While high school baseball in the state of South Carolina was not scheduled to begin for another week, Diamond Prospects kicked off the spring a little bit early with five individual competitions and two team events in our 3rd Annual Hit, Run & Throw Skills Contest.
Each contestant was given the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with other players from across the state in their graduating class in the following categories: 60-yard dash, a baserunning contest, throwing for accuracy, an arm strength test and the homerun derby.
Wando senior Daniel Aldrich (right) lofted his share of balls deep onto Brookland-Cayce rooftops to take top honors in the afternoon's marquee event while Justin Brewer won both running events, the 60 Yard Dash and the home-to-home baserunning contest. Our throwing competitions were won by Hartsville's Brandon Beans (arm accuracy) and Easley's Joey Pankake (arm strength).
When all of the dust settled and the score sheets were tallied, we were able to name our overall winners in each age group. Rock Hill's Seth Neely won for the Class of 2009, Lugoff-Elgin's Forrest Koumas for the juniors and Wando's Brandon Spell was the Freshman champion. Pankake (left) was a repeat winner for the Class of 2011 and also took home his first HRT Overall Championship!
But perhaps it was the team events that sparked the most enthusiasm on the day. Four teams of five players performed first in the Rocket Relay, then in a four corners contest that we call the Hub Drill, a race against the clock.
It took nine separate attempts to crown a winner in the Rocket Relay and the final victory was won by an eyelash but the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (Brian Welch, Cody Craig, Josh Greene, Josh Tant, Kenyatta Casteberry) narrowly defeated the 69'ers (Austin Bryson, Shon Carson, Tyler Rowe, Will Lucas, Chris Brooks) and Hardballs (Alex Kirby, Connor Lewis, Forrest Koumas, DJ Roberts, Zach Lenns) to complete their championship run.
The Bone Thugs-n-Harmony shrugged off a sluggish start in the Hub Drill and ended up posting the top time of 13.38, defeating the Hardballs (13.88) by half of a second to complete the team competition sweep.
We lost quite a few baseball's on the day as DP donated several dozen balls onto BC's buildings that back up to the outfield fence... but it was a great day of fun full of outstanding individual exploits and a perfect way to celebrate high school baseball in South Carolina!
Now we provide our subscribers with all of the 60's times, all of the velocity readings and recap every winner from every event...To view, click here.
DP Note: We'd like to formally thank Brian Hucks, Cindy Westmoreland and Brookland-Cayce High School for allowing us to invade their facility on Sunday, the Bearcat clan served as great hosts and we appreciate their having us...