Preview: Prep Baseball Showcase Showdown Part IV
The Hickory Crawdads are hosting the 2012 Prep Baseball Showcase Showdown at L.P. Frans Stadium on Saturday, March 3. The showcase will consist of four exciting match-ups featuring high school teams from around the area, including rematches from last year’s Class 3A and Class 4A State Championship Series. The first game of the showcase will start at 9 a.m. Leading up to the event each game will be previewed here.
Game 4: 4:30 p.m.
Holly Springs Golden Hawks vs. TC Roberson Rams
The fourth and final game of the 2012 Prep Showcase Showdown will feature a rematch of last year’s Class 4A State Championship. The Golden Hawks came out on top last year, beating the Rams 2 games to none to win the State Championship, its schools first state championship in any sport. This matchup, however, will feature a very different Holly Springs team from last year’s State Championship game.
The Golden Hawks finished last season on a 21-game winning streak thanks in large part to its veteran leadership. This year the Golden Hawks will look to replace its 11 graduated Seniors to compete for the TRI-9 title and make a run back into the playoffs.
Three key contributors from last season that are returning are C Joey Roach, SS AJ Sconzo, and 3b/OF Mike Roach. Joey Roach and Sconzo will return as the Hawks 1-2 punch in the batting order this year. Joey Roach led all Hawks last year with a .375 average from the leadoff spot and looks to continue that success this year. Hitting .330 last year in the 2 hole, Sconzo will anchor the left side of the infield as well as contribute offensively. The Hawks also expect Mike Roach to contribute after overcoming an injury last year to becoming a key contributor in the playoffs.
The Hawks major concern in 2012 will be pitching. They return very little on the mound and will have to replace all but 10 innings from last year’s team. As the season goes on, pitching will be key to their success.
TC Roberson has much more coming back from last year’s State Championship run. They have the #1 preseason ranking by IMPACT Baseball in the 4A Class and expect to compete for a State Championship again this year.
Leading the Rams this season will be Senior James Nevant. Nevant has signed to play with Notre Dame next year and will anchor the team’s outfield. Tim McKeithan also looks to come back from a broken thumb injury and contribute offensively. McKeithan’s athleticism has helped him become an outstanding defensive SS and he will be taking his talents to Brown University next year.
Dillon O’Kelley has won many big games for TC Roberson and looks to continue his dominance on the mound this year. The Senior’s various arm angles and great off speed stuff has helped him become a premier pitcher within the league.
The Golden Hawks look to defend their title as the Rams hope to finish this season hoisting the State Championship trophy. It promises to be a very entertaining matchup.