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Barnwell High School

Young Warhorses getting better as region play begins

By Neill Kirkpatrick

Staff Writer

 Goose Creek – 2018 saw the Barnwell Warhorses win the region V championship, win the district V tournament making the Lower State Championship Bracket but they lost several seniors and starters from that team. However, those loses have not tempered expectations for this year’s squad.

“Our expectations every year are to win the region championship and the district championship.  That may seem lofty to do every year, but that's the foundation that has been laid here by previous teams,” said head coach Chase Bell. “We lost eight seniors off last year's team, so we are still trying to see where everyone fits and how this team gels.”

Coach continued, “If we play to our potential, then we will be right there with a chance to win the region in the last week of the season. We just have to give ourselves an opportunity to win each game and let the chips fall where they may.”

Fortunately, the Warhorses have three All-Region players returning in Collin Breland, Griffin Corley, and Craig Pender. Breland is the ace of the staff and one of the top juniors in the state of South Carolina. As a sophomore he posted a team leading 1.02 era on bump while striking out 73 in 47 innings and he hit .347.

Corley, a three-year starter at first base, hit .338 last season and led the team in runs scored with 24 while driving in 14. He was 3-0 on the mound with a 1.83 era. He leads the team again in runs scored with 13.

Pender, one of the top 30 junior football players by the HSSR, is starting to find his swing and has an on base percentage of .419. He is tied for the team lead in RBI’s and is the teams designated hitter.

Senior Nathan Miller starts behind the dish for the Warhorses.

The outfield is manned senior Julius Arnold in center, junior De’Shawn Watson, a top 15 junior football prospect, in left and freshmen Russell Branch. Watson leads the team on steals with 11 in 11 attempts. He (1) and Arnold (2) are the only Warhorses to go yard this year.

Joining Corley in the infield are senior shortstop Walker Burt and freshmen third baseman Steven Lott and second basemen Nathan Moody. Moody is the teams leading hitter with a .407 average and Burt is second on the team with a .400 average.

Also getting work on the hill is senior DJ Zorn (3.27 ERA). He has filled the role of the number two starter on the team. He is a hard thrower who has developed a breaking ball to keep hitters honest.

Arnold and Reagan Martin will be used in relief for three to six outs.

“We are young this year.  We have been starting three freshmen and a sophomore so there have been some growing pains early, but we expect those guys to settle in and help us win games this season.  We have played in some very tight ball games early on this season which will benefit us down the road in region play,” said coach Bell.

 

 Despite youth Lady Warhorses have region championship on their minds

By Neill Kirkpatrick

Goose Creek – After winning the AA District five championship and making the Lower State championship bracket the past two-years the Barnwell Lady Warhorses are in a semi-reloading mode heading into the 2019 season after losing 9 seniors, but Coach Ashleigh Anderson does return a solid core of young ladies that know how to win.

“I have a lot of young players who haven't experienced the varsity level yet.  We are focusing on one game at a time and hoping it leads to success after the regular season,” said coach Anderson. “Our expectations are we continue to work to make it to the playoffs first and foremost.”

Barnwell has gotten off to a slow start against good competition and their bats are starting to come around.

“The key is going to be in the players trusting each other and having each other's back. We will have to be consistent hitting, defensively, and our pitchers must be on. If we work together and do everything right, I believe we should win the region this year,” coach Anderson said.

Returning for the Lady Warhorses are seniors Alyssa Still, Elizabeth Reid, Katie Boyles and KK Holden. Still is one of two pitchers and captains for coach Anderson and when not in the circle she plays third base. She is currently hitting .364 and has scored 11 runs.

Reid starts in left field and leads the team with 12 RBI’s while Holden starts at second base for Barnwell.

Junior Captain Kiley Bridgmon splits time with Still in the circle. At the plate she is hitting .391 and leads the team with 13 runs scored. She also has team high six doubles.

Arguably the best athlete at Barnwell Maleah Williams returns at shortstop. She was recently named to the HSSR AA All-State basketball team. Williams leads the Lady Warhorses at the plate with a .462 average and has a .611 on base percentage. She has also been solid in the field with a .909 fielding percentage.

Stills, Bridgmon and Williams are also returning All-Region performers.

Rounding out the starting lineup are center fielder Logan Hawkins, first basemen Taylor Williams, catcher Lindsey Rhoad and right fielder Kansas Googe.

Googe has also been swing a hot bat hitting at a .375 clip.

Off the bench for Barnwell are returners Cam Holloway and Boyles.

With region play beginning the tough early schedule should have the Lady Warhorses ready to go after the region championship and another possible long run in the play-offs.

 

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