Beaufort News

Honoree Miller says community support key

Beaufort Ospreys athletic officer George Miller was recognized last week for his service to Beaufort County and American Legion baseball.

Before the Ospreys' home opener with the Lowcountry Heat, Miller was presented a plaque and resolution from the S.C. House commending his 15 years of service in American Legion baseball.

Miller, a retired U.S. Marine, coordinates the various aspects of the Ospreys and Junior Ospreys programs.

"It was really neat, but like I told them, it's all about the kids," Miller said. "It's not about me. It's just my pleasure to be able to give back to the community after all they've done for me.

"You can't do it without the support of the community and parents and all the people who help you do this kind of stuff."

The resolution, introduced by Rep. Shannon Erickson, lauded Miller for his "untold hours" of volunteer service in Beaufort County. It detailed his history in baseball, his service to the Marines and community involvement.

"It's a testament to George Miller," said Scott Mullen, who coached the Ospreys the past three seasons before stepping aside this year. "He's that role model all those kids need to grow up to be like, ... that All-American guy."

Miller, 74, said he will continue in his role as athletic officer for as long as his health allows. His duties have included finding coaches and venues, organizing a golf tournament fundraiser, maintaining the fields and helping organize transportation.

But Miller said the job has become easier as coaches have taken on a bigger role.

"It's a community effort," he said. "I just happen to be the one they point the finger at."

DELATORRE NOT MISSING A BEAT

Prior to this season, it had been 10 months since Junior Delatorre threw a pitch in a competitive baseball game.

It didn't take long for him to shake off the rust.

Delatorre allowed only two hits in four innings during Beaufort's opener against Orangeburg last week, and followed that game with a masterpiece -- albeit in a losing effort -- against the Lowcountry Heat on Tuesday. The hard-throwing right-hander carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and allowed only two runs on two hits in 7 1-3 innings.

Delatorre suffered a hard-luck loss in the game. Patrick Andrews kept the Ospreys off the board with 5 1-3 shutout innings.

"It's almost like riding a bike," Delatorre said. "I was nervous, but it felt like once I got into that grove, it was like old times again."

Delatorre said he kept his arm loose throughout the offseason by playing catch with Heat outfielder DeAnte Scott. Both players attended Winthrop University.

"We would toss the ball around maybe three times per week," Delatorre said. "It was hard getting back into pitching, but I felt like (my arm) was in the right place."

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