Summerville players help teams to national tournaments

  • Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Photos Provided SMC second baseman Matt White


Athletes from Summerville capped their baseball season by participating in college World Series events last week.

Former Pinewood Prep standout Hayden Heflin and Green Wave standout Matt White represented Spartanburg Methodist College last week as the Pioneers advanced to the final four of the 2014 NJCAA (JUCO) Division I World Series in Grand Junction, Colo. Meanwhile JD Waite, also a Pinewood graduate, represented Lander University at the NCAA Division II Baseball National Finals in Cary, N.C.

SMC defeated Potomac State 17-2 to claim the NJCAA Eastern District title and advance to the 10-team JUCO World Series tournament. White, a sophomore second baseman, had three hits and two RBIs in the game.

On May 24, the Pioneers lost 8-3 to Miami Dade College in the opening round of the national tournament, but bounced back, defeating their next two opponents. SMC beat top-ranked Chattahoochee Valley Community College 18-3 and Blinn College 10-2 to advance to the final four of the tournament for the second straight year. Both games ended early due to the mercy rule.

White had a hit and scored twice against Miami Dade and had an RBI-double against Blinn.

On May 29, Miami Dade defeated SMC again to eliminate the Pioneers. SMC finishes the season with a 48-18 record.

White finishes with a .372 batting average, .449 on-base percentage and .469 slugging percentage. He had 89 hits including 10 doubles, five triples and a homerun. He had 48 RBIs, 58 runs scored and 22 stolen bases. Next season, he will play for Charleston Southern University.

Heflin, a freshman right-handed pitcher, took the hill for the Pioneers nine times this season. He picked up two wins and a save while carrying a 3.86 ERA. He fanned 14 batters while walking only eight.

A successful season for Lander University also came to an end last week as the Bearcats were eliminated from the NCAA Division II Baseball National Finals at the USA Baseball National Training Complex with a 7-3 loss to top-ranked Tampa.

The No. 3-ranked Bearcats opened the national tournament with a 6-4 win over No. 5 Chico State, then fell to No. 6 Southern Indiana 6-5 to set up the elimination game on May 28.

Lander finishes the season with a 52-8 record and as the Peach Belt Conference regular-season and tournament champion and the Southeast Regional champion.

This is the first year the school has advanced to the Division II Baseball National Finals.

Waite, a freshman left-handed pitcher and outfielder, was used strictly as a reliever this season. He made six appearances on the mound, pitching five-plus innings. He fanned seven batters while walking only two.

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