Airport Eagles are Flying high this season

By Thomas Grant Jr.

With an undefeated start in Region 5-4A play, the Airport High School baseball team are flying high this season.

The Eagles are ranked fourth in this week’s S.C. Baseball Coaches Association’s Class 4A poll. They are the lone Midlands team included in that classification’ rankings thanks to an 10-1 record.

“The sky’s the limit for them,” Airport head coach Casey Bradwell. “It’s an older group., so they’re real focused.”

On Tuesday, Airport improved to 7-0 in the region with a 15-1 victory over South Aiken.  It was the sixth game this season in which the Eagles hit for double-digit runs but marked the end of the pitching staff’s consecutive streak of scoreless innings at 30.

Airport has posted seven shutouts this season, three by Graham Whittle who was on the mound against the Thoroughbreds. In four victories, he’s struck out 31 batters and allowed just eight hits in 21 scoreless innings.

Lefthander Miller Harrelson and Hunter Epps round out the starting Eagles’ trio each with 3-0 records. Harrelson has a no-hitter to his credit on March 7 in which he threw 12 strikeouts in a 11-1 win over Aiken, while Epps has thrown 14 strikeouts.

Atkins and Harrelson have also provided an offensive boost along with Cam Atkins, who opened the season with a 4-RBI game against Clinton.

Airport has a critical 3-game series next week against ninth-ranked North Augusta. However, Bradwell said the Eagles are determined to wrap up the region title with two more wins against South Aiken.

“You win all three games this week, you can win the region with one win next week,” Bradwell said.

S.C. Baseball Coaches Association Poll

Class 4A
1. Catawba Ridge
2. North Myrtle Beach
3. Laurens
4. Airport
5. James Island
6. West Florence
7. Easley
8. Greenville
9. North Augusta
10. Hartsville

Class 2A
1. Gray Collegiate

2. Oceanside Collegiate
3. Mid Carolina
4. Andrew Jackson
5. Fox Creek
6. Cheraw
7. Bishop England
8. Strom Thurmond
9. North Central
10. Buford