Easton Summer Sizzler

By: Will Cheatham-July 20, 2008

SC Bombers, Summerville Hawks, Palmetto Crushers square-off

Diamond Prospects was at White Knoll High School in Lexington for a Sunday round robin tournament against three 16U teams from around the state in the Easton Summer Sizzler. The SC Bombers are a team built of guys from the Aiken area. The Palmetto Crushers were a local team from the Columbia area. Summerville was also represented with the Hawks. There was a slight cloud cover, which kept the heat away for much of the day and made for some great baseball weather.

In Game 1 the SC Bombers would match up against the Palmetto Crushers. The Bombers sent Auston Peel to the mound. The Crushers countered Peel with a side-arm slinger in Cody Mincey. Peel would ease through the first with no hits allowed. In the bottom half of the inning the Bombers gave him some run support off the bat of Andrew Faulkner of South Aiken who lined a ball into left for an RBI single.

The Crushers would jump back on top in the 2nd when Tyler Asbill was walked and moved around the bases and came in to score on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Kyle Inabinet hit into a fielders choice to plate the second run of the inning. In the bottom half, Mincey would settle in.  He struck out the first two batters of the inning, hit the third batter and then got the fourth batter to fly out to right.

The Crushers continued to pound the baseball as they tacked on three more runs off a line shot homerun off the bat of Charlie Sowell, a senior from Dutch Fork. Mincey continued to control the bats of the Bombers as he went up and down in the bottom of the 3rd. In the 4th, the teams would trade single runs. Corey Weeks drove in a run for the Bombers, and Derrick Evans did the same for the Crushers.

The Bombers would scratch one more run on the board with an RBI single by Jamie Randall that plated Faulkner who doubled in the inning. The Crushers added on some more run support for Mincey in the next two frames with a two-out single by Mincey to drive in two runs in the 5th. Sowell would strike again in the 6th with a big double to drive in two more runs. Douglas Pender would follow with a single to drive in Sowell.

This game came down to the pitching performance of Mincey. He had a two different arm angles where he could throw three pitches for strikes. The Bombers did a great job putting the ball in play but could never hit the ball hard on the barrel. They would get a second chance to make a run at the Championship in Game 2.

Palmetto Crushers 11 SC Bombers 3

WP-Cody Mincey, LP-Auston Peel, HR-Charlie Sowell (PC)

Prospect Info: Palmetto Crushers

Cody Mincey-RHP, 2011, Hartsville HS: Mincey was the bright spot for the Crushers this morning. He had a delivery that would resemble a swivel. He twisted back around and unwrapped and came from the side with a fastball that was moving all over the zone. When he stayed over the top, he had better command of his off-speed pitches. If he got ahead of the hitter, you could bet that you would see the side-armed delivery and it continued to get batters out. A slim figure and good height on this young kid will be a big asset to him in years to come.

Grant Davidson-Catcher: Davidson did a great job for the Crushers behind the dish. With Mincey having a different type of delivery, he kept most of the balls in front of him and had great hands receiving the baseball. Sometimes you see young guys struggle with pitchers that have a lot of movement, but this was not the case today.

Notables: Charlie Sowell, Derrick Evans

Prospect Info: SC Bombers

Auston Peel-P, Milan, GA: Peel started on the mound for the Bombers this morning. He kept the ball off the barrels the first few innings. I was really impressed with his ability to throw strikes. This is something that you preach as a pitching coach. Sometimes hitters will win the battle like they did in this case, but Peel never hurt himself by giving up free bases.

Cody Carol-Catcher: If you could give this guy a nickname it would be Charlie Hustle. He had great energy throughout the game. These two teams had faced off in previous tournaments and I gathered that they had a little history. He played hard every pitch and did a great job blocking balls in the dirt. He had good arm strength down to second but struggled a little with his footwork. With some time working on this, it will really bring his pop times down into the low 2.10’s. He averaged around a 2.25-2.35.

Notables: JR Holmes, Jamie Randall


Game 2

Diamond Prospects was on hand for Game 2 at White Knoll High School to see the SC Bombers complete their doubleheader against the Summerville Hawks. The Bombers, coming off a big loss against the Palmetto Crushers, had a lot to prove while the Hawks were finishing up their summer season and trying to go out a good note.

The Bombers would send their ace Andrew Faulkner of South Aiken to the mound to face off against Dustin Brodie of the Hawks. Faulkner is a soft crafty lefty that used command and movement of his pitches to run through the Hawks lineup. Brodie was a bigger kid that had a sharp hook, but struggled early in the game with his command.

The Bombers got things going early with a one out double by JR Holmes who was starting behind the plate in this game. In the bottom half, Faulkner struck out the first two batters of the inning, but would then give up a double to Gabe Craven and an RBI triple to Brodie into rightfield.

The second inning would be a big one for the Bombers. They added four more runs to their lead. The inning was highlighted by a triple to clear the bases by Faulkner. This was all the run support he would need. He held the Hawks nearly hitless to finish off the game. He gave up a single run in the 4th on a sac fly to right by Josh Gilley but that was all the offense the Hawks had left.

Holmes would drive another ball into the outfield for his 2nd double of the day in the 5th to plate two more runs. In the end, the game would be called because of the time limit. The Bombers did a great job bouncing back from their previous game that morning with the Crushers to give themselves a chance at first place and nearly seal the second prize.

SC Bombers 11 Summerville Hawks 2

WP-Andrew Faulkner, LP- Dustin Brodie

Prospect Info: SC Bombers

Andrew Faulkner-LHP, 2011, South Aiken HS: The Bombers head coach told me early in the morning that he would be throwing Faulkner in the second game and wanted to make sure I was there to watch. I am glad that I was able to see this young guy perform. He is a tall slim lefty with smooth and effortless mechanics. I would have liked to see him have some more push with his backside, but the command he showed with his fastball was one of the best I have seen this summer. He was spotty at times with his breaking ball, but guys at this age sometimes are. He pounded the outer half of the plate and the Hawks were just not able to make an adjustment. This morning Faulkner pitched a great game for the Bombers.

JR Holmes- Catcher: Holmes moved from EH to catcher this game. He was an enthusiastic guy behind the plate. He was very vocal to his teammates throughout the entire game. He struggled a little with balls in the dirt but showed some quickness in getting in front of some balls well outside the zone. At the plate he had a quick and powerful top hand. He got on top of balls all day and put the barrel out front. He ended the game with 3 hits and 4 RBI’s to lead his team on the offensive side of the ball.

Notables: Auston Peel, Justin Haffly

Prospect Info: Summerville Hawks

Dustin Brodie-P, Summerville: This young man had a great build standing on the mound. He struggled early in the game with his command. One thing you learn as a pitcher is that it is hard to pitch from behind in counts which is what hurt him today. I did see a plus breaking ball from Brodie but he was just missing the zone with the pitch and had to rely on his fastball. I would like to see this kid throw again and I can bet the outcome will be different.

Gabe Carven-INF, Summerville: Carven hit in the three-hole for the Hawks this afternoon. He was one of the only sparks for the Hawks offensively as he had a double in the first inning and was driven in by Brodie later in the inning. Another good-sized kid, he has the build for a first baseman and seemed to fit well at that position.

Notables: Josh Gilley, Reid Coyle


Game 3

DP was still there for the final game of the day between the Palmetto Crushers and the Summerville Hawks. The Crushers had a chance to take the tournament championship with a win, while the Hawks were playing for a chance to send it to the tie-breaker and you never know what could happen in that case. The Crushers would play no games and send ace Charlie Sowell to the mound to face-off with Brian Hill from Summerville. These two teams had played each other on Saturday with a lopsided outcome in favor of the Hawks.

Both teams went easily in the first inning. This would not be the same story for the Crushers as they put up a six spot in their half of the inning in the 2nd. Sowell capped the inning for the Crushers with a double to left down the line driving in three runs. One of the plated runners was Kyle Inabinet who singled earlier in the inning to drive in a run. The Hawks would try to get things going as they scored one run themselves in the 2nd off the bat of Wade Akins who singled in a run.

The offense would continue to roll for the Crushers. They put up two more runs between the third and sixth inning. The Hawks were not able to find an answer for Sowell’s heavy fastball and sharp breaking ball until the 6th. The game was coming to an end because of the time limit and the Hawks were down 8-4. They started the inning with three singles to load the bases. Sowell was able to get a groundball right back up the middle for his shortstop to step on second and throw the ball to first to complete the double play. The Hawks did plate a run, but Sowell would get the final out of the inning, ending the game due to the time limit after six innings.

The Crushers used a great pitching performance and a big 2nd inning to take the title for the weekend. In both games, this team got the key hits when they counted. They were able to string together some hits that helped them have a few big innings. They also got two great pitching performances from Mincey and Sowell. Congrats to them for a great weekend.

Palmetto Crushers 8 Summerville Hawks 5

WP-Charlie Sowell, LP- Brian Hill

Prospect Info: Palmetto Crushers

Charlie Sowell-RHP, 2009, Dutch Fork: Sowell would have taken home the MVP prize for the tournament. In Game 1 on the day, he had a HR and 5 RBI’s. In game two he added two doubles and 3 RBI’s along with a stellar pitching performance. He swallows the batters box when he steps in. He did a great job taking away the outer half the plate and making pitchers throw to him. When they made a mistake he turned the ball around well. On the mound he was effectively wild. He needs to work a little more on the breaking ball but, again, I saw a high school pitcher win a game using a fastball, change-up combination. Just proves that it still is the best two-pitch punch in baseball.

Derrick Evans-Catcher: Evans started Game 1 as the EH for the Crushers. In Game 2 he got the call to catch Sowell. Great hands for a young guy and did a great job controlling the game from behind the plate. In my mind, the catcher is the coach on the field. Evans did a great job communicating with his teammates. He also was throwing a 2.20 down to second and threw out two runners trying to steal in one inning.

Notables: Tyler Asbill, Cody Mincey

Prospect Info: Summerville Hawks

Gabe Craven-INF, Summerville: Craven had another great game for the Hawks leading them with two hits. Overall he had a great tournament and was over shadowed overall by Sowell’s performance, but he did have a few hits in each game. Overall, Craven could be one of the top prospects I saw this weekend.

Notables: Josh Gilley, Brian Hill