It occurs to me that readers who are following the USC Beaufort golf team might be a bit confused about the rankings we've been referencing in stories about the Sand Sharks (and it occurs to me, because I myself was rather confused by the rankings at first) so I thought an explanation might be in order.
And we have all this room in cyberspace, so what the heck.
It might be a bit of stretch -- though not much of one -- to say USC Beaufort's pitching staff was lights out Thursday evening ... until the lights went out at the Richard Gray Baseball Complex.
The lights down the first- and third-base lines popped off with the USCB squad leading its Sand Sharks counterparts 6-3 in the top of the ninth inning, ending USCB's "Fall Ball Game" prematurely, but before the Sand Sharks put on a pretty nice show for about 200 fans.
"I couldn't be more impressed," USCB coach Rick Sofield said. "I'm pleasantly surprised."
Fans who can't wait until the Jan. 31 season opener to get their first look at the USC Beaufort baseball team will get their chance Thursday, when the Sand Sharks hold their inaugural "Fall Ball Game" on their home field at the Richard Gray Baseball Complex in Hardeeville.
The intrasquad scrimmage will begin at 5 p.m., and fans are encouraged to bring lawn chairs because bleacher seating is limited. Admission is free, and food and merchandise will be on sale.
If their goal is to gain a high enough profile to garner an at-large invitation to the NAIA National Championship in November, the USC Beaufort men's cross country team made a good first stride ... but it's a marathon, not a sprint.
At the Gamecock Invitational on Aug. 29 in Columbia, the Sand Sharks \finished third overall and second among NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA squads, with four individual runners finishing in the top 20 and six in the top 25.
Almost every time I've seen Marshall Meyer in the three-plus years I've known him, he was doing one of three things:
Getting ready for a run.
Finishing a run.
When a coach parts ways with his or her team, rarely is it a truly amicable split. Sure, the press release always makes it seem so, but behind the scenes one side or the other is usually happy as a clam -- or mad as hell.
Neither is the case at USC Beaufort, where the Sand Sharks must say goodbye to director of golf Gavin Grenville-Wood, who must move back to his native England because his visa will expire next month.
You might be wondering about the level of play you'll see if you make the short drive out to Hardeeville's Richard Gray Baseball Complex this spring for USC Beaufort's inaugural baseball season.
Well, here's an indication it might be a higher level than you would expect. Or at least you ought to get your money's worth out of the pitchers.
Although this might not be a comprehensive list, I've come across a handful of former players from the (Florida) Sun Conference (the name change still isn't official) who are playing professional baseball -- most of them pitchers.
You've probably read by now that USC Beaufort's baseball team will play its home games at the Richard Gray Baseball Complex in Hardeeville when its inaugural season begins Jan. 31.
Your first response might have been along the lines of, "Huh?"
The elephant in the room is that Bluffton High School's Hank Johnston Stadium is clearly the best-equipped facility in the area to host college baseball if the season started today, and it seemed like the obvious choice for the Sand Sharks' first home.
USC Beaufort golf coach Gavin Grenville-Wood mandated that his players get in a minimum number of tournament rounds over the summer, but he couldn't have expected some of them to gain the kind of experience they'll have under their belts when they return to the Lowcountry later this month.
Junior Reed Howard will play in the U.S. Amateur beginning Aug. 18 at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in North Carolina. Howard qualified last month when he fired rounds of 65 and 74 to earn one of three spots at a qualifier at the Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn.