After four seasons in one of the toughest Class 3A baseball regions, Swansea is looking forward to returning to the 2A level next spring.
The senior-dominated Tigers got off to a great start this season, but lost a few close region games that cost them a state playoff invitation. In the end, Swansea checked out with a 14-10 overall record, and a 3-7 Region 5-3A grade. The Tigers were 11-3 against non-region opposition.
Nine seniors are leaving the fold, including all-region picks Jonathan Betancourt (8 HR, 24 RBI, .493 AVG) and Sam Kemmerlin (15 RBI, .352 AVG, 3-3, 2.53 ERA). Betancourt has been selected to play in the annual North-South all-star game. Tyler Kirby (31 RBI, .366 AVG, 5-3, 2.90 ERA) and Dalton Reynolds (4-1, 2.06 ERA, 36 K) will also be missed.
“We will be young and there will be some growing pains,” said coach Gib Lackey.
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“We look forward to returning to 2A, although the region competition will still be tough. We competed against some of the best teams in the state (Airport, B-C, South Aiken) in our region and we lost a couple of one-run games that could have gotten us in the playoffs. But I’m proud of our kids for the way they fought and never gave up.”
Pitcher/third baseman Ryan Knight (2 HR 9 RBI, 2.62 ERA), pitcher/second baseman Tyler Brant (1-1, 16 K in 10 Innings ) and first baseman Jesse Holt 1B (.333, 1 HR, 9 RBI) figure to be the veteran building blocks next season.