Dixie Baseball

Hilton Head all-star squad begins Dixie Majors World Series on Saturday

mmccombs@islandpacket.comJuly 26, 2013 

If there's one thing Steve Marbut knew from the start about his Hilton Head Dixie Majors all-star squad, it's that it could rake.

"One of the umpires told me that this was the best hitting team he'd seen at this age group ever," Marbut said. "And he wasn't a young guy."

Beginning Saturday, Marbut and the Hilton Head all-stars will display their offensive talents in North Charleston at the Dixie Majors World Series for 15- to 19-year-old squads.

"The core of this team has been together for the last four years," Marbut said. " We added a couple of young guys and got Michael Grant back -- he hasn't been with us the past three years. We thought we had a pretty good team. We thought we had a chance. You never know, you just hope for the best."

The best is what they were in the state of South Carolina, and Marbut said it comes from how comfortable his players are around each other.

"They like each other a lot," Marbut said. "That gives me a good feeling. I counted it up and four of the 14 kids have played in HHBA every spring and fall since they were 4 years old. Another couple missed a season or two. And then there are a couple newer players from Bluffton and two from Savannah.

"They know each other, they like each other and they're fun to be around. As a player, that gives you a lot of confidence."

Hilton Head's key hitters are "the senior guys," as Marbut calls them. Dylan Powell, who will take part in the home run derby, is the serious power threat, followed closely by Michael Grant and Taylor Place. Chase Clayton and Randy Young aren't far behind, said Marbut.

"They provide a lot of leadership in a lot of different ways for the team," Marbut said.

The squad's fielding is solid, and Marbut said Place is "just outstanding" behind the plate. After seeing him play, Irmo didn't attempt a single steal in its most recent matchup with Hilton Head.

That leaves one area of concern for Marbut, and it's an obvious one.

"My concern was pitching, and it's still my concern," Marbut said.

Hilton Head has just two players who list pitcher as their primary position -- Lincoln Fuller and Cem (pronounced Jim) Caglyan.

"We gutted it out in the state tournament," Marbut said, " and that's going to be our challenge in the world series."

Marbut's plan is simply to rest his guys as much as possible.

Powell will start the first game, and after the kids have pitched, Marbut plans to DH them or have them play first, getting rest any way they can.

"I'm hoping to use Cem in relief as much as possible," Marbut said. "We have a lot of kids that can throw. We just need them to give us a couple of quality innings here and there."

Since Marbut and the Hilton Head team haven't seen most of the teams in the tournament, it's hard to know how they stack up. But one exception is host North Charleston, a team most of the Hilton Head players have seen before.

"Our guys would love to have a matchup with them because they know them so well," Marbut said.

Hilton Head opens the tournament against Mississippi at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Charleston Southern's baseball field.

HILTON HEAD PLAYER CAPSULES

Cem Caglyan

No. 22, P

Favorite move: The Campaign

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite athlete: Jason Heyward

Hobbies: The Beach

Aspirations: Anything to do with baseball

School: Hilton Head Island High

Kevin Campbell

No. 2, RF, C

Favorite food: Sushi

Favorite movie: Dumb And Dumber

Favorite athlete: Yadier Molina

Hobbies: Fishing, working out

Aspirations: Veterinarian

School: Hilton Head Prep

Chase Clayton

No. 10, SS, P

Favorite food: Japanese

Favorite movie: The Expendables

Favorite athlete: Chipper Jones

Favorite song: Beethoven's 5th symphony

Aspirations: Civil engineer

School: South Effingham (Ga.)

Aaron Facenda

No. 7, 2B, P

Favorite food: Chicken

Favorite movie: Act of Valor

Favorite athlete: Andrelton Simmons

Hobbies: Wrestling

Aspirations: U.S. Marine

School: Hilton Head Island High

Lincoln Fuller

No. 3, P

Favorite food: Taco Bell

Favorite movie: Anchorman

Favorite athlete: Jamie Moyer

Hobbies: Chillin'

Aspirations: Business

School: Hilton Head Island High

Michael Grant

No. 6, Utility

Favorite food: Seafood

Favorite movie: 42

Favorite athlete: LeBron James

Hobbies: Girlfriend

Aspirations: Football, business

School: J.C. Smith (Bluffton High)

Ricky Ledee

No. 4, Utility

Favorite food: Roast beef

Favorite movie: Billy Madison

Favorite athlete: Andy Pettitte

Favorite song: Red Solo Cup

Aspirations: Architect

School: Hilton Head Island High

JT Marbut

No. 0, LF

Favroite food: Spaghetti, rice

Favorite movie: Division 3

Favorite athlete: Kevin Durant

Hobbies: sports, video games

Aspirations: Engineer

School: Hilton Head Prep

Jamarcus Moradell

No. 1, Utility

Favorite food: Chinese

Favorite movie: Gridiron Gang

Favorite athlete: Mark Ingram

Favorite song: Impossible

Aspirations: Pro athlete, lawyer

School: Hilton Head Island High

Alex Norwood

No. 9, 1B

Favroite food: Five Guys

Favorite movie: Catch Me If You Can

Favorite athlete: Jimmie Johnson

Hobbies: video games

Aspirations: CEO, business manager

School: South Effingham (Ga.)

Tayor Place

No. 61, C

Favrorite food: Chicken alfredo

Favorite song: Chicken Fried

Favorite athlete: Kevin Durant

Hobbies: Cooking, baseball

Aspirations: Guidance counselor

School: Burlington (Conn.) College (Hilton Head Prep)

Dylan Powell

No. 39, P, 3B

Favroite food: My mama's steak

Favorite movie: Step Brothers

Favorite athlete: Dwight Howard

Favorite song: Call Me Maybe

Aspirations: Graphic designer

School: Mars Hill (Hilton Head Prep)

John David Reichel

No. 13, CF

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite song: Satisfaction

Favorite athlete: LeSean McCoy

Hobbies: Work out, video games

Aspirations: Voice impersonator

School: Hilton Head Christian

Randy Young

No. 99, P, 3B, 1B

Favorite food: Mrs. Marbut's beef tenderloin

Favorite song: Wagon Wheel

Favorite athlete: LeBron James

Hobbies: Fishing

Aspirations: Grahic Designer

School: Hilton Head Prep

Coaches: Steve Marbut (head coach), Dobbie Green, Nick Levy

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