After watching most of the 2020 high school baseball season wiped away by a worldwide pandemic, this past spring displayed just how much the Lowcountry loves America’s Pastime. And the boys of spring gave us plenty to get excited about.
Hilton Head Prep’s juggernaut dominated the competition all season before running into a strong Cardinal Newman team in the SCISA 3A playoffs and falling one game short of the state championship series, while Class 4A powers Beaufort High and May River battled it out for the district title in an incredible atmosphere before the Eagles came up one game short of reaching the state championship series themselves.
We saw outstanding performances all over the diamonds throughout the Lowcountry, and we honor the area’s top performers with the 2021 All-Lowco Baseball Team presented by Elite Training Center by Pulseology.
Like we did during football season, we picked separate All-Lowco First Teams for the area’s public and private schools, rather than attempt to compare apples to oranges. While the top players in the SCISA ranks are often on-par with their public school counterparts, the depth — especially on the mound — makes it nearly impossible to compare players side-by-side. Splitting the teams up allows us to honor more players and do so on a level playing field.
Here’s a look at this season’s best ballplayers from Beaufort, Jasper, and Colleton counties.
2021 ALL-LOWCO BASEBALL TEAM
PRESENTED BY ELITE TRAINING CENTER BY PULSEOLOGY
SCHSL First Team
Coach of the Year: Keith Riley, BHS
Riley ended his tenure at the helm of Beaufort High’s program with an inspired run to the Class 4A Lower State finals.
Player of the Year: Rhogue Wallace, BHS
A force behind the plate and at the dish, the Spartanburg Methodist signee smacked 16 extra-base hits (6 doubles, 5 triples, 5 home runs) and drove in 23 runs while gunning down 12 would-be base stealers.
Pitcher of the Year: Darin Horn, MRHS
The future Coastal Carolina Chanticleer was dominant on the mound all season, piling up 110 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings while posting seven wins and a 1.09 ERA.
C: Ben Kennedy, CCHS
Reliable backstop hit .351 with a .493 OBP, eight doubles, a homer, and 15 RBIs for the Cougars.
1B/3B: Oliver Holmes, BHS
Senior leader smacked three homers and drove in 18 when he wasn’t on the mound using his strong left arm to shut down opposing hitters.
2B/SS: Daniel Keber, HHIHS
One of Seahawks’ most dangerous hitters, Keber batted .409 with a .512 OBP, seven doubles, a homer, and 16 RBIs, in addition to some outstanding efforts on the mound.
SS/2B: James Layman, MRHS
Wofford commit was a beast in the leadoff spot, batting .413 with a .511 OBP, seven doubles, and 13 RBIs, and he played solid defense at short.
3B/1B: Jackson Bell, CCHS
All-Region third baseman hit .356 with a .473 OBP and held down the hot corner for Cougars.
OF: Luke Sanders, BCHS
Dolphins’ top hitter batted .333 with a .931 OPS and 11 RBIs and contributed two wins and 29 K’s on the mound.
OF: Zack Morillo, MRHS
Spartanburg Methodist signee played a strong center field and swung a big bat for Sharks, hitting .306 with a .449 OBP, three doubles, two homers, and 15 RBIs.
OF: Tate Miller, HHIHS
Seahawks’ leadoff man hit .364 with a .506 OBP and seven extra-base hits while scoring 23 runs and driving in nine.
UTIL: Juju Mlodzinski, HHIHS
A solid defender all over the infield and dangerous at the plate, Mlodzinski hit .407 with a .507 OBP and 18 RBIs, and he struck out 14 in 12 innings pitched.
P: Riley Stokes, MRHS
Future USCB Sand Shark left-hander was excellent on the mound, piling up 55 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings, earning five wins and posting a 2.66 ERA.
P: Wes Graves, BHS
Eagles’ workhorse righty pitched 61 2/3 innings with 42 strikeouts while posting a 2.27 ERA and holding opponents to a .215 batting average.
P: Nico Martucci, BLHS
Bobcats’ young right-hander looks like a future ace after posting a 1.99 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with 22 strikeouts and just four walks in 24 2/3 innings.
SCISA First Team
Coach of the Year: Chris Wells, HHP
Hilton Head Island coaching mainstay led Dolphins to undefeated regular season and trip to SCISA 3A semifinals.
Player of the Year: Kyle Hooker, CPA
Outstanding two-way player hit .569 with a .678 OBP, 14 XBH (4 doubles, 3 triples, 7 homers) and 42 RBIs while going 4-1 with a 2.91 ERA and 59 K’s in 33 2/3 innings.
Pitcher of the Year: Luke Foley, HHP
Erskine signee put up video game numbers, going 6-0 with a 0.71 ERA and 49 K’s in 29 2/3 innings while also hitting .514 with a .600 OBP, 12 doubles, two triples, two HRs and 44 RBIs.
C: Hayden Jennings, JPII
Golden Warriors’ unquestioned leader hit .650 with two homers and 13 RBIs and racked up an incredible 86 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .206 batting average.
1B/3B: Phoenix Betancourt, HHP
Racked up program-record 41 hits while batting .512 with a .574 OBP, 13 XBH, and 39 RBIs while splitting time behind the plate and at first base.
2B/SS: Jace Blackshear, HHCA
Eagles’ three-sport superstar hit .357 with a .550 OBP, 12 RBIs, and 26 stolen bases and added two wins and two saves on the mound.
SS/2B: Harrison Green, HHP
Dolphins’ unsung hero batted .492 with 28 RBIs, 29 runs, 17 stolen bases, and a 1.68 ERA in 8 1/3 innings with 14 K’s.
3B/1B: Peyton Bennett, THA
State champion QB held down the hot corner and hit .352 with a .455 OBP, 18 RBIs, 23 runs, and 12 stolen bases for Rebels.
OF: Jaiden Hrobar, HHP
Dolphins’ centerfielder batted .412 with a .562 OBP, 12 XBH, 25 RBIs, 15 steals, and tied team lead with 45 runs scored while also posting a 2.00 ERA in 14 innings.
OF: Jeremy Clemmer, THA
Led Rebels at the plate with .426 average, .597 OBP, 23 RBIs, 20 runs, and 13 steals.
OF: Reese Malon, HHP
Strong two-way player hit .517 with program-record .637 OBP, 13 XBH, 32 RBIs, and an 0.75 ERA in 18 2/3 innings.
UTIL: Tommy Stauffer, HHP
Dolphins’ dynamic leadoff man hit .411 with a .520 OBP, 23 RBIs, 22 steals, and program-record 45 runs and posted a 2.80 ERA in 10 innings pitched.
UTIL: Steele Burd, HHP
Versatile utility player hit .313 with .467 OBP, 27 RBIs, and 31 runs and racked up 27 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings while posting a 3.38 ERA.
P: Colton Daniels, CPA
Two-way standout struck out 37 over 31 1/3 innings with a 3.80 ERA and hit .500 with a .595 OBP, 13 XBH, 22 RBIs, 40 runs, and 19 stolen bases.
Caleb Allinder, MRHS
Cody Bradt, BLHS
James Crosby, HHCA
James Davenport, BHS
Braydon Dineen, BA
Cole Gullotti, CPA
Luke Holland, MRHS
Nate Hoyt, BLHS
Peter Hughes, JPII
Jackson Lanier, HHCA
Kyle Markowitz, HHIHS
Connor McDonnell, HHP
Jackson Philpott, HHIHS
Rush Riley, BHS
Bennett Roemer, MRHS
Dietrich Shuford, THA
Carter Smoak, CPA
William Winburn, BHS
Gabe Wolfe, CCHS
Carson Yeager, BLHS
Michael Zoodsma, HHCA
Top photo: Beaufort High School Head Coach Keith Riley led the Eagles to within a game of the Class 4A State Championship series in his final season. Photos by Justin Jarrett.