DP’s Pre-Season Invite/Scout Day: Brookland-Cayce Site

murdenwt-sign09.jpg

By: Austin Alexander & Sterling Dye – February 21, 2009

Frigid temperatures greeted Diamond Prospects on Saturday morning but eventually gave way to sunny skies, comfortable weather and a great afternoon of baseball by some evenly matched perennial contenders.

As Opening Day of the prep season nears, pitch counts are being to be extended and what occurs between the lines begin to take on more meaning as teams put the finishing touch on their line-ups and rotations.

This day proved productive for the five clubs that landed at Brookland-Cayce, so let’s recap!

-Game Summary-

Game 1: Airport 14 Southside Christian 2, 8 innings 

murdenwt-sign09.jpgAirport jumped out to a 14-0 lead in this one, assisted by a three-run homerun off the bat of junior catcher Zack Hawley. That was all the Airport pitchers would need, highlighted by the work of W.T. Murden (right), who no-hit Southside in his three innings of work. Southside would finally get on the board with two runs in the sixth on back-to-back RBI singles off the bat of Christian McClure and Austin McClure.

Game 2: Sumter 5 Brookland-Cayce 5, 5 innnings

smithtyler-head09.jpgThe Bearcats sprinted out to an early cushion with four first inning runs, highlighted by Zack Warner’s 2-run double. Sumter’s Tyler Smith (left) paced a late offensive charge with a two-RBI double of his own, eventually leading to a 5-5 tie.

Game 3: Sumter 7 Stratford 6, 5 innings

Patric Limehouse had a 2-run double to spark a 4-run second inning for Stratford. The Gamecocks erased another early deficit on Tyler Smith’s 2-run homer and a five run fifth to give them a 7-6 advantage.

Game 4: Stratford 1 Brookland-Cayce 0, 5 innings

Stratford junior Chris Hanna controlled the tempo of this affair with a 1-hit effort over 5 scoreless innings. BC’s Jeremy Brazzell nearly matched him in this nightcap quicky. Stratford’s lone run was scored on a walk, error and RBI groundout.

——————————————————-

-Airport Eagles-

knightl-stance08.jpgAirport High School has had their share of talented players through the years, but has not been able to piece it all together for a deep playoff run. They are trying to buck the trend with this year’s squad. Led by junior RHP W.T. Murden and junior 2B Lucas Knight (left). The Eagles are a young team that has some talent, but will have to go through a tough region with Brookland-Cayce and South Aiken this year. Coach John Johnson‘s team is junior laden and looking forward to a good year.

Pitchers

 Name

 Class

 R/L

 FB

 CB/SL

 CH

 W.T. Murden

 Jr

 R

 83-86

 69/71-73, solid downer 

 75

 Derek Cushman

 Jr

 R

 79-82

 70

 74

 Stuart Pound

 Jr

 R

 78-80

 64/72-74

 –

 Zack Hawley

 Jr

 R

 76-77

 –

 –

 Zack Sightler

 Fr

 R

 75-76

 –

 –

Top Prospects

 Rank

 Name

 Class

 Pos

 Scout Notes

 1

 W.T. Murden

 Jr

RHP/OF

 Murden pounded the zone with mid-80’s fastballs and a slider that will miss plenty of bats. He is an excellent athlete and will be a D-1 football recruit at the QB position. He runs well and has very good range in the outfield. Could be an interesting baseball option for schools if he does the baseball circuit this summer.

 2

 Lucas Knight

 Jr

 2B

Knight is a very good high school middle infielder. He has good actions and a good enough arm for shortstop. He hits leadoff for the Eagles and is the catalyst for their entire offense. He barrels his share of balls and is a leader on the field.

 3

 Zack Hawley

 Jr

 C/RHP

 Hawley is a quality hitter with plenty of juice in his stick. He is an adequate backstop and was throwing in the 2.15-2.2 range between innings.

-Southside Christian Sabres-

The Sabres hope to make a run in the 1A playoff race led by senior OF/RHP Will Gladden and Christian McClure. They had a tough day today, but they will prove to be a scrappy team that will fight to the finish and be in position to win plenty of games in the 2009 season.

Pitchers

 Name

 Class

 R/L

 FB

 CB/SL

 CH

 Josh Olson

 So

 R

 78-80

 68-70

 

 Will Gladden

 Sr

 R

 75-77

 65

 

 Christian McClure

 Jr

 R

 69-72

 

 –

 Grant Holt

 Sr

 R

 68-71

 

 –

Top Prospects

 Rank

 Name

 Class

 Pos

 Scout Notes

 1

 Will Gladden

 Sr

 OF/RHP

 North Greenville commit is a solid outfielder who can run a little bit. He hits leadoff for the Sabres and is their spark plug. Solid arm from the outfield.

 2

 Christian McClure

 Jr

 3B/RHP

McClure can swing it and has potential for some pop down the road. He has a good frame and an average arm at third.

 3

 Grant Holt

 Sr

 1B

 Big body at first and swings it pretty good in the clean-up role for Southside.

 

-Brookland-Cayce Bearcats-

brazzellj-sign09.jpghallj-balance09.jpgBrian Hucks group is always well-prepared, even in February. The challenge that he and his staff will have in the early going is winning with an offense that returns 1 player with 20+ AB’s from 2009. They will rely offensively on precise execution and young bats, led by sophomore Chase Shelton, at the top of the line-up. Fortunate for B-C, they have quality arms to lean on in seniors James Hall (left) and Jeremy Brazzell (right), to go with emerging sophomore Michael Gilroy. Though the names may not be as recognizable or established, don’t bet against the 2009 Bearcats.

Pitchers

 Name  Class  R/L  FB  CB/SL  CH
 James Hall  Sr  R  85-86  CB 67-70/SL 77-78  77
 Alex Nettles  Sr  R  76-77 sink  64-65  –
 Jeremy Bazzell  Sr  R  84-86  71  65-75 ++
 Michael Gilroy  So  L  81-83  70 slurve  72

Top Prospects: To view BC’s Scout Day on January 13, click here.

Alumni Update: In between innings at Brookland-Cayce on Saturday, the press box speakers piped out the radio broadcast from USC’s grand opening versus Duquesne on the other side of the bridge. When last year’s Diamond King Adam Westmoreland took the mound in relief, it drew a buzz around the ballpark. The Bearcat graduate eventually worked 3 scoreless innings, allowing 0 hits, striking out 4…Just minutes following the USC game, the big fella strolled into Brookland-Cayce with ice still on his elbow! Applause and pats on the back greeted Westmoreland following his collegiate debut.

 

-Sumter Gamecocks-

bucknerjeremy-stance09.jpgSuffering from several key injuries and a Gamecock basketball playoff run, Sumter brought only 10 players to Columbia on Saturday. But the guys that boarded the bus served as the "Comeback Kids" in both of their scrimmages, coming back from sizable deficits versus BC and Stratford. Tyler Smith and Bruce Caldwell paced the offense while newcomer Jeremy Buckner (right) set the table and made some key plays with the glove. Brooks Shumake and his staff will feel like they are on a power play when they get to full strength, but on this day his club showed some guts and a little talent too!

Pitchers

 Name  Class  R/L  FB  CB/SL  CH
 Tyler Smith  Jr  R  84-85 sink  68-69 solid  75 tails
 Bruce Caldwell  So  R  83-84, 2 angles  69-72 sharp/tight  –
 Josh Kisamore  So  R  79  71  –
 Jeremy Buckner  So  R  80-83  70  68-69

Top Prospects

 Rank  Name  Class  Pos  Scout Notes
 1  Bruce Caldwell  So  SS/RHP  Caldwell’s speed will determine where he lands with colleges; his swing stays on the plane of pitch; good glove and hitter that showed promise on bump with good CB
 2  Tyler Smith  Jr  RHP/OF  Surefire two-way prospect that exhibited more promise with the bat on this day; good athlete with solid arm and power to go with big-game experience at early age
 3  Jeremy Buckner  So  INF  New name to DP impressed in the box and defensively; "handsy" hitter with balance and discipline; showed versatility to play 3 infield positions well; definite player to "follow"
 4  Josh Kisamore  So  3B  The sophomore was more than solid at the hot corner sporting firm arm strength and barreled some balls on the day
 T5  Brantley Foxworth  Jr  C  Interesting catching prospect that will be asked to fill big shoes; solid defensively and turned around some fastballs
 T5  Drew Crooks  Jr  OF  Hit in 2-hole and was on base much of the day; athletic player that DP will keep tabs on

-Stratford Knights-

isonb-stance09.jpgThe 2009 Knights are without some big thumpers from a year ago but much of the pitching that they rode last year is back with another year under their belt. If it really does take good pitching and defense to win, this club is poised to make another run this spring. They have two legit #1’s (Chris Hanna and Ryan Gunther) on the mound and Stratford is very strong up the middle with their gloves on. Their catalyst will be be sophomore Bobby Ison (right) whose game continues to improve. John Chalus’ teams always end up right in the playoff hunt, expect no different this season.

Pitchers

 Name  Class  R/L  FB  CB/SL  CH
 Ryan Gunther  Sr  R  83-87  68-71 sharp at times  68-76 solid
 David Barnette  Jr  L  77-78  –  –
 Chris Hanna  Jr  L  83-85 command!  69-74 slurve  74-76 +++

 

Top Prospects

 Rank  Name  Class  Pos  Scout Notes
 1  Chris Hanna  Jr  LHP  Can flat out pitch; Can add and subtract with command of 3 pitches; good poise to go with sense for contolling the running game; high ceiling!
 2  Ryan Gunther  Sr  RHP  His 83-84 in the 1st gave way to 86-87 and the command he is known for; sharper CB with depth and mixed CH with arm-side life
 3  Bobby Ison  So  OF  LH-hitting baseball rat! Loves to play, plays the game hard and plays the game well; times down the line were 4.44 on a turn and 4.25/4.35/4.34 thru the bag; good defender and solid arm; Emerging 2011 player!
 4  Chase Tidwell  Fr  1B  Imposing presence physically with plenty of power in LH bat; will be scary when AB’s catch up to potential
 5  Josh Crout  Sr  C  Un-signed senior that can defend and throw; Crout has background of handling a good prep staff and treats the game with respect; a backstop that can play for a school needing help behind the plate
 6  Billy Motroni  So  SS  Actions and arm strength are very advanced; showed more of a feel for making the routine play on this day to go with plenty of flash to grab an evaluators eye; if bat catches up to defensive skills, Motroni could play at a high level past HS
 7  Patric Limehouse  Jr  3B/RHP  Limehouse may have blended into last year’s potent offense but he figures to be driving in big runs this season for the Knights; he will also log meaningful innings on the mound

DP Note: All MPH’s were recorded with a Stalker radar gun.

DP’s Kudo’s: Once again, Brookland-Cayce served as a very gracious host for our most recent event. The yard was in great shape and we certainly appreciate Coach Hucks and his staff opening their gates to us again!