BLWS host team set

Coaches and players from the S.C. District 1 host team for next month’s Big League World Series pose after the announcement of the team on Monday at the J.B. “Red” Owens Complex in Easley.



EASLEY — Ten local baseball players, representing all four Pickens County high schools, will have a chance to help the S.C. District 1 host team return to glory at next month’s Big League World Series in Easley.

Easley High is the most well-represented school on the team’s roster, which was unveiled Monday at the J.B. “Red” Owens Complex in Easley, site of the tournament, which is scheduled from July 25-31.

A trio of former Green Wave standouts will return to the team from last season in Wil Hartsell, Stephen McKnight and Will Porter, currently on the rosters at Charleston Southern, Anderson University and Lander, respectively. In addition, current Easley players Brandon Hood, Brice Maready and Casey Woody are first-year players for the host squad.

Daniel High will be represented by returning pitcher Daniel Nations and first-year player Robert Kosch, now teammates at Newberry College, while Pickens graduate Matthew Eubanks will be back this year and join Liberty grad Javy Taylor, his teammate at North Greenville University, to round out the local representatives on the team.

The host squad finished 4-2 in last year’s series, losing in the championship game to Puerto Rico, and has not won a tournament crown since 2007. The host team has won four world titles, including three in a row from 2003-2005.

“In the last 12 years this host team has had some of the finest talent in South Carolina and in the United States,” district administrator Tommy Keef said. “We’re the only host team that has ever won a World Series out of about 77 years of history with Little League, and I’ve got a feeling that 2013 — 13 is my lucky number — will have us win another championship and keep the tradition going.”

The only other returning player from last year’s team is T.L. Hanna’s Max McDougald.

Headlining the group of newcomers is University of South Carolina commitment L.T. Tolbert, a rising junior at Wren High School.

Rounding out the roster are Taylor Cothran and Adam Hill of T.L. Hanna, Jake Crawford of Belton-Honea Path and Zach Biggers and David Medlin of Walhalla.

The Big League World Series is in its 13th year in Easley and pits 11 teams of 16-19 year olds from around the world in an eight-day tournament to determine a champion each year.

This year’s championship game is set to be televised live by ESPN at 8 p.m. on July 31.