By: Austin Alexander - August 14-16, 2009
Talent trumps weather, Northwest wins prize
This past weekend was a terrific celebration of high school baseball in South Carolina! Just under 100 college coaches and scouts, along with our state's top talent, flocked to USC's lavish new digs on Friday for Opening Day of the 2009 Palmetto Games...and what an event it turned out to be!
This year's format had a championship flavor for the first time. Each team was guaranteed two games before seeding them 1 through 6 for the final day. The schedule also called for batting practice on the field, along with pre-game infield/outfield, and 60's on Saturday. Seems simple, right?
Mother Nature had different plans.
On Friday night, the clouds sent a hard jab from above, resulting in a two-hour rain delay. Play resumed later that evening and Day 1 was eventually in the books. Day 2 had more surprises in store as the heavens opened up again, landing a knock-out blow before the final match-up of the day. Torrential downpours ensued and left many of the championship pairings in limbo.
Game 6 of the Palmetto Games was finally played on Sunday morning during a soft drizzle, once that contest went final, each club knew their game times...but we'd have to hurry again to beat the forecasted precipitation.
Pairings stood like this: #6 Northeast vs #5 Southwest, #4 Mideast vs #3 Southeast, #2 Midwest vs #1 Northwest
So the race against the weather was on again! And pitching for each club obliged as the Day 3 arms continued to parade a steady dose of velocity to the mound to hold bats at bay.
After two preliminary games, the finale was upon us and it did not disappoint. And to the pleasure of all, the sun greeted us and provided the perfect backdrop for our Palmetto Games conclusion. Ultimately, the #1-seeded Northwest club, coached by Abbeville's Mark Smith, walked away with the hardware after a 4-0 win and an impressive romp through the rest of the field and against quality pitching. During their 3-0 run, the Northwest squad outscored their opponents 22-8 behind the arm of Drake Thomason (Eastside) and offensive exploits of Daniel Palka (Greer).
Our staff is diligently working to compile every angle of information from the event. Please stay tuned to DP as we roll out info throughout the week.
Here are some details you can expect...
The 2009 Palmetto Games saw a wealth of talent and set a record for scouts in attendance, thus making this weekend our most successful event yet! But we could not have pulled off the feat without a ton of help.
The DP staff would like to send out a giant fist-bump to the following:
Blue Cross-Blue Shield of South Carolina, Sleep Inn on Bush River Rd, Bank of America, Gloveslingers, Todd and Moore, The Trophy Shop of Conway, Wayne Rickman, Til Culbertson, and the many coaches and scouts that braved the weather to stick around all three days...Last but not least, the University of South Carolina, Ray Tanner, his entire coaching staff and the assembled support staff that handled every single curveball that Mother Nature threw at us. Thank you to all for your support of prep hardball in South Carolina!