DP Insider Breakdown: Region II-4A


By: Nick Nickles – January 28, 2010

dp_logo1.pngPreseason Rankings are always a fun time for us at DP! Often times there is more of a storyline and tons of information that is gathered behind the scenes that only you, (the player, parent, coach etc…) view as a number with a team listed beside it. We take a lot of pride in providing you the best baseball content possible at this level. One of my personal goals for DP in 2010 is to provide more inside content to reader’s about what really goes on inside true baseball circles whether its team rankings, players, player rankings, or recruiting.

In this article, we are going to select and breakdown a few of these conferences that could get interesting in 2010 and give you a few reasons why things may not go as according to our predictions: The next group is my personal favorite… Region 2-4A. Here is the skinny on generally the most talented and most unpredictable Region in South Carolina!

How we picked Region I-4A:

-Boiling Springs






X-Factor Team: Spartanburg Vikings

landries-head09.jpgWhy? Brandon Landrie (RHP, right) and Hamilton Heatly (LHP) give the Vikings possibly the top 1-2 punch in the Region. Ben Kyle gives them added depth on the mound and he also teams with Nicholas Myers to give the Vikings a solid set of hands in the infield. Throw in the #1 catcher in the 2010 class in Luke Weber and the Vikings could easily be the team to beat in this Region. Spartanburg also defends well in the outfield gaps with Dominique Aiken patrolling the OF. If the Viking’s infield makes the plays, I believe they could control their own destiny.  

Sleeper Teams: Parity presents different types of sleepers in Region 2!

The sleeper that can contend: Dorman Cavaliers

coleh-contact09.jpgWhy not to sleep on the Cavs… They’ve still got some talent…The bullseye is off the Cavs. According to my research, no 4A DP Pre-Season #1 has won a State Championship. It’s called pressure!!! The history of all sports proves it’s a reality not a myth. With the pressure removed and new kids on the block the Cavs have a different type of excitement surrounding this year’s club. Ben Waddle has the best hitter in the State in Hunter Cole (left). The Cavs as a whole will swing the bats better than most presume with Fisher Easterling, Zach Metts, Jospeh Metz and Tyler Crocker all capable with the potential to contribute. The kicker for the Cavs is pitching!!! If Waddle can find some solid starters to allow his position players to focus on hitting, which is what they do best, they will be dangerous. If middle of the order bats are trying to throw grenades and hit them, they could swirl at some point….

The sleeper that can shake up the standings: Hillcrest Rams

mcallisterz-head09.jpgWhy Hillcrest can snakebite opponents… Last year Hillcrest fell victim to an unprecedented amount of injuries. They return a healthy senior Zach McAllister (right) to the mound. When healthy, McAllister was one of the better starters in the region as a sophomore. Shane Thurston and Perry Case add experienced depth in their senior campaigns. Kirk Shelley returns behind the plate along with senior’s Trayce Rogers and Zach Morgan. While it’s unlikely for Hillcrest to contend for the title, they could easily be the team that shakes it up. Hillcrest could certainly finish in the 3-5 range in this conference.              

Why they should win it: Boiling Springs

riceh-finish08.jpgWhat we have learned at DP is not to bet against Jeff Lipscomb’s Bulldogs. Hunter Rice (left) is the leader and you’ll have to go thru him in his senior year to change it. Winning is expected. The kids are the tough, the fan’s cuss, and they love baseball. Beating them at the friendly confines of the Dawg Pound has proven to be almost impossible over the past couple of years. They may not win it, but they are always ready for a good fight.

Other Notables:

      gossettd-head09.jpgByrnes has Daniel Gossett (right) on the bump. He’s likely the apex arm in the league, but you have to score runs in this region to win big. Until Byrnes shows the ability to score runs consistently, or a formidable #2 pitcher arises, they can’t truly be considered a contender but also can’t be discounted.

      Rain, pitching match-ups, layout of schedule, and upsets all usually play a part in this league. Boiling Springs, Spartanburg, Dorman, Byrnes, and Hillcrest are all playoff teams in any other region in 4-A, but someone will stay home.

      The X-factor player in this league is Hunter Rice. Boiling Springs has to replace 73 innings that Cameron Holmes logged last year and an 8-2 record. How many of these innings can Rice eat up at optimal performance? Depending on how much workload Rice leaves Jonathan Pulley and Justin Turner is a big factor in this league.

      Does Mauldin’s (DP’s 4A All-Decade team) continued absence from the playoffs extend to 3 years?