High school sports | commentary

Baxter: Midlands’ top baseball players

February 16, 2014 

We are heading into the third week of February, and baseball practices are well underway; the ice storm last week delayed the first week of scrimmages, but the teams were on the field this weekend. Who are the Midlands’ top teams to watch in 2014?

In Class 4A, defending state champion Lexington will be in a ‘rebuild’ mode after graduating a king’s ransom of starters. But the Wildcats should be more than competitive late in the season. Blythewood, which finished second in the final state coaches’ poll, could be the team to watch in the Midlands. The Bengals return impact players, including third baseman Tyler Romanik.

In 3A, A.C. Flora is the team to beat and might be the best team in the Midlands. Airport will have growing pains but is strong on the hill with Austin Hawley. Gilbert returns strong talent and will be in the mix late.

With a little less than a month remaining before the first game of the season, we’ll take a look at the SCVarsity.com Top Fifteen Players from the Midlands, regardless of graduating class:

Rank Player Postion School
1.Madison StokesSSA.C. Flora
2.Tyler Romanik3B/1BBlythewood
3.Ryan BrownCFLexington
4.Thomas DurantLHPChapin
5.Donald Gilespie3BA.C. Flora
6.Aaron DahmOFBlythewood
7.Jake MuellerSSRichland Northeast
8.Jared WilliamsSSGilbert
9.Jordan BusterPLexington
10.Shannon GloverCRichland Northeast
11.Derek OlenchukSSDutch Fork
12.Austin HawleyRHPAirport
13.Chandler EngelOFBlythewood
14.Brandon TillmanOFRiver Bluff
15.Mitch SpiresIF/PGilbert

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