The Camden baseball team had its share of ups and downs in 2008, but the Bulldogs did finish in the black with a 15-13 overall record and an 8-6 Region 3-3A grade. Denny Beckley’s team went 1-2 in the Class 3A district playoffs.
“This spring was a roller coaster year for our baseball team,” said Beckley. “We had some great individual performances from some of our guys. We also had some seniors who had some key injuries that hurt our chances a bit. We did get to the playoffs again this year and were eliminated by JL Mann 4-3 in a very hard fought game.
“We have three players who will have an opportunity to play baseball at the next level. Stephen Carmon (2B) received a partial scholarship to USC-Aiken. Caul Cunningham (RHP) received an opportunity to play at USC-Salkahatchie. Will Howard (RHP/OF) received a partial scholarship to play at Wingate University. Caul Cunningham, had Tommy John surgery the day after our season ended. He actually made several appearances for us this year and had two key victories for us despite his injury. If he would have been healthy all year, we feel that he would have helped us win a few more games. Stephen Carmon had a cracked L-2 bone in his back that hampered him tremendously in the 2nd half of the season. Both of these players showed unbelievable courage by playing through the pain in several examples. Another senior, Sanchez Tucker (1B/OF/LHP), has a very good chance of walking on somewhere at the next level also. We are very proud of all of our seniors. The other two seniors provided great leadership for us. They are JC Hough and Justin Hayes.
“Tyler Pike (LHP/1B) had a great offensive year for us. He led our team in several offensive categories and he won some big games for us on the mound. He is a junior. Trey Brazell led our team in stolen bases. We lose six seniors but will have 5 full-time starters returning.”
Pike batted .395 with 24 RBIs and was 3-3 with a 3.53 ERA on the hill. Carmon and Tucker both finished with .313 batting marks. Carmon scored 14 runs, drove in 11 and swiped nine bases. Tucker had 12, runs, 12 RBIs and 10 steals. Brazell batted .263 with 14 runs, 10 RBIs and 16 steals. Robert McKinney hit .296 16 runs and 11 steals.
Howard had a good year on the hill, going 3-2 with a 2.51 ERA.
Camden will no longer be based in a Midlands region. The Bulldogs are moving back to the Lower State and Region 6-3A along with Crestwood, Lakewood, Darlington, Wilson and Marlboro County.