matter what inning, whether we’re down or up, it just shows we’re always going to go out there and compete. We’re always in the game no matter what.”

Florida will open the double-elimination tournament at 7 p.m. Saturday against fellow SEC rival Texas A&M. The winner will then face either Kentucky or North Carolina State on June 17 while the losers of both games will meet in the elimination game the same day.

The Shelton sisters

Karly Shelton -Photo by the University of South Carolina Athletics
Kiley Shelton -Photo from Colgate University

While Shelton spent his high school career at Bloomingdale High School in Alabama, his sisters Kiley and Karley played at Lexington High School.

Before transferring to Florida Atlantic Wednesday, Kiley had a historic freshman season at Colgate University. She earned 2024 Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors after hitting a league-high eight home runs, drove in a single-season school record 38 RBI and led all rookies with 51 hits and 37 runs scored.

Karley played this past season at the University of South Carolina where she had 14 RBI and one home run.