Recap: Palmetto Games 2008

By: Austin Alexander-August 16-17, 2008

Rarely does an event live up to its billing, much less exceed expectations...but that is exactly what became the theme last weekend at Diamond Prospects' Inaugural Palmetto Games!

dsc_0290.jpgWhile weather did threaten with cloudy skies and storms in the area each day, the overcast served as the ideal backdrop for big-time baseball as college coaches and pro scouts swarmed Sarge Frye Field for two days.

We did see our share of talent among the position players, but velocity was in abundance as one quality arm after another was paraded to the mound all the way through Sunday's finish line.

Brooks Hall (TL Hanna), Christian Powell (Greenwood), Tucker Hawley (South Aiken), Colby Holmes (Conway), Tyler Wilson (Gaffney) and Dre Watts (Laurens) carried the power arm torch landing a heavy share of 90+ MPH bolts! Junior Chris Hanna (Stratford) had some big boys scrambling for his services, uncommitted senior Bobby Jackson (Gaffney) became a new name to most recruiting boards and sophomore Daniel Gossett (Byrnes) emerged as a big-time performer against premium hitters. And in between all of those top-tier pitchers was a large smattering of mid-80's arms that improved their stock as well!

We saw extra innings in Game 1, three pitcher's duels, mammoth homeruns, speed led by Shon Carson (Lake City) and Travis Burnside (Laurens)...and more breaking news, Ryan Connolly (Bishop England) just threw another scoreless inning!

dsc_0317.jpgThe 2008 Palmetto Games had a strong regional flavor from team to team. After we worked around football schedules for some players and then evened out the positions, our clubs were able to represent the areas from which they hail. We named our teams: Northeast, Northwest, Mideast, Midwest, Southeast and Southwest. Each team played two games, a seven-inning affair on Saturday and a nine-inning contest on Sunday. The Northeast and Northwest teams, who tied in eight innings during their Game 1 match-up, both won on Day 2 and finished the weekend as the only clubs without a defeat.

Each player and family was also treated to a lengthy seminar/Q & A session with Major League player rep Lee Long and New York Mets scout Marlin McPhail. During the seminar, our participants were well-versed on topics ranging from the recruiting process to signing a professional contract.

{seyretpic id=9 align=left}A new feature to our Diamond Prospects events was the addition of our new partner, 1018 Productions < link >, based out of Charleston. They were in attendance both days and compiled extensive footage for DP viewers to enjoy.

DP was honored to have six legendary high school coaches join us for the weekend to coach our teams: Roger Finley (Easley), Ed Taylor (Walhalla), Dean Jones (Chesnee), Jimmy White (Hartsville), Steve Williams (Lancaster) and the infectious energy of John Daurity (Socastee). We were very fortunate to have these men in the dugouts piloting our teams and we'd like to extend a special ‘thank you' to them for being a part of our first Palmetto Games.

Many people and a great deal of hard work went into this successful event. At this time, DP would like to take a moment to ‘high-five' the following: 90 Degrees Baseball, Todd & Moore, First Team Sports, Ryan Clary, Sonya Young, Mike Connolly, Justin Wolf, Ray Tanner and his staff, Marcus Thurber and his staff, and the University of South Carolina.

I would personally like to land a DP 'fist bump' to our staff for job well-done from A to Z!

All in all, at least from our vantage point, DP's first Palmetto Games was a smashing hit. Our staff is already eager to return to the drawing board improve on a good thing. We've gotten very constructive feedback so far and look forward to making Year #2 even bigger and better!

Recap: Game 1 / Game 2 / Game 3 / Game 4 / Game 5 / Game 6

To view DP's accolades, Palmetto Games' firsts and the All-Palmetto Games Team, click here.