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Porter Gaud High School
Charleston

Porter-Gaud baseball set for competitive season in 2019

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Charleston – Veteran Porter-Gaud baseball coach Ricky Tillman has only two seniors on his 2019 roster but the coach expects the Cyclones to be very competitive this spring.

The Cyclones are off to a good start this season, winning five of their first six games. Porter-Gaud is looking to be at their best in April when they take on region foes Northwood Academy, First Baptist and Pinewood Prep in three-game series that will decide the region 1-AAA title. The first region series is April 1-3 against Northwood Academy.

Tillman enters this season with 241 career wins at Porter-Gaud, coming off an 11-10 campaign last spring. The two seniors on this year’s roster starting outfielder Zach Nagrodsky and pitcher/third baseman Max Sasnett, who was named the team’s most improved player as a junior.

The top returning players to this year’s team include junior middle infielders Chai Kirshtein and Jett Kirshtein. Both were all-conference performers and played in the North-South all-star game last May. Jett was also named the team’s most valuable player.

Junior Ben Kahn returns as a key member of the pitching staff and will share time at third base. Junior Will Phillips returns at first base and sophomore Emmett DeScherer handles most of the catching duties, with freshman Ellis Chang getting work as well as DeScherer also is a key pitcher.

Junior David Holcombe and sophomore Matt Adelman are returning with experience in the outfield. Juniors Channing Joye, Daunte Brown and Jack Faucette provide depth in the outfield and will compete for playing time. Junior Ben AvRutick will compete for time on the mound as well.

James named SC Gatorade Player of the Year

Porter-Gaud senior guard Josiah James was named the 2018-19 SC Gatorade Player of the Year on Friday, marking the second straight year the award has gone to a Porter-Gaud player.

 Guard Aaron Nesmith, now a freshman at Vanderbilt, won the award last season.

James, a 6-7 combo guard headed to Tennessee, averaged 29.1 points, 12.4 rebounds, 5.3 blocks and 4.9 assists during the 2018-19 season. He led the Cyclones to an 18-10 record and a spot in the SCISA AAA state semi-finals. The five-year starter also helped Porter-Gaud to three consecutive state titles.

James will participate in the McDonald’s All-American game on March 27th as one of the nation’s top 24 senior high school players.

“It’s been a special year for me,” James said. “It’s a testament to all of the hard work I have been putting into this game since I was a young kid. For me, I don’t think this is by accident. If you work hard, great things can happen.”

In addition to his talents on the court, James carries a 3.19 grade-point-average and has volunteered at a local homeless shelter in his free time. James will now wait and see if he is named the national player of the year, which is announced later this month.

 

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