Loris’ Chock powers baseball team back into state spotlight

For The Sun NewsJune 14, 2014 

Loris’ Tanner Chock is the Toast of the Coast Baseball Player of the Year.

BY CHARLES SLATE — cslate@thesunnews.com

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    TOAST OF THE COAST BASEBALL TEAM

    PLAYER OF THE YEAR

    Tanner Chock

    •  School | Loris

    •  Class | Senior

    •  Position | Pitcher

    •  Notable | Class AA All-State Player of the Year pushed Lions to second trip to state finals in school history by going 11-1 on the mound with a 0.50 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 84 innings. Did not commit an error all season from his spot on the mound or while playing catcher. Presbyterian signee hit .344 with 13 RBIs and 11 runs scored.

    Grant Holmes

    •  School | Conway

    •  Class | Senior

    •  Position | Pitcher/outfield

    •  Notable | Major League Draft first-round selection was 4-1 on the mound for Conway while striking out 82 hitters in 40 innings. Also batted .300 with three home runs and 11 RBIs.

    Austin Schmitz

    •  School | Socastee

    •  Class | Junior

    •  Position | Pitcher

    •  Notable | Helped Socastee back to Lower State tournament by going 7-0 with a 1.14 ERA. Allowed only 29 hits and seven earned runs while striking out 49 hitters in 44 innings.

    Trent Revis

    •  School | St. James

    •  Class | Senior

    •  Position | Pitcher/first base

    •  Notable | In 44 innings, St. James’ top pitcher was 5-3 with a 1.91 ERA and 50 strikeouts. Also put up a .356 batting average with four home runs, 13 runs and 15 RBIs.

    Tanner Cox

    •  School | Loris

    •  Class | Senior

    •  Position | Catcher/Pitcher

    •  Notable | All-State selection had a .424 batting average and added 20 RBIs and 20 runs from his leadoff spot in the order. Team’s No. 2 pitcher was also 7-5 with a 1.55 ERA in 72 innings.

    Seth Wall

    •  School | Georgetown

    •  Class | Senior

    •  Position | Catcher

    •  Notable | North-South All-Star selection and Spartanburg Methodist commitment batted .416 with 20 RBIs and 11 doubles while helping Bulldogs to second-place finish in Region VII-AAA.

    Robert Jolly

    •  School | Carolina Forest

    •  Class | Senior

    •  Position | Catcher

    •  Notable | Clemson commitment was named to the Class AAAA All-State team and S.C. Select team after hitting .338 with 16 RBIs, 13 runs, 15 walks and six doubles for the Panthers.

    Kyle Smith

    •  School | Socastee

    •  Class | Senior

    •  Position | Third base/pitcher

    •  Notable | The Citadel signee and S.C. Select team honoree hit .378 with 21 RBIs and 18 runs scored while recording six saves. Helped Braves to the Lower State tournament for the second straight year.

    Kevin Woodall Jr.

    •  School | Georgetown

    •  Class | Senior

    •  Position | Shortstop/pitcher

    •  Notable | S.C. Select series honoree hit .306 with 19 RBIs. Also served as the team’s closer, putting up a 0.57 ERA with a 2-1 record and a perfect five-for-five in save opportunities.

    Hunter Renfrow

    •  School | Socastee

    •  Class | Senior

    •  Position | Outfield

    •  Notable | North-South All-Star, Class AAA All-State selection and Braves leadoff hitter put up a .489 batting average and scored 34 runs for the Braves. Did not have an error all season defensively.

    Brandon Young

    •  School | Aynor

    •  Class | Senior

    •  Position | Utility

    •  Notable | Led Blue Jackets to the district finals by hitting .388 with 27 RBIs and 24 runs. Two-time Class AA All-State selection was also named to North-South All-Star series. Signed to play at Francis Marion.

    Landon Edwards

    •  School | Myrtle Beach

    •  Class | Senior

    •  Position | Utility

    •  Notable | First-Team All-Region VII-AAA selection hit .316 with 14 runs and 11 RBIs while playing five different field positions and pitching for playoff-bound Seahawks.

Tanner Chock remembers when Loris baseball was a near-forgotten entity.

The Lions had their share of relatively successful seasons, and several former players went on to continue their careers in the college ranks. But for some time, the team didn’t have that memorable year, the type of season that would make those across the state pay attention.

The Toast of the Coast Baseball Player of the Year set out to change that mentality.

“Growing up, through middle school and the first two years of high school, Loris wasn’t getting much respect,” Chock said. “We were ranked low in the polls. Then this year, we were ranked low again. We had to prove ourselves.”

The hard-throwing righty led his teammates to the school’s second appearance in the state finals. Even though Loris lost to Ninety Six in the three-game series, Chock and the rest of the Lions had made their mark.

After missing the playoffs his freshman season and being eliminated in districts during his sophomore year, he pushed the team to the Lower State finals in 2013 before going a step further this spring. Chock was every bit of the workhorse coach Keith Daniels hoped he would be.

Chock finished 11-1 with a 0.50 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 84 innings. The Presbyterian signee, though, did as much for his team mentally as he did physically.

“When he was on the mound, the players had a different approach to the game, and that was that they knew that they were going to win,” Daniels, who resigned after the season, said in an email. “The team knew that if they scored at least one run with Chock on the mound that he would finish the game.”

Outside of final game of the state finals - a game that was postponed midway through for four days due to weather - that’s what Chock did more often than not. Some of his biggest performances came in that historic postseason run.

Of his 10 complete games, five came in the playoffs, including a nine-inning gem against Ninety Six in Loris’ Game 1 victory in the state finals. The Wildcats went on to win the next two and earn the state championship.

But that didn’t stop Chock’s successful season from being noticed. He was named the Class AA Player of the Year by the South Carolina Baseball Coaches Association and to the North-South All-Star baseball roster.

It was a pair of considerable honors. Yet, he said they paled in comparison to what he was able to help the Lions accomplish.

“It’s a good way to end your career,” he said. “We had a lot of seniors. We leave Loris baseball in a good name right now.”

Contact IAN GUERIN at ian@ianguerin.com.

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