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Abbeville High School

 Abbeville baseball comes up short in district finals

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Abbeville—There were high expectations for the Abbeville baseball team this season, and for much of the year, they played up to them. The Panthers won the region championship and needed just one win over Landrum to capture the district title.

Unfortunately, Abbeville dropped both games to Landrum and were ousted from the Class AA playoffs. The Panthers ended the campaign at 18-7 and marked the final game for head coach Mark Smith, who will step away after 33 years on the job.

“We play in a tough region and certainly had to play well to accomplish the region championship. It was a real disappointing way to end the season because we just didn’t play well in the two games in the district championship. We pitched and played real clean defensively 23 times, and twice we didn’t on the biggest stage. You just can’t put your finger on why,” Smith said.

The Panthers had a fairly young roster this spring, but will still lose several key seniors, including pitcher/centerfielder Dylan Powell, left fielder Austin Holliday, designated hitter Troy Scott and pitcher Andrew Hughes.

“Obviously we won a lot of games during their careers and they can fall back on those memories. I’m sure they’re disappointed with how it ended, but they were tremendous guys that laid it on the line for us all the time. Sometimes this game is cruel and things don’t work out, but their legacy shouldn’t be tarnished by the way it ended,” Smith said.

Still, Abbeville should have a chance to get back to this same point next year. Outfielder Zach Overholt and shortstop Bryce Jackson will return at the top of the pitching rotation while catcher Hunter Rodgers, first baseman Kale Thompson, second baseman Jay Marshall, third baseman Grayson Powell and outfielder Matthew Ellis have another year of starting experience.

“I think the sky’s the limit. Bryce and Zach will be in their fourth year starting, and they’ve played in some big games. We have some really good young talent coming so Abbeville baseball has a bright future that should continue the success. I’m sure they’ll probably be one of the favorites next year,” Smith said.


© 2017 High School Sports Report

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