Prep Talk | DeShields looking to make history again

April 19, 2013 

It was one year ago this week that Anders DeShields cemented himself firmly in the record books of the St. James-Socastee rivalry.

The then-junior threw a complete-game no-hitter against Socastee in a game that locked up the Sharks’ third-straight region title.

Tonight, DeShields will have an opportunity to make his presence felt again. The senior lefty will take the mound against the Braves with the same situation on the line. If St. James wins, it will be four straight region championships. If Socastee earns the victory, the Braves upend coach Robbie Centracchio’s team and bring in the No. 1 playoff seed.

“I’m going to try. I’m not going to try to think about it too much,” DeShields said when asked if he had that type of performance in him again. “I’m just going to get up there and pitch my game. The defense will be great behind us. They always have.”

Socastee isn’t exactly going into this game as chopped liver, though. The Braves will counter with sophomore Dylan Thompson, one of the area’s best pitchers each of the last two seasons. He’s 4-0 this season and is 10-1 overall between last year and this.

There’s also another factor at play tonight. While DeShields – committed to the College of Charleston – has had another spectacular season, he’s not unbeatable. Socastee proved that earlier this year when they got to him in a 5-3 victory back on March 21.

“I’d be lying if I’d say it doesn’t help our confidence some to beat him three weeks ago,” Socastee coach Curtis Hudson said. “But that was three weeks ago. Tonight’s a different day.”

As of 10 a.m., no changes in start time had been reported, although rain has started to move into the area.

Here is the breakdown of the playoff picture in softball and baseball for the area’s two biggest regions heading into Friday’s games.

REGION VI-AAAA BASEBALL (top three make playoffs):

1. West Florence 9-2

2. Sumter 8-4

3. Conway 6-5

4. Carolina Forest 4-8

5. South Florence 2-10

Friday’s game:

West Florence at Conway

Guaranteed playoff spots: No. 1 West Florence, No. 2 Sumter, No. 3 Conway

Conway expected to play at Summerville next Thursday in Class AAAA playoffs first round.

REGION VI-AAAA SOFTBALL (top three make playoffs)

1. Carolina Forest 6-1

2. South Florence 4-3

3. Conway 4-3

4. Sumter 2-5

5. West Florence 1-5

Friday’s games:

Carolina Forest at Conway

Guaranteed playoffs spots: Carolina Forest (region champs), South Florence, Conway

South Florence holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over Conway. If teams finish with same record, South Florence will own No. 2 seed.

REGION VII-AAA BASEBALL (top four make playoffs):

Region VII-AAA Baseball:

1. St. James 8-1

2. Socastee 7-2

3. Myrtle Beach 7-3

4. North Myrtle Beach 3-7

5. Georgetown 2-7

6. Wilson 1-8

Friday’s games:

St. James at Socastee

Georgetown at Wilson

Guaranteed playoff spot: St. James, Socastee, Myrtle Beach

Winner of St. James-Socastee will earn No. 1 playoff seed (Socastee won first match-up). If Socastee and Myrtle Beach both finish 7-3, No. 2 playoff seed will be determined by points system based on all 10 games.

REGION VII-AAA SOFTBALL (top four make playoffs):

1. St. James 8-1

2. Socastee 7-2

3. Georgetown 5-4

4. Myrtle Beach 4-6

5. North Myrtle Beach 3-7

6. Wilson 0-9

Friday’s games:

St. James at Socastee

Georgetown at Wilson

Guaranteed playoff spots: St. James, Socastee, Georgetown, Myrtle Beach

Nos. 1-2 seed determined by Friday’s St. James-Socastee match-up

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