Baseball and softball competing well at Thomas Heyward
By David Shelton
Ridgeland – As was expected to be the case, the baseball and softball teams at Thomas Heyward Academy are competing very well during the first half of the 2017 season.
Both teams are aiming to finish strong and be a part of the SCISA Class AA state playoffs in early May.
The softball team, coached by Bob Layman, has played for the AA state title in each of the last two years, losing both years to Williamsburg Academy. Layman has scheduled a difficult slate of games for this team this season, including a preseason tournament.
Thomas Heyward entered the month of April with a 10-7 overall record, 8-5 in regular season play and 4-0 in region play. The Rebels picked up losses in the preseason tournament to defending AAAA state champion Stratford and Hanahan, the top-ranked team in class AAA. Thomas Heyward also earned preseason tournament wins over public schools Beaufort (AAAA) and Timberland (AAA).
During the regular season, two of Thomas Heyward’s losses came to May River and another was to AAAAA Blythewood. The Rebels also have losses to a pair of AA SCISA contenders, Marlboro Academy and Pee Dee Academy.
Sophomore Ivy Bryan is having a great season at the midway point. Bryan leads the team with a .533 batting average, compiling 24 hits and scoring 17 runs with a team-high 31 RBI’s.
Senior Hannah Cannon is hitting .429 with 14 runs scored and 14 RBI’s while junior Cheyenne Strong is hitting .366 with 12 runs scored.
Junior Alayna Delong is hitting .361 and junior Jamie Davis is hitting .303 with nine RBI’s. Sophomore Jana Christian is hitting .333 with seven RBI’s. Thomas Heyward is hitting .329 as a team.
Strong is the team’s number one performer in the circle. She has a 7-6 record with a 1.66 earned run average. Strong has fanned 97 hitters in 76 innings. Sophomore Danielle Dudley is 2-1 with a 2.15 earned run average in 13 innings of work.
Coach Nic Shuford’s baseball team is competing well in region 4-AA but has dropped to 5-3 in league play and 9-5 overall. The Rebels have lost twice to Hilton Head Christian in region play and dropped a game to St. Andrews on March 31st.
Nonetheless, the Rebels are clearly in the mix for the region title and a strong finish will keep them in playoff contention.
Thomas Heyward is hitting .292 as a team this spring, led by senior Blake Bannon. Bannon is among the top hitters in the state through the first month, hitting .628 overall with 26 hits, 22 RBI’s and 17 runs scored. Bannon also has eight stolen bases and eight doubles.
Junior Devin Scott is hitting .425 with 17 hits and 12 RBI’s while junior Zach Bond is hitting .371 with 20 runs scored, 15 walks and 10 stolen bases.
Senior Spencer Hexamer is hitting .333 with 11 RBI’s and 11 stolen bases while sophomore Bryce Tillotson is hitting .320 with 22 RBI’s.
On the mound, Scott has a pair of wins and a 3.06 earned run average, striking out 30 batters in 16 innings of work. Bannon has worked 18 innings and sports a 1.17 earned run average while Bond has a 1-1 record with a 4.20 earned run average.
Louie Smith, a freshman, has two wins on the bump with a 4.54 earned run average.
The Rebels have three games before spring break, taking on Oceanside Collegiate on April 3rd, Colleton Prep on April 4th and Dorchester on April 7th.
Following spring break, the schedule closes out with games against Hilton Head Prep (April 18), Colleton Prep (April 20), Dorchester (April 24) and St. Andrews (April 27th).
The state playoffs being on May 1st.