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.
“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.