Dixie Baseball

Dixie Boys baseball tournament takes break for Bluffton coach's memorial service

John Trerotola, 44, died Friday

mmccombs@islandpacket.comJuly 10, 2013 

The Dixie Boys (14 and under) baseball district tournament being held this week at Burton Wells Recreation Complex in Beaufort took a night off Tuesday as memorial services were scheduled for John "JT" Trerotola, a Bluffton assistant coach, who died Friday.

"As director, it was my decision, and I thought this was best for the kids," tournament director Shannon Loper said. "To try and play games while something like this is going on would be just ridiculous."

Trerotola's son, Jagger, plays for the Bluffton squad, and another son, 18-year-old John Jr., has replaced him as a coach.

In addition to Jagger and John Jr., Trerotola, who was 44, is survived by his wife, Jackie, another son, Jett, and daughter Dallis Hoey, all of Bluffton, as well as his father, Ralph Trerotola of Philadelphia, his mother, Geraldine Diemidio of New Jersey, two sisters, Dina Ware of New Jersey and April Dolan of Philadelphia, and his granddaughter, Gianna Grace.

"He was one of those coaches you always wanted around," Loper said. "He always wanted to lend a hand."

The tournament, which had been scheduled to run through Friday, includes teams from Beaufort, Summerville, Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and Hanahan in a double-elimination format.

Bluffton played on Monday and fell 12-2 to Hilton Head, while Beaufort defeated Summerville, 7-4.

There are two games set for 7 Wednesday night. Beaufort will host Hanahan, and Summerville will host Bluffton.

DIXIE JUNIOR BOYS

Boyce Kobleur struck out 14 batters in a five-inning one-hitter to lead Hilton Head over Beaufort, 10-0, on Tuesday at Crossings Park to win the Dixie Junior Boys (13 and under) district championship.

Hilton Head won Monday's opener over Beaufort, 15-4, in a tournament that featured just two teams. Both teams will advance to the state championship July 20 through July 25 in Aiken.

"It's disappointing," Hilton Head coach Bill Keen said of the two-team bracket. "It's not what we were hoping for, especially since we're holding the tournament in our own facility."

While the bracket may have disappointed Keen, he couldn't have seen much more from Kobleur. A slow grounder to second in the third inning by Beaufort's Ty Grizzell was the only hit against him.

"He's always had the ability," Keen said. "I've had him for about two years now. But this year, as a center fielder and a pitcher, he's really figured out how to be a team player."

Hilton Head's two starting pitchers were the difference in the two-game tournament.

"Between Boyce (Kobleur) and Koty (Brigham), we've got two very good 13-year-old pitchers."

Brigham scored three runs for Hilton Head after reaching on a single and two walks. Michael Graupner doubled twice and drove in a run, while Alex Morse went 2 for 3 with three RBIs.

Keen said his team's scrimmages against Hilton Head's Dixie Boys squad, as well as the players' tournament experience from last season, have been beneficial.

"The competition we've forced ourselves to face is really paying dividends," Keen said.

According to Keen, Hilton Head will fill the District 2 spot in the bracket. District 2's Aiken is already in as the tournament host. That spot will give Hilton Head a bye should they reach Day 3 of the tournament.

"Based on last year's approach, we've handled ourselves very well," Keen said. "With that bye and a day off, that gives us an advantage."

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