While high school baseball in the state of South Carolina was not scheduled to begin until January 28, Diamond Prospects kicked off the spring a day early with five individual competitions and two team events.
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.
Brookland-Cayce senior Adam Westmoreland lofted his share of balls deep into AC Flora’s trees to take honors in the afternoon’s second event, he followed up fellow future Gamecock Austin Ashmore’s (Greer HS) top time in the 60. Lugoff-Elgin sophomore Forrest Koumas was the quickest from home to home in the baserunning competition and was the only underclassman to win an event overall. Summerville’s Pat Dolan repeated as the victor in the arm strength test and Riverside’s Michael Roth won in a tie-breaker when he threw for accuracy.
When all of the dust settled and the score sheets were tallied, we were able to name our overall winners in each age group. Roth won for the Class of 2008, Lake City’s Shane Miles for the juniors, Gaffney’s Tyler Wilson for the Class of 2010 and Easley freshman Joey Pankake won the award for the second time after sneaking into our Hit, Run & Throw last year as an eighth grader!
Roth, a South Carolina-bound two-way standout, took home the most hardware and was crowned 2008’s HRT champion.
But perhaps it was the team events that sparked the most enthusiasm on the day. Seven 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.
After a first round loss in the Rocket Relay, the Mon-Stars (Rob Harding, Mac Doyle, Jeff Caskey, Dolan, Zachary Dibble) stormed back into the mix and eventually defeated the 69’ers (Roth, Westmoreland, Ashmore, John Long, Konstantine Diamaduros) to complete their championship run.
The Mon-Stars shrugged off a another sluggish start in the Hub Drill and ended up posting the top time of 12.87, narrowly defeating the BD’s (Connor Lewis, Koumas, Jack LaFrage, Roy Faulks, John McInnis). Their time was 13.57.
Sunny skies, quality talent and the first competitions of the spring allowed Diamond Prospects to lead-off 2008 with a bang!
Today we provide you 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 extend our thanks to AC Flora and Head Coach Andy Hallett for opening their doors to us on a beautiful day for baseball..