High School Sports

March 12, 2013

Preview: Camden baseball

The young, inexperienced Bulldogs are OK with their under-the-radar status in its return to tough Region 4-3A.

It’s been a feast or famine kind of season so far for the Camden Bulldogs, who scored 14 runs in all three of its winning games at a preseason tournament in Hartsville only to be blanked 8-0 by archrival Lugoff-Elgin in their regular season opener on March 8.

Camden begins Region 4-3A play on March 12 at Lower Richland. The Bulldogs spent the last four seasons in Region 6-3A.

Senior second baseman Will Morgan, senior center fielder Zack Caulder, sophomore shortstop Cole Irick and sophomore third baseman Sam Powers are the only starters coming back from last season’s 13-12 team. Ross Hough and Darius Smith are 2012 starters who will not play this spring because of injuries.

Morgan and Irick are switching positions in the infield this season. Morgan batted .264 last season, while Irick hit .304 with 12 runs and 13 RBI. Caulder hit .300 with 12 runs and 11 RBI. Power got 30 at bats and started 11 games as a freshman.

Junior pitcher Grey Hoke, junior outfielder, Brett Halsall, junior catcher Nick Tucker, sophomore first baseman Lawson Stokes and sophomore pitcher-utility Austen Haney are among the newcomers to watch.

Powers and Hoke, a southpaw, are the projected top two starters. Powers was 1-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 30 innings of work last season. Senior Jalen Rice pitched some in relief a year ago and is in the mix again.

“We are eager to complete,” said Bulldogs coach Denny Beckley. “We know we are under the radar and that is OK with us. Our goal is to be peaking at the end of the season and hopefully get on a playoff run.”

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