York, Chester and Lancaster counties all have at least one team ranked in the South Carolina Baseball Coaches Association’s preseason state rankings.
Northwestern, the defending 4A state finalists, Rock Hill, which lost to Northwestern in the Upper State championship series, and Nation Ford are all ranked in the top-10 in 4A. Northwestern returns The Herald’s 2014 All-Area Player of the Year, Dupree Hart, while Rock Hill returns most of its starting lineup from last season – one of its best seasons in school history – including a number of players signed or committed to play college baseball.
Chester, whose talented junior pitcher Jake Wright just committed to South Carolina, checks in at No. 7 in the 3A poll. The Cyclones will be led by first-year coach Chris Powell as they take on a new-look Region 3-3A that now includes South Pointe and Lancaster.
Indian Land follows up its solid 2014 season with a preseason ranking in 2015. The Warriors are No. 9 in 2A and will also be led by a new coach, Joey Robinson.
And Lewisville, the highest-rated local team, will start the season as the No. 3 squad in 1A baseball. The Lions finished 25-7 last season, losing in the Upper State Championship tournament.
4A: 1. Wando; 2. Blythewood; 3. Summerville; 4. J.L. Mann; 5. Northwestern; 6. Lexington; 7. Sumter; 8. Greenville; 9. Rock Hill; 10. Nation Ford.
3A: 1. A.C. Flora; 2. Belton-Honea Path; 3. Wren; 4. Richland Northeast; 5. Eastside; 6. Hartsville; 7. Chester; 8. Camden; 9. Berkeley; 10. Gilbert.
2A: 1. Ninety-Six; 2. Chesnee; 3. Mid-Carolina; 4. Dillon; 5. Bishop England; 6. Woodruff; 7. Central; 8. Wade Hampton; 9. Indian Land; 10. Newberry.
1A: 1. Latta; 2. Fox Creek; 3. Lewisville; 4. Lake View; 5. Christ Church; 6. St. Joseph’s; 7. Southside Christian; 8. Bamberg-Ehrhardt; 9. McBee; 10. East Clarendon.
Great Falls 63, Governor’s School 43: Nigel Simpson scored 31 points and led the Red Devils to a win over the Eagles in a Region 3-A contest Tuesday night at Great Falls.
The Red Devils fell behind in the first period, but rallied for a 26-25 lead at halftime. They took control in the fourth quarter to remain unbeaten in region play.
Governor’s School - K. Runyon 2, Q. Moses 20, C. Edwards 5, M. Nichols 16.
Great Falls - Nigel Simpson 31, Deandre Perry 2, Warren Sanders 13, Shy Kelly 6, Trey McCrorey 3, Hakeen Simpson 8.
3-point goals: Governor’s School 4 (Nichols 4), Great Falls 7 (N. Simpson 3, Sanders 3, McCrorey 1).
Team Fouls - Governor’s School 13, Great Falls 10. Fouled out - Edwards (GS).
Records: Great Falls 13-5, 6-0 in Region 3-A
Clover 54, Nation 45: The Bue Eagles pulled away in the final quarter and picked up a win over the Falcons in a Region 3-4A contest at Clover.
Quise Robbins led Clover with 13 points. Aaron Miller joined him in double figures with 11. Cameron Holmes led Nation Ford with a game high 23 points.
Clover improved to 7-1 in the region with the win.
Nation Ford - Cameron Holmes 23, Ian Corley 12, Hank Tuipulotu 6, Ben Tuipulotu 3, Clay Hunt 2
Clover - Bryce Allen 4, Quise Robbins 13, John Wilson 9, Aaron Milner 11, Austin Stone 2, R. J. Moore 7, Dallas Honeycutt 3, Justin White 5.
3-point goals: Clover 6 (Robbins 3, Wilson 2, Honeycutt 1), Nation Ford 12 (Holmes 7, Corley 4, B Tuipuluto 1).
Team Fouls: Clover 12, NF 21.
Records: Clover 13-7, 7-1 in Region 3-4A; Nation Ford 11-8, 3-4 in Region 3-4A
York 43, Fort Mill 38: The Cougars took a 27-23 lead at halftime and went on to claim a win over the Yellow Jackets in a Region 3-4A game at York.
Deshaw Andrews led the Cougars with 18 points, while A. J. Foti topped Fort Mill with 14.
Northwestern 68, Gaffney 48: The Trojans pulled away in the second half to take a win over the Indians in a Region 3-4A contest at Northwestern.
Gaffney led 30-29 at halftime, but the Trojans outscored the Indians 39-18 in the second half to secure the victory.
Great Falls 46, Governor’s School 41: Carrie Edwards and Davina Patrick scored 10 points each and led the Red Devils to a win over the Eagles in a Region 3-A game at Great Falls.
Governor’s School - A. McVicker 1, A. Young 18, T. Thomas 7, M. Rush 11, M. Foster 4.
Great Falls - Katia Rice 5, Kay McCullough 7, Carrie Edwards 10, Davina Patrick 10, Morgan Luberjacky 5, Hayva Trotter 9.
3-point goals: Governor’s School 0, Great Falls 5 (McCullough 2, Rice 1, Trotter 2).
Team Fouls - Governor’s School 13, Great Falls 16. Fouled out - Luberjacky (GF).
Records: Great Falls 6-10, 4-2 in Region 3-A.
Gaffney 43, Northwestern 38 (OT): The Indians handed the Trojans their first region loss of the season with an overtime win at Northwestern.
The Trojans led 22-20 after three periods, but Gaffney tied it at 31-all at the end of regulation.
Fort Mill 51, York 42: The Yellow Jackets took a one-point lead at halftime and went on to defeat the Cougars in a Region 3-4A contest at York.
Meredith Christopher led the way for the Yellow Jackets with 17 points. Ally Abbott added 13 points for Fort Mill.
Fort Mill 39, York 33