HARTSVILLE, S.C. - Four teams will join the Hartsville Red Foxes next week for the 22nd Southeastern Baseball Classic to be played at Jimmy White Park, known now as ‘The Jimmy’ by locals.
The Robert E. Lee Academy (Bishopville), Georgia Premier Academy (Statesboro, Georgia) Northwestern High School (Rock Hill) and Queen’s Grant HS (Matthews, North Carolina) will join the Red Foxes in a four-day round robin style tournament.
As is the case with the SBC, this year’s edition will showcase a phenom pitcher from Georgia who has been clocked with a near 100 mph fast ball.
According to a SBC blog site Daniel Espino could be the next Mariano Rivera.
“Lots of young players idolize Mariano Rivera. Nearly all young pitchers growing up in Panama list Rivera as their all-time favorite,” the article says. “However, few have realistic expectations of playing on the same stage as Rivera. For Georgia Premier's Daniel Espino, duplicating Rivera's path from Panama to the pros is, not only realistic, but right around the corner.”
While Espino, who has been clocked in the night 90’s, has committed to LSU, it’s more likely he will be a high major league draft selection.
The classic is no stranger to major league talent as Corey Patterson (Chicago Cubs – 1998 third round) and local talent Jordan Lyles (Houston Astros – 2008 first round) have played here.
Other highlights include opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. on Tuesday prior to the Hartsville vs Queen’s Grant game. Coker College Hall of Fame member and former Cobra coach Dave Schmotzer will be the speaker for the ceremonies.
Then prior to Hartsville’s game with Robert E. Lee, (Wednesday) local youth product and state hall of fame player Dylan Adams will throw out the first pitch. Adams played on two of Hartsville Northern’s Dixie Youth World Series Championship teams. He was enshrined into the Dixie Youth Baseball Hall of Fame this past winter.
There will be four games on Tuesday beginning at 1 p.m. with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. There will be three games on Wednesday beginning at 1 p.m. with two games on Thursday and Friday.
The mission of the Southeastern Baseball Classic to promote the game of baseball, to enhance the lives of athletes through competition and scholarship, and to involve the community by assembling sportsmen in tournament play.