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Palmetto Games: Capsule 2022

By: Austin Alexander - August 13-14, 2022

Mideast goes 2-0, wins tiebreaker; Sub-7.0's/, Velo galore steals show!

ME Team

This past weekend, our 15th Annual Palmetto Games was an amazing celebration of high school baseball in South Carolina, yet again! 100+ college coaches and professional scouts, along with our state's top talent found their way to our birthplace of this event - the University of South Carolina. With an immaculate playing surface prepared for us and first-class hospitality, the talent on the field matched all the preparation behind the scenes!

It has become a running theme with coaches and scouts that Mother Nature is not a Palmetto Games fan, as we have become accustomed to every sort of weather (except snow) and delay imaginable over the years - even a 3-inning long fire alarm sounding off. Not this year folks! Clear skies and zero threat of the elements, combined with a comfortable breeze allowed the parade of arms to provide the most heat during this weekend. Always nice when the pitchers MPH trumps the thermostat!

As always, the format had a championship flavor pitting players against each other that hail from their geographic region, unless we had to even out positional needs. In the first five years this was a three-day affair, in 2013 we made the move to a two-day approach with the schedule calling for batting practice on the field, along with pre-game infield/outfield, and 60's on Saturday, then followed by games.

Each team was able to participate in their post-game with awards being handed out for: Golden Arm, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove and Charlie Hustle Awards.

For the third consecutive year our champion was decided on the final swing of a Sunday contest. With one team already in the clubhouse at 2-0, Team Southwest was poised to go undefeated on Sunday as well to capture the title until Team Northeast rallied late to win on Blue Ridge's AJ Cammorota's walk-off single to propel them to victory, but also clinching for the champion Mideast team due to a tiebreaker. They were piloted by Andrew Jackson's Mike Lucas whose club went 2-0 scoring 15 runs while surrendering 5. It was their 5th Palmetto Games championship and first since 2020. Congratulations to Team Mideast!

MithellWalkerMPV PGChapmanNoah PG22Taking our top awards during the weekend were the following: River Bluff's 2023 Walker Mitchell (left, Most Outstanding Player) whose bat and defensive prowess led him to this honor... P27 Academy 2023 LHP Noah Chapman (right) tossed 2 IP, allowing no hits or walks while punching out 5; for his efforts he was awarded the Most Outstanding Pitcher Award...In honor of our deceased friend and staff member Jeff Young, the 6th annual "JY" Heavy Hitter Award was issued to a guy whose chief tool has always been speed (6.47/60) Oceanside Collegiate 2023 Cameron Sebuck (left, 2-for-5, SebuckCameronHH PG3 R, 2 RBI, 2 SB). Congratulations to each winner with a stage loaded full of legit guys who are really good at baseball!

Swift Stuff: Believed to be Palmetto Games records, 36 players crossed the finishline with sub-7.0/60 times led by Cameron Sebuck's 6.47, the repeat winner...Also, 31 arms touched 88 MPH or better, with 15 eclipsing 90+, capped by the trio of Hayden Johnson (2023, Socastee), Andrew Bowers (2023, Oceanside) and  Carson Messina (2024, Summerville) whose bumping of 93 MPH was a joy to view! The batting practice had been fairly 'ho-hum' other than Summerville's 'The PJ Morlando (2024) Wood Show' until a pair of Spartanburg HS teammates Garrett Fulmer (2023) and Ian Squires (2023) lost seven baseballs combined!

DominnianiMatthew TOAward22The TO Award: Within a month following 2015 Palmetto Games, DP MVP Tony Osterman was diagnosed with cancer. After an insane round of chemo treatments, radiation and numerous surgeries, guess who was back in the same role they have filled for 15 years...a cancer-free winner of life! In honor of our Warrior, we began an award that honors one participant that shares TO's zest for living and overall excellence as a person, this year's recipient was Ashley Ridge junior Matthew Dominianni (pictured) whose story of loss and injury has led as example on/off the field that we look for in a TO Award Winner.

-Palmetto Games History Made-

1) Good weather - enough said!... 2) A chopper back to the box was lodged into the fingers of the pitcher Jacob Clarke's glove, prompting the out to be recording by tossing the entire glove with ball still stuck to his first baseman for the bang-bang 1-3... 3) The camera wells on ends of both dugouts were the site of foul pop ups were retreived first by PJ Morlando on the 1B side, an inning later Tagger Tyson pulled the same trick  across the way - both were amazing efforts that mirrored one another on a seldom seen play, especially at this level... Plus) The addition to Trackman on the main scoreboard was very welcomed feature to the entire ballpark this weekend. In this age of analytics, more information than most folks understand was displayed.

Palmetto Games Champions (Last Title): Mideast-5 (2022), Northeast-3 (2017), Northwest-2 (2021), Midwest-2 (2012), Southwest-2 (2019), Southeast-0

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NEW  Prospect Info: Pitchers / NEW  Prospect Info: Position Players / NEW  Player Superlatives / NEW  60-MPH-POP / NEW Team Pictures / NEW  Player Accolades

GameChanger / @diamondprospect / Standings/ Game Photos

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USCstadium22Gamecock Hospitality 13.0: After 12 years as the Palmetto Games’ home, USC had to pull the plug for Covid reasons about six weeks before the 2020 event. Yours truly was thrown into a tailspin…but Al Harris with the City of Sumter came to the rescue! For two years Riley Park was an amazing host before we returned to where it all began. Years ago, this event was the brainchild of then-skipper, now AD Ray Tanner, so DP obliged and so did everyone we dealt with this year upon our return to Founders Park. A special thanks to Mark Kingston, Mike Current and their amazing staff for making this another successful weekend!

Twitter, Etc: Shout out, Trey Thacker and John Whittle-wow, thanks for taking the lead with pics and posting at a torrid pace all weekend. Outstanding job even when the bullets were being fired, both performed at Five Tool level!

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AA's Pitch: The 2022 Palmetto Games saw a wealth of talent with another handsome number of scouts in attendance, thus making this weekend another successful event! We are often complemented but could never have pulled off the feat without a ton of help from every edge of our state and in between. Thank you to the prep coaches that assist us daily, your help is huge. I also want to publicly complement our DP team. Loyalty, dedication, pursuit of perfection...I am insulated with a group of winners which is the biggest reason this Diamond Prospects train continues to roll on...

The DP staff would like to send out an additional giant fist-bump to the following: LDH Sports, Rawlings, I.T.S. Sports, Chick-fil-A, Dingers Only, Sleep Inn, Airport Baseball, Bill Petty, Marc Buffkin, Ted Richardson, Amanda Asbill, Meredith Welch & Rita Alexander...in no particular order.