Prep Baseball Report


PBR Staff

Opening weekend in the state come and gone, and the first official weekend of the South Carolina High School baseball season is complete.  Below, we highlight some of the top performances, from a few of the first preseason tournaments in the state, The Steve Sanders Tournament, The Palmetto Classic, and The Fountain Inn Classic.  




St. Joseph’s 

Henry Dryden 2025 INF/RHP 

Dryden was one of the top performers on Saturday at the Steve Sanders Invitational.  The Junior scattered hits to all parts of the field and made solid contact every AB.  He showed the ability to drive the ball the other way as well as turning on inside pitches.  Dryden showed average speed on the bases as well as playing solid defense at SS.  He came in relief on the mound and showcased a fastball in the 78-81 range.  His best pitch on Saturday was a breaking ball that he could use in any count.  Dryden is definitely a name to follow for the Knights this season and beyond. 


Cole Confer 2024 RHP

Confer got the start in the first game of the day on Saturday morning and was impressive right away.  The Senior right-hander was in the low to mid-80’s topping out at 85 with the fastball.  He also showcased two different breaking balls with a slower curveball that he used to get ahead of hitters and a harder slider that was used late in counts to get swings and misses.  He ran into some bad luck later on but when he is on, he is a very effective pitcher and will more than likely win a lot of games for the Rebels this year.  


Collin Mcabee 2024 C/RHP

Took note of McAbee at last years tournament and he has made great strides for the Wolverines under Coach Brown.  Saw him catch last year and was impressed and got to see him start on the mound against a very good Blue Ridge lineup.  Fastball topped out at 84 but I expect to see that number climb for the 6’1 right-hander.  He also showcased a sharp, late-breaking Slider that got some swing and miss.  McAbee also can swing the bat as he hits in the middle of the Woodruff order.  Looking forward to seeing how his Senior year plays out and where he goes from here. 

Blue Ridge

Brady Smouse 2025 INF

Smouse has impressed at the Steve Sanders Invitational two years in a row.  This year, the Junior SS has moved to the leadoff spot and had a very good day there on Saturday.  The frame is starting to fill out which has led to some power in the bat.  He showed the ability to be on time and get the barrel to the ball on multiple occasions against a good arm.  There is also a great deal of potential in the field as he shows good actions at an important defensive position.  I expect him to score plenty of runs with the bats behind him in the Blue Ridge lineup.  Plenty of potential for Smouse as he could be one of the key pieces to a big year for the Fighting Tigers. 

Fountain Inn

Austin Holtzee 2026 OF/DH

Holtzee hits in the middle of the Fountain Inn lineup and was the Designated Hitter on Monday night.  He made hard contact early in the game but he provided a much bigger swing in the final inning. He had the 2-run walk off HR that gave the Fury the win and moved them into the finals of the Fountain Inn Classic.  The Sophomore has a solid approach and swing at the plate and should only continue to get better.  Would like to see him find a position in the field that he can stick at but should certainly contribute to the team with his bat.  


Brennan New 2027 RHP 

New got the start for Mauldin in the semi-finals of the Fountain Inn Classic and had a very good start.  He showed impressive movement on the fastball and the breaking ball as well as the ability to locate both throughout the zone.  The slider has enough movement to generate swings and misses and could be a strikeout pitch down the road.  His fastball sat in the 83-84 range for most of the night and he topped out at 86.  New also made contributions at the plate in the middle of the Maverick lineup.  There is plenty of pop in the bat and should be a run producer for many years for Mauldin.  Overall, the Freshman was very impressive and should be one of the top players in the state for a while. 

Carson Mirabelli 2025 SS

Mirabelli didn’t do anything to light up the box score at the plate on Monday night but he is one of the most fun players to watch in the Upstate.  He made three plays at Shortstop that only a handful of high school infielders can make and made them look routine.  He made diving plays to his left and right with the infield in.  He plays the game hard and plays it the right way.  His glove alone will make him an important piece of the Mavericks team this season and if he can improve at the plate.