High School Sports

Carolina Forest, Waccamaw take top spot in respective baseball polls

Carolina Forest players chatter in the dugout during a game. The Panthers were named the top team in Class AAAA on Thursday.
Carolina Forest players chatter in the dugout during a game. The Panthers were named the top team in Class AAAA on Thursday. The Sun News

The Grand Strand has not just one, but two, of the state’s No. 1 baseball teams.

On Thursday, the latest South Carolina Baseball Coaches Association’s most recent polls included Carolina Forest and Waccamaw at the top spot in their respective classifications. It is the first time in recent memory the area has had two top-ranked squads.

The Panthers won the esteemed IP Classic last weekend and then opened Region VI-AAAA play with a lopsided win over West Florence on Tuesday. Waccamaw, meanwhile, began its Region VIII-AA schedule that day with a win over fellow ranked team Dillon.

“[It is] nice that our team is being recognized in the polls after a great weekend,” Carolina Forest coach Jack Jolly said. “But it is early. We still have a lot of games left.”

Said Waccamaw baseball coach Jeff Gregory: “I appreciate the coaches’ respect for our program at this time, but we’re not where we need to be. If this was the last poll of the season, then I could say we are where we needed to be.”

St. James, which was previously unranked in the preseason polls, moved to No. 9 in the latest rankings, rounding out the list of area teams.

CLASS AAAA

1. Carolina Forest

2. J.L. Mann

3. Summerville

4. White Knoll

5. Northwestern

6. Dorman

7. River Bluff

8. Mauldin

9. Ashley Ridge

10. Laurens

​CLASS AAA

1. Belton-Honea Path

2. Chapin

3. Camden

4. Berkeley

5. Palmetto

6. Wren

7. Airport

8. Gilbert

9. St. James

10. Hartsville

CLASS AA​

1.Waccamaw

2. Ninety Six

3. Strom Thurmond

4. Bishop England

5. Mid Carolina

6. Newberry

7. Saluda

8. Cheraw

9. Dillon

10. Buford

CLASS A

1. Latta

2. Southside Christian

3. McBee

4. Fox Creek

5. Lamar

6. Lewisville

7. Lake View

8. Bamberg-Ehrhardt

9. Hannah-Pamplico

10. East Clarendon

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