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Monday, May 1, 2017

Coastal Hurricanes Baseball Blowing into the Playoffs for the 1st Time

Coastal Hurricanes Baseball Blowing into the Playoffs for the 1st Time

This year will be a first for the Coastal Home School Hurricanes baseball program, according to head coach Jason Rockwell. “We have never played in a postseason game before,” said Rockwell. This year it becomes a reality as the Hurricanes will travel to Charleston, South Carolina to play in the 2017 South Carolina Home School Tournament.

2017 Coastal Home School Hurricanes Baseball Team
Front Row (left to right)  Jacob Gates, Caleb Feider, Dalton Wise, Garrett Ellison, Caleb Locklear, Kyle Patterson, Keaton Patterson, Jose Mendez, Ryan Rockwell
Back Row (left to right) Coach Jason Rockwell, Hamilton Baker, Drew Ebberwein, Zack Fussell, Shawn Paulk, Wesley Richey, Austin Cobb, Brett Collins, Ryan Osako, Spenser Stewart, Coach Ryan Guthrie
Photo: Lexi Rockwell

Four teams are in the tournament, Charleston, Columbia, Coastal and the Upstate Eagles from Spartanburg. Next year, Augusta should join this event as well. Rockwell said, “This should be a good time for the guys with something to play for at the end of the season for the first time in the programs history.” The Coastal Hurricanes baseball program has been running the bases for 7 years. The program has an 90-54 record which is a .625 winning percentage to date. The Hurricanes are coached by Head Coach Jason Rockwell and Assistant Coaches Richard Collins and Ryan Guthrie.

The South Carolina Home School tournament will be this Saturday, and the Hurricanes take the field to make school history at 1:30 pm. Furthermore, with a victory, the Coastal Hurricanes team will play at 5:30 pm for the championship. “We have a team that can really hit the ball and pitch,” Rockwell stated. The Hurricanes sure can. This is according to the team's hitting and pitching statistics.

Ryan Osako
The top five leading hitters for the Hurricanes are all hitting above .300. The hitting core is led by senior first baseman Ryan Osako. Ryan has a batting average of .583. As of this writing, he has 35 hits in 60 at bats with 5 doubles, 5 triples, 1 home run and 28 RBI. Osako has an on-base percentage of .630 and a .883 slugging percentage. Following the slugger is the catcher, junior Austin Cobb batting .462, utility infielder junior Zack Fussell hitting .442, sophomore shortstop/pitcher Brett Collins with a .442 batting average, and senior third baseman Spenser Stewart, who leads the team in home runs with 3, has 20 RBI and is hitting at a.318 clip. An incredible feat is that of second baseman, junior Ryan Rockwell. He has stolen 53 bases in his career without  being caught. This year the base thief is 23 for 23. At the plate Ryan is batting .300 with 24 runs scored and 14 RBI. As a team, the Hurricanes have a team batting average of .330, a .436 slugging percentage, and have hit five home runs.
Brett Collins
On the mound, the Hurricanes are just as impressive throwing a baseball. Sophomore Brett Collins is 5-0 with a 2.69 ERA. In 26 innings pitches, he has struck out 36 batters. The opposing teams are hitting .176 against Collins. Another hurler for Coastal is, junior Zack Fussell who is 4-0 and has fanned 20 batters in 15 innings. Opponents’ have a batting average of .167 against him. Other key pitchers are senior Spenser Stewart with a 2-1, 1 save a 3.57 E.RA and he has struck out 24 batters in 17 2/3 innings pitched. Juniors Ryan Rockwell and Caleb Locklear have also contributed. Rockwell has 2.05 ERA and has pitched 13 2/3 with 16 strikeouts. Locklear is 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA. When you put these guys’ together as a staff, it is notable. The team's record is 19-4, and has a 3.59 ERA. In 136 1/3 innings pitched, the staff has fanned 187 batters and only walked 95. That is an almost a two one ratio in strikeouts to walks. This next stat to note is that opponents are only batting .212 against the Hurricane pitching staff.

Something else to speak about is the Coastal Home School baseball program has had players advance on to the college level. So far there have been four players who have put a Hurricanes uniform on who are participating at the next level right now. They are, Daniel Collins is a pitcher at Montreat College; Scheldon Paulk is a pitcher at Chattanooga State College; Daniel Mills is a catcher at Univerity of South Carolina at Beaufort, and Caleb Hill pitches at Savannah State. 

The Hurricanes will blow into Charleston, South Carolina this weekend with nothing to lose but to make history. Hopefully the Hurricanes turn back form the Palmetto City and blow the championship trophy back to the Host City of the South, Savannah Georgia.

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