Originally created 02/20/00

S.C. baseball previews



AIKEN

Coach: Matt Brackett, 4th year

1999 record: 9-15

Returning players: P Daryl Carter (Sr., 5-11, 170); OF Mac Hall (Sr., 6-0, 160).

Outlook: The Hornets have a lot of holes to fill and just two starters return. The good news is senior Daryl Carter returns to anchor a young staff. The potential is there but some underclassmen must come through.

BARNWELL

Coach: Steve Scolamiero, 2nd year

1999 record: 22-8

Returning players: SS/P Ronnie Davis (Sr., 6-0, 165); P/SS/OF Matt Fields (Sr., 6-0, 165); OF Justin Williams (Sr., 5-8, 160); C Taylor Baxter (Sr., 5-8, 190).

Outlook: The good news for Barnwell is that four returning starters, including leading hitter and pitcher Matt Fields, who was 7-0 on the mound last season. A replacement for all-state catcher Jason Randall must be found as well as starting pitcher Jason Rutland. But there is more depth and good speed on this year's team.

BATESBURG-LEESVILLE

Coach: Greg Pollings, 2nd year

1999 record: 13-11

Returning players: C Austin Childers (Sr., 5-8, 160); 3B Matt Velasquez (Sr., 5-8, 180); P Greg Johnson (Sr., 5-11, 165); OF Josh Ott (Sr., 6-0, 170); SS Brian Shealy (Sr., 6-3, 215); 1B/DH Blair Taylor (Jr., 5-11, 220); OF Corey Clark (Sr., 5-11, 170).

Outlook: Batesburg-Leesville is expected to contend for the region title with a strong group of seniors, led by all-state performer Austin Childers. Right-hander Greg Johnson is back to anchor the pitching rotation after going 6-1 last season.

BLACKVILLE-HILDA

Coach: Derek Quinn

1999 record: unavailable

Returning players: Survey not returned

Outlook: Survey not returned

MIDLAND VALLEY

Coach: Bruce Zuehlke

1999 record: 23-14

Returning players: P/LF Kory Hall (Sr., 6-0, 170); P/1B/DH Anthony Prosser (Sr., 5-10, 165); P/1B Joey Hicks (Sr., 6-1, 225); C Wilie McDaniel (Sr., 5-11, 165); SS/3B Dale Pearson (Jr., 5-8, 150); RF/P Stuart Redd (Sr., 5-6, 150).

Outlook: Midland Valley made it to the Class AAA Lower State finals last season behind a solid pitching staff. The pitching staff returns but the rest of the Mustangs will be young. Kory Hall anchors a sound pitching rotation. A strong group of underclassmen will be expected to help out early.

MCCORMICK

Coach: Jamie Childress

1999 record: unavailable

Returning players: Survey not returned

Outlook: Survey not returned

NORTH AUGUSTA

Coach: Drew Hummel, 9th year

1999 record: 20-10

Returning players: P Bobby White (Sr., 6-3, 195); 1B Will Long (Sr., 6-3, 185); 2B Rob Underwood (Sr., 5-10, 165).

Outlook: North Augusta lost seven returning starters from last season and two pitchers. But the good news is ace pitcher Bobby White returns after an 8-4 campaign in 1999. The Yellow Jackets expect a strong group of underclassmen to step forward. This group is solid, just needs time to mature.

RIDGE SPRING-MONETTA

Coach: Larry Poole, 4th year

1999 record: 8-13

Returning players: C Brad Daney (Sr., 6-3, 180); P/SS Adam Hulsomback (Sr., 5-10, 160); OF Blake Wooten (Sr., 5-10, 165); 2B Ryan Waites (Sr., 5-10, 150); P/3B Matthew Murrah (So., 5-9, 185); OF Tracy Baughman (So., 5-10, 160).

Outlook: A solid group of returners, including leading hitter Adam Hulsomback, should definitely help Ridge Spring-Monetta improve on last year's record. However, some pitching needs to step forward if Ridge Spring is going to contend in a tough region.

SILVER BLUFF

Coach: Mark Bonnette, 2nd year

1999 record: 14-10

Returning players: 3B/SS Cory Hall (Sr., 5-10, 165); SS/P Jeffery Barefield (Fr., 5-7, 155); P/1B Steven Perry (Jr., 6-0, 240); 2B/OF Jason Waters (Jr., 5-10, 160); OF Donald Boyd (Sr., 5-9, 165); C Matt Rutz (Jr., 5-9, 180); 3B/P Jaime Williamson (Jr., 5-10, 175).

Outlook: A good nucleus returns but the Bulldogs will still be relatively young. Two seniors, Cory Hall and Donald Boyd, will be expected to help carry the load early in the season. Steven Perry is back to anchor the pitching staff.

SOUTH AIKEN

Coach: Steve DeRiggs, 3rd year

1999 record: 11-13

Returning players: P/3B Matt Bodie (Jr., 6-0, 170); 1B/OF Alex Pitts (Jr., 5-11, 210); 3B/1B Tim Maddux (Jr., 6-2, 175); 2B Brad Isom (Fr., 5-8, 140); CF John Angelos (Sr., 5-9, 160); P Chris Cutshall (Sr., 5-10, 150).

Outlook: South Aiken graduated several key players, including team MVP Tom McCullough and pitchers Brian Waack and Heath Murphy. However, a good nucleus returns, including junior pitcher/third-baseman Matt Bodie, who had a solid sophomore campaign. A young team will need to mature early to contend in the always tough Region 3-AAAA.

STROM THURMOND

Coach: Gregg Yonce

1999 record: unavailable

Returning players: Survey not returned

Outlook: Survey not returned

WAGENER-SALLEY

Coach: Sandy Allen

1999 record: unavailable

Returning players: Survey not returned

Outlook: Survey not returned

WILLISTON-ELKO

Coach: Barry Fogle, 5th year

1999 record: 18-7

Returning players: 3B T.J. Martin (Jr., 6-1, 175); SS/P Bryan Tune (Sr., 5-11, 160); C Keith Sturkie (Sr., 5-9, 185); OF Michael Pruitt (Sr., 5-10, 160); OF Steven Brown (So., 5-10, 170); OF/P Adam Rooks (Sr., 5-8, 165); 2B/SS Michael Hosey (So., 5-10, 170).

Outlook: The Blue Devils return seven starters, including leading hitter Bryan Tune who batted .452 last season. Speedster T.J. Martin is back to give Williston-Elko a threat on the bases. However, some pitching much come through if the Blue Devils are to compete for the region title.