2018 Lexington County Blowfish roster features bevy of Lexington County talent
Gilbert’s Jared Williams, Lexington’s Jon Scott headline group of local prospects
Lexington, SC (James Bowers) - Baseball is a way of life in Lexington County, South Carolina. It is nearly a definite for boys who are born in the area to have a bat in their hand within the first four years of their life. Most virtually grow up in Lexington County’s rec center and little league baseball programs. The best among them then go on to play at the high school level, win state titles, earn college scholarships, and a special few get those multi-million-dollar major league contracts. Our community’s fixation on the baseball diamond is a trend typical of most of America’s rural areas.
In 2014, Lexington County was rewarded for its love of the sport when it received its very own collegiate summer league team. The Lexington County Blowfish had been playing for nearly a decade at Columbia’s aging Capitol City Stadium, and team co-owner Bill Shanhan decided it was time for his club to find greener pastures. The ‘Fish didn’t have to swim far, just crossing the Congaree and finding a perfect fit in Columbia’s baseball-obsessed neighbor Lexington. Once the team spruced up and modified the old Ball Park Road athletic complex where the Wildcats once played, really rebuilding it from the ground up, Lexington County residents had even more baseball to enjoy.
Adding to the excitement surrounding the Blowfish was the fact that there were now opportunities for college baseball players who call Lexington County home to return to their old stomping ground and play in front of their friends and loved ones. The 2018 roster is stacked with Lexington County locals. Blowfish Stadium Operations Director Robbie Hardy spoke with The Ledger about the local talent on the roster. “All of our high schools have very strong programs, such as Lexington, Gilbert, and White Knoll. Having a huge pool of talent is definitely an advantage,” Hardy said.
Hardy says that among the nine natives on the roster, a key standout is Jared Williams. The Gilbert High School alum is in his third year with the club, and currently plays college baseball at North Greenville University after beginning his career at that level with USC. Williams was the Blowfish’s leadoff hitter in 2017 and is noted for his ability to play multiple positions. “He can play second, he can play short, he can play in the outfield,” Hardy said. “He’s a kid that when you put him out there, you know you’re going to get some productivity out of him. He’s going to have some good at bats and is a solid defender.”
Hardy says the club is also excited about the addition of Jon Scott, a left-handed pitcher and graduate of Lexington High School. He was the No. 1 pitcher for the Wildcats while in high school and is currently playing for the College of Charleston. Hardy says the Blowfish have high hopes for Scott this season.
Patrick Price, an outfielder who currently plays for Gardner-Webb and calls Gilbert home, is a good left-handed hitter who has smacked plenty of home runs at GWU and is touted by Hardy as a “solid defender.” Infielder and River Bluff grad Aaron Adams is a teammate of Scott at College of Charleston and is described by Hardy as a guy who can wreak havoc when he’s on base due to his speed. Lexington graduate Trey Watts is a heavy-handed batter who has had great productivity for Erskine College. Another Gilbert product, Jacob Rye, is a pitcher who currently plays for USC Aiken and was the Fish’s No. 1 pitcher in 2017. Hardy is complimentary of Rye’s style, saying that while he may not throw with a lot of velocity, he can throw four strikes in a row. Rye is a guy that can provide some long relief and close the door on an opponent, according to Hardy.
Other home-county Blowfish include infielder Tyler White of Chapin, middle infielder Trace Whetsell of Gilbert, and Lexington native and first baseman Sean Parsons, a graduate of River Bluff High School. The Blowfish management has high hopes for these “hometown boys” this year too.
The Lexington County Blowfish’s opener is May 31 with a game against the Forest City Owls. While the roster as a whole is a talented assortment of college baseball’s best players, there are nine Blowfish in particular who may hear a little more cheering as they are playing in their own backyard.
For more information on the Lexington County Blowfish, please visit goblowfishbaseball.com