Prep notebook: Loris, Ninety Six baseball only teams left in postseason

For The Sun NewsMay 26, 2014 

Loris v Ninety-Six State Championship

Loris starting pitcher Tanner Chock throws during the first inning of Game 1 of the Class AA state championship series against Ninety Six.

BY CHARLES SLATE — cslate@thesunnews.com Buy Photo

The Loris baseball team will be able to say it was one of the final two high school baseball teams in South Carolina playing this year, regardless of class.

If the Lions want to be able to claim more, they’ll certainly have to earn it.

Loris – which split the first two games of the Class AA state championship with Ninety Six – will resume the decisive third game of the series at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Spring Valley in Columbia. Ninety Six leads 6-3 in the bottom of the fourth, and the Wildcats will have two runners on base when the game starts back up.

That’s the situation the Lions (20-10) find themselves in after the game was suspended for four days due to extreme weather conditions in Columbia on Friday night. The field was not expected to be ready for play Saturday; the South Carolina High School League deters Sunday play, as well as that on Memorial Day.

That left both teams with plenty of time to think about what will be the final few innings of their seasons and what they will ultimately determine.

The state’s other three baseball titles were decided last week, with each of those resulting in two-game sweeps (Sumter over Northwestern in Class AAAA, A.C. Flora over Hartsville in Class AAA and St. Joseph’s over Latta in Class A).

In fact, Loris and Ninety Six will represent the final two teams playing this season in any sport. The last of the softball and full complement of boys and girls soccer titles were awarded over the weekend, and the boys golf championships were decided a week ago.

Statewide softball honors

Three area softball players doubled up with their postseason awards from the state’s coaches.

Seniors Kady Edwards (Conway), Hannah Price (St. James) and Madison Lowe (Socastee) were each named to their respective class’ all-state teams over the weekend. Additionally, all three were named to the North-South All-Star Softball rosters.

The three led a group of eight Grand Strand players who earned a spot on at least one of the two lists.

Edwards’ rise and that of her team were simultaneous. The Tigers finished in second place in Region VI-AAAA – their highest finish in coach Mike Skipper’s tenure – and won two games in the district playoffs.

“Kady’s just a remarkable player,” Skipper said, adding that former Conway pitcher and shortstop Megan McLain was Tiger named to both lists in in 2008. “She’s one of the better players I’ve ever had there. I’ve had a few, but she’s at the top level. She can play with anyone.

“She thinks like a real hitter is supposed to.”

Other area all-state selections included juniors Taylor Hansis (North Myrtle Beach), Hannah Seaver (Aynor) and Emily Heimberger (Waccamaw).

Georgetown’s Blakely Graham and Taylor Mercer were also named to the all-star games, which will be played June 18-19 at USC-Aiken. Rosters for that event are split into four teams, with the North and South areas each fielding AAAA/A and AAA/AA squads. Socastee’s Steve Hodge was previously announced as one of the coaches for the Class AAA/AA South team.

The all-star weekend is limited to the state’s seniors, while all-state voting is open to players of all classes.

All-state soccer teams announced

Six area boys and two area girls players were named to their respective class’ All-State soccer teams.

Those lists include three players each from Myrtle Beach and Waccamaw.

Seahawk boys Helgi Nati and Jarrett Lewis were joined by girls senior Tori Zelter. The Warriors’ trio included boys players Todd Mauney and Blake Marsh, as well as Waccamaw girls player Hayden Kelly. Loris’ Marquell Bellamy and Socastee’s Wesley Durant were also honored as part of the Class AA and Class AAA All-State teams, respectively.

Durant and Zeltner had previously been named to their North-South All-Star Soccer South teams earlier in May. Myrtle Beach boys coach Jason Himmelsbach will also serve as one of the co-coaches of the South boys teams. The North-South games will take place June 28 at Daniel Island.

No area players were selected for the Clash of the Carolinas, although Waccamaw’s Ben Schoen will serve as one of the South Carolina coaches there when the games are played June 12.

All-Region VII-AAA boys tennis

St. James sophomore Jeffrey Dayton was named the Region VII-AAA Player of the Year, while the Sharks’ Lee Cannon was honored as the region’s Coach of the Year.

Dayton, the reigning Toast of the Coast Boys Player of the Year, was undefeated in region play for the third consecutive season. The sophomore qualified for the Class AAAA/AAA individual tournament.

Region champion Socastee had four players selected: Kyle Barr, Coste Duvall, Ethan Smith and Noah Johnson.

Runner-up Myrtle Beach’s selections included Coleman Martini, Jacob Moore, John Ed Cahill and Isaac Giddens. St. James also had Thomas Leonard make the list. Ben Wilkins and Davis Stalvey from Georgetown and North Myrtle Beach’s Stokes McIntyre and Will Panos rounded out the list locally.

Wilson’s Ryan Stace, Zachery Zhao and Jarrett Russell were the other Region VII-AAA honorees.

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