2019 High School Baseball Preview Capsules

The high school baseball season is underway, and here’s a look at some of the local teams.

2019 High School Baseball Preview Capsules

Beaufort High

Coach: Keith Riley (6th season)

Record at BHS: 88-51

2018 record: 22-9 (lost in district championship)

Returning starters: 8

Top returners: Jeffrey Smith (Sr., OF/C/P); Ethan Graham (Sr., INF/P)

Key losses: Cooper Woods, Wade Olivari

Key newcomers: Rhogue Wallace, Oliver Holmes

Coach’s outlook: “These guys have been playing together for a long time and they are hungry.”


Bluffton

Coach: Bryant Kitty (14th season)

2018 record: 18-8 (Class 3A District V runner-up)

Top returners: Anthony Storzieri, Cody Eldridge, Noah Simonsen, Joe DiCarlo, Tyler Livingston, Dillan Montenegro, Joey Black, Rakim White

Key losses: Griffin Yeager, Jordan Kennedy, Sean Sutay, Hunter Eldridge, Jimmy Nowakowski, Lucas Pulice, Shane Farmer

Key newcomers: Eric Eastham, Carson Yeager, Nate Hoyt, Cameron Poliquin, Preston Burnside, Ayden Nix, Grant Musselman 


Hilton Head Christian Academy

Coach: Matt Smith (5th season)

Record at HHCA: 65-29

2018 record: 19-5, reached SCISA 2A semifinals

Returning starters: 4

Top returners: Reese Malon (Soph., P/INF); Maximilian Lowrey (Sr., C/3B); Dargan Cherry (Sr., C/DH); Daniel Harrington (Jr., SS)

Key losses: Michael Graupner, John Blackshire, John Burke, JD Monts, Connor Handy

Key newcomers: Jackson Lanier, Eli Minton, Jake Richardson

Coach’s outlook: “The loss of five all-region caliber players with two of them being the top two in the pitching rotation are huge losses.  We will be very young while playing several freshmen and eighth-graders. We should be very competitive as we get some games under our belt. Pitching depth could be key as the season progresses.”


Hilton Head High

Coach: Ken Soucy (3rd season)

Record at HHIHS: 36 – 19

2018 record: 13-13 (lost in district playoffs)

Returning starters: 8

Top returners: Jeff Hays (Jr., P/INF); Colin Gross (Jr., C); Matt Mebane (Soph., INF); JJ Richardson (Jr., P); Jake Roberts (Sr., OF)

Key losses: Cody Wan

Key newcomers: Daniel Keber, Cooper Kunich

Coach’s outlook: “We have a group of hardworking, motivated guys.  We will be successful if we pitch well and have timely hitting. We have a good group of returners who have lots of experience and are looking for that to carry us deeper into the postseason.” 


Hilton Head Prep

Coach: Chris Wells (1st season)

2018 record: 1-11

Returning starters: 6

Top returners: Tommy Stauffer (Soph., SS); Luke Foley (Soph., 3B); Jaiden Hrobar (Soph., C); Danny Ledee (Sr., CF); Gage Hurlbut (Sr., DH); Trevor Weldon (Fr., 2B)

Key losses: Trey Speer, Hunter Hopman, Harrison Green

Key newcomers: Connor McDonnell, Will Gray, Tristan Bonomo, Payce Gartner

Coach’s outlook: “We have a young team that projects to start eight underclassmen. Not a lot of depth or experience on the mound, but we’re expecting to compete on a daily basis and fight for a region championship.”


John Paul II

Coach: Pete Birmingham (6th season) 

Record at JPII: 70-39

2018 record: 18-7

Top returners: Ray Johnson, Hayden Jennings, Adrian Skipper, Josh Horton, Colin Doering

Key losses: Mark Tigges, Brad Tigges, Tommy Kender, Jack Jolley 

Key newcomers: Tyler Davis

Coach’s outlook: “Cautious optimism. We have good pitching depth, and our returning regulars look improved.”


May River

Coach: Keith Stewart (3rd season)

Record at MRHS: 29-16

2018 record: 20-6 (lost in district finals)

Returning starters: 5

Top returners: Josh Patterson (Sr., 3B/P); Kam Gleason (Sr., P/C); Jack Hegan (Sr., SS/P); Nick Bass (Sr., P); Cooper George (Soph., 3B/P/RF); Joshua Yeddulayyagari (Sr., 1B/DH)

Key losses: Tater Goodson, Jeffrey Hodge, Logan Wake

Coach’s outlook: “After some key losses from the 2018 roster, I believe we have enough experience with our returners to make a good run in the 3A state playoffs and compete for another region

championship. With strong starting pitching, a diverse offensive lineup, and good leadership we have everything in place to achieve our goals this year if we can remain healthy and focused.”


Thomas Heyward

Coach: Leon Etheridge (2nd season) 

2018 record: 4-10

Returning starters: 7

Top returners: Bryce Tillotson (Sr., C/P), Louie Smith (Jr., P/1B), Chipper Hammond (Sr., CF/UTIL)

Key losses: Zack Bond (P/CF)

Key newcomers: Josh Gobel (Jr., OF)

Coach’s outlook: “I expect to have an improved team from last year’s team that started a lot of freshmen and sophomores. Most of our players are returners that are a year older, stronger, and smarter.  We’re hoping that translates into more wins for us this year.”

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