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Mid-Carolina @ Laurens

dpLogo ballBy: Stuart Lake - April 26, 2022

Diamond Prospects traveled to Laurens on Tuesday night to watch a non-conference doubleheader between the Laurens Raiders and the Mid-Carolina Rebels at Ed Prescott Field. Laurens was hosting its Senior Night and hosted the Rebels for two five inning games.

Mid-Carolina struck for five runs in the first and went on to win Game one 5 to 1. Mid-Carolina was led by starting pitcher Cole Bouknight who scattered two hits and one run over 4.2 innings to earn the win. Tyler Shell came on to get the last out on two pitches with runners on first and third to earn the save. Nolan Marion took the loss for Laurens as he surrendered five runs on five hits over three innings. Jackson Edwards pitched the final two innings for Laurens in relief and gave up no hits and two strikeouts.                      

                                                      Final Scoreboard - Game One

                               1          2       3       4        5       R       H        E

Mid Carolina             5        0        0        0        0      5        6        1

Laurens                   0        0        0        0        1      1        2        1

WP: Cole Bouknight LP: Nolan Marion SV: Tyler Shell

Laurens honored five seniors between the two games. The 2022’s that were honored were:

Thomas Willis, Jackson Edwards, Parker Clarke, Preston Roberts, Nolan Marion

Game two would match Laurens Senior right-hander Thomas Willis versus Mid-Carolina Sophomore Jacob Clarke. The Rebels would scratch again in their opening frame. The big blow in the first would be a bases clearing double by sophomore CJ Turner. Mid-Carolina scored nine total runs in the first innings combined on the night. Laurens would get one run in its half and go scoreless until a big rally in fifth. Along the way Jacob Clarke was dominant at times. He would scatter three hits and one run along with six strikeouts and only one walk.

Sophomore Kilpper Mobley did a great job as battery-mate on this night for Clarke. But Laurens would not give in this Senior Night. Led by juniors Jackson Martin and Jordan Roberts they would have the tying run at the plate in the final inning. Mid-Carolina's infield defense would make two big plays in that final inning. Junior Hayden Lake made a diving play for one out then arm faked on a slow roller and was able to get the second out of the inning. Clarke was relieved in fifth by junior Tyler Shell, but freshman Kaden Myers came on for the final outs and the recorded the save.

                                                            Final Scoreboard - Game Two

                                    1          2          3          4          5      R          H         E

Mid Carolina                  4         1         0           0          1       6        4        1

Laurens                        1         0         0           0          3       4        5        2

WP: Jacob Clarke LP: Thomas Willis SV: Kaden Myers                                        

Records: Mid Carolina 18-6 Overall (8-0 Region); Laurens 11-12 Overall (4-4 Region)

-Prospect Info: Mid-Carolina-

Cole Bouknight- Uncommitted, 2022: Big, strong left-handed pitcher. The senior seems to give a quality start each time I get to see him pitch. He is a classic southpaw in the sense of fastball (75-77) and curveball (58-60). He is over the top in delivery which creates almost a drop effect to his curveball. His ability to throw strikes is what creates such positive counts he seems to always be in versus the hitter. Cole only allowed two hits and one run in his start.

Michael Lindler - Uncommitted, 2023: Right-handed hitting catcher and first baseman for the Rebels. Plays the game very aggressively and is essential to Mid-Carolina's offense. He reached base six times in the doubleheader either through walks, hit by pitches or hits. He is really strong and gets off some good swings consistently.

Jacob Clarke – Uncommitted, 2024: The sophomore right-hander was impressive on Tuesday night. He allowed three hits (all singles) and struck out six while walking one. His fastball from his 6’5” frame was on a downward plane at 82-83 MPH on this night. But I have seen him up to 86 at times earlier. He also throws a strikeout type slider and occasional changeup. He will give the Rebels a valuable starting pitcher in the playoffs.

Kaden Myers – Uncommitted, 2025: The freshman stepped up in a big way on Tuesday. He earned the save by getting the last two outs in a pressure-type last inning. He throws from several arm slots which comes from his ability to play middle infield and this confuses hitters. His velocity was 81-82 MPH but I suspect as he pitches more it will increase, he along with Tyler Shell give Mid-Carolina a good bullpen option at end of games.

Hayden Lake – Uncommitted, 2023: Lake was instrumental over the weekend with a three-hit five RBI game versus Newberry but tonight he makes the prospect list because of his defense. He made several routine plays over the course of the doubleheader but two plays in the last inning of game two stood out. He dove and saved a double down the line in the last inning and jumped up and threw a runner out at first out in a Laurens rally. Then on a slow roller he arm-faked and was able to get the tying run out in a rundown. He continues to impress with his defense at third.

Blair Moore – Uncommitted, 2023: Moore is the other guy on that side of infield for the Rebels and makes some really athletic plays at shortstop. He is also a catalyst in the offense. He seems to get good swings off in any count and his speed on bases makes him a threat to run at any time. His ability to reach base so often and be a distraction makes him very valuable.

CJ Turner – Uncommitted, 2023: CJ makes the list as a guy who always seems to get a big hit when Rebels need it. Laurens looked to escape this first inning in game two and had gotten within an out when Turner lined a bases clearing double into the right-center gap. It proved to be crucial in the game.

-Prospect Info: Laurens-

MartinJackson throw22Jackson Martin – Uncommitted, 2023: Martin stood out immediately in the Raiders lineup. The junior has very good left-handed swing and compliments it with a solid approach at plate. On a night where hits were at a premium for both sides, he had multiple. Plus, he drove in a few runs as well as saving a few from his centerfield position. He hits third in Laurens lineup and I expect him to be big for them in their playoff run.

EdwardsJackson throw21Jackson Edwards - North Greenville signee 2022: Edwards played first and did a good job defensively. But when he came to the mound you could see where he really was comfortable. His arm action is very loose, and he almost slings the ball at the hitter. This creates a very deceptive delivery and it showed. He pitched two scoreless and hitless innings in game one. I can see him being big on the mound for the Raiders in the stretch run here.

Thomas Willis – Uncommitted; 2022: Leadoff hitter and shortstop that plays the game very athletically. He is the table-setter for Laurens and handled the bat when asked to play small ball. Gave the middle of the defense a steady senior feeling and made Mid-Carolina earn their runs. He is an on base percentage type hitter but showed another good left-handed swing in Laurens lineup. 

Jordan Roberts - Uncommitted 2023: Jordan was Designated hitter for these games, and he had some quality at bats on the night. He lined out hard twice in Game 1 then singled and reached in game two. Another left-handed hitter in Laurens lineup and he is in middle for a reason. He gets off consistent flat swings that result in a lot of action for him at the plate. He serves as a big RBI threat in the Raiders lineup.

EdwardsBennett catch22Bennett Edwards - Uncommitted 2025: I am always watching the catchers closely by nature and I was impressed by the freshman on the night. He received and blocked very well through both games. He was asked to catch several different style guys for the Raiders and did an excellent job with them all. He also has a chance to throw some guys out in his career, he has a very short and quick release to second base. I thought as a young player on a veteran team he handled himself very well and will give Laurens a solid and valuable option behind the plate for years to come.