Thursday, July 28, 2016

Part 2 of the Jake Williams story

Here's a link to part two of Andy Demetra's story on former USC baseball player Jake Williams.
Williams, Part 2

In case you missed it, here's a link to part one.
Williams, Part 1

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

News digest, July 27

During the offseason I may let a few days worth of updates collect before posting anything

Ex-Gamecock Williams back in baseball
Andy Demetra, writing for USC's Spurs & Feathers fan magazine, has a feature on Jake Williams, one of the heroes of South Carolina's 2011 College World Series championship. Williams, a Riverside High graduate who transferred to USC from Wofford, is player-coach for a team in Sweden. Williams made a throw from left field to get a Florida runner out at home plate to keep USC from losing Game 1 of the championship series.  Williams talks about his struggles with depression during his college years. Part 2 of the story is to be published on Thursday.

Paladins hire Davis
New Furman baseball coach Brett Harker has hired Kaleb Davis to be pitching coach, the position Harker held before he was promoted.  Davis formerly was pitching coach at Anderson University, his alma mater.

Johnson fills in at Lander
Assistant coach Britt Johnson has been named interim head coach at Lander. He's filling in for Kermit Smith, who leave the Bearcats to become head coach at Appalachian State earlier this month.

Benedict adds 19
Benedict has announced its 19-player recruiting class for the 2016 season. Included are pitcher-third baseman Keati Buchanan of Strom Thurmond and pitcher-outfielder Zahreed McClinton of Ridge View.

Beckwith earns Big South honor
Coastal Carolina's Andrew Beckwith was named Big South Conference  male athlete of the year earlier this month. The Howard Bagwell  Award is given in honor of the former Charleston Southern (Baptist College) coach and administrator. Bagwell also coached on the high school level in South Carolina.

Buccaneers earn honors
Charleston Southern's Chris Singleton and Cody Maw were selected for their summer collegiate league's all-star game and Cole German participated in his league's home run derby.

Hyman selected
Newberry's Danton Hyman was selected to play in the Valley League all-star game,

Shimko selected
USC Upstate's J.J. Shimko was selected to play in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League's all-star game.

Additionally, the Spartans' Charlie Carpenter was named to the New England Collegiate Baseball League's all-star game and Upstate recruit Russell Schwertfeger was named to the Florida Collegiate Summer League's all-star game.

Ex-Cougars selected for Charleston honor
Former College of Charleston players Chris Campbell and Nick Chigges are among five people selected for induction into the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame. Other honorees were broadcaster Ted Byrne, Charleston major Joseph P. Riley Jr. and Charleston Riverdogs executive Mike Veeck.

Horton, McAlister selected
Forman Newberry College baseball players David Horton and  Keith McAlister have been selected for the 2016 class of the school's athletic hall of fame. Both went on the long and successful careers as high school coaches.

Former Bulldogs honored
Ex-The Citadel baseball standout Chris Lemonis has been selected for the 2016 class in the school's athletic hall of fame.  Lemonis currently is head coach at Indiana. Also in The Citadel's newest class is former Eastside High coach and athletic director John Carlisle.

Patriots add 13
Francis Marion coach Arte Inabinet has announced a 13-player recruiting class for next season. Included are three high school players and 10 junior college players.

Southern Wesleyan, USC honored
South Carolina and Southern Wesleyan were the only two S.C. colleges to receive team academic excellence awards from the American Baseball Coaches Association.

Eagles honored
Winthrop's baseball team received the Big South Conference's sportsmanship award.

Outside the state
* One-time Wofford assistant Scott Jackson has been named to replace Jim Toman as head coach at Liberty. Jackson most recently was an assistant coach at North Carolina.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lee, staff receive raises, contract extensions

Clemson coach Monte Lee (Clemson University photo)
Clemson has rewarded baseball coach Monte Lee and his staff for the Tigers' 44-20 season in 2016.

The Board of Trustees' Compensation Committee approved the changes on Thursday for Lee and assistant coaches Bradley LeCroy and Andrew See.

Smith leaves Lander for Appalachian State

Appalachian State University announced Thursday that it hired Lander coach Kermit Smith to take over the Mountaineers' baseball program.

Smith, Lander's all-time winningest coach, took the Bearcats to the NCAA Division II World Series in 2014 and 2016.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

News digest, July 13

Julius McDougal (Stillman College photo)

Claflin grad helps save Stillman program
Stillman College in Alabama has reversed an earlier decision to drop baseball, in part because of the efforts of Claflin graduate Julius McDougal. The Alabama school will drop out of the NCAA Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and compete in the NAIA Division I Gulf South Athletic Conference.

Stillman started the season 3-20, then went 24-4 over the rest of the year, losing to Claflin in the SIAC championship game.

Stillman promoted McDougal, a 2012 Claflin graduate, from assistant coach to head coach after the 2015season. He was an all-SIAC player at Claflin and had a .325 career batting average.

Commentary: I like any situation where a school reverses its decision to drop baseball.

Stillman story on

Stillman official release

High schools must have pitch count limitations
The national governing body for most high school athletic programs has instructed member associations to formulate a pitch count limit in an effort to protect against overuse of pitchers and the resultant possible arm damage.

The National Federation of State High School Associations announced the new guidelines earlier this week.  Administration and enforcement of the policy will be the responsibility of each state group, such as the S.C. High School League.

Commentary: I believe this is a good move, but I think enforcement will be a problem. Umpires can't - and shouldn't have to - be record-keepers on this matter. Some schools will have parents or students willing to keep a pitch count, but others won't.  What happens is both teams have someone keep a pitch count and there is a difference in totals? Do throws to first count? Should warmup throws between innings count? Should throws in the bullpen count? I don't have the answers, just questions.


Policy change could help service academy students' pro prospects
A recent change to policy at the U.S. service academies could make it easier for students at West Point, Annapolis and the U.S. Air Force Academy to pursue a pro career while still fulfilling a military requirement.

Graduates will be given the opportunity to apply to fulfill their two-year post-graduate commitment in the reserves as opposed to active duty.

Commentary: I like the idea, but believe allowing gifted athletes to be treated differently from other students isn't good. Will a gifted musician or artist or someone with other extraordinary talent be allowed to apply for the same exemption from service?


Friday, July 8, 2016

Lewallyn leaves Sand Sharks for alma mater

Bryan Lewallyn has resigned as head coach at USC Beaufort to accept the same position at Pensacola State College, his alma mater. Lewallyn won 162 games in five seasons with the Sand Sharks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Palmetto State Baseball 2016 all-state team for NCAA DI teams

Starting pitchers -- Alex Cunningham, Coastal Carolina; Clarke Schmidt, South Carolina; Braden Webb, South Carolina
Relief pitcher -- Pat Krall, Clemson
Closer -- Mike Morrison, Coastal Carolina
Catcher -- Chris Okey, Clemson
First base -- Mark Lowrie, Winthrop
Second base -- Seth Lancaster, Coastal Carolina
Shortstop -- Derek Hirsch, Wofford
Third base -- Zach Remillard, Coastal Carolina
Outfield -- Seth Beer, Clemson; Gene Cone, South Carolina; Connor Owings, Coastal Carolina
Designated hitter -- G.K. Young, Coastal Carolina
Utility/two-position -- Charlie Carpenter, USC Upstate
Two-way pitcher/position -- Cody Brittain, USC Upstate

Coach of the year: Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina
Player of the year: Seth Beer, Clemson
Pitcher of the year: Pat Krall, Clemson

Starting pitchers --Will Gaddis, Furman; Adam Hill, South Carolina; Bailey Ober, College of Charleston
Relief pitcher -- Andrew Beckwith, Coastal Carolina
Closer - Josh Reagan, South Carolina
Catcher -- Roger Gonzalez Winthrop
First base -- Brett Hash, Wofford
Second base -- Dupree Hart, College of Charleston
Shortstop -- Marcus Mooney, South Carolina
Third base -- Jonah Bride, South Carolina
Outfield -- Billy Cooke, Coastal Carolina; Weston Jackson, Presbyterian; Tyler Weyenberg, Presbyterian
Designated hitter -- Anthony Paulsen, Winthrop
Utility/two-position -- Jacob Midkiff, Presbyterian
Two-way pitcher/position --  Jake Crawford, Furman

Starting pitchers -- Charlie Barnes, Clemson; Alex Eubanks, Clemson; Nathan Helvey, College of Charleston; Tyler Jackson, USC Upstate; Brian Kehner, Presbyterian; Sam Kmiec, Winthrop; Matthew Milburn, Wofford; Clate Schmidt, Clemson; Zach Sightler, Winthrop
Relief pitchers -- Patrick Andrews, Clemson; Eric Bauer, College of Charleston; Zach Cook, Winthrop; Brooks Crawford, Clemson; Bryan Hathaway, USC Upstate; Austin Kitchen, Coastal Carolina; Elliot Lance, Wofford; Reed Scott, South Carolina
Closer - Tyler Johnson, South Carolina; Carter Love, College of Charleston; Noah Mullen, Furman; Will Stillman, Wofford
Catcher -- Erven Roper, College of Charleston; Mike Sconzo, Charleston Southern; Cam Whitehead, Furman; Steven Windham, The Citadel
First base --  Brandon Elmy, Furman; Bradley Jones, College of Charleston; Jabari Richards, Furman;
Second base -- Devon Ortiz, USC Upstate; Weston Wilson, Clemson
Shortstop -- Michael Paez, Coastal Carolina; Eli White, Clemson
Third base -- Nate Blanchard, Charleston Southern; Max McDougald, Wofford; Mitch Spires, Winthrop
Outfield -- Tyler Asbill, Winthrop;  Alex Destino, South Carolina; Bradley Dixon, College of Charleston; Sly Edwards, Charleston Southern; James Fowlkes, USC Upstate; Carter Grote, Furman;  Anthony Marks, Coastal Carolina; Bradley McClain, Wofford; Chase Pinder, Clemson; Reed Rohlman, Clemson; Kody Ruedisili, Wofford; J.J. Shimko, USC Upstate; Chris Singleton, Charleston Southern; Dom Thompson-Williams, South Carolina
Designated hitter -- John Jones, South Carolina; Jordan Simpson, Furman
Utility/two-position -- Jordan Ford, USC Upstate; Chris Williams, Clemson
Two way pitcher/position -- Jacob Watcher, The Citadel

Note: I picked three starting pitchers because NCAA DI conference series are three games

News digest, July 6

Beer, Webb honored
Clemson's Seth Beer was named national freshman of the year as part of's freshman all-American team. Beer was joined on the first team by South Carolina pitcher Braden Webb.

Beer, Johnson help USA win
Clemson's Seth Beer went 2-for-2 and South Carolina's Tyler Johnson got the save as Team USA beat Chinese Taipei, 3-1, Wednesday in an baseball friendly in New Taipei City.

Drive announce renovation details
The Greenville Drive today announced details of renovations scheduled for Fluor Field prior to the 2017 season. Included in the multimillion dollar project is the addition of seats atop the mini Green Monster in left field. Details, including a video, are at the link below.