Pride Baseball is BAAAAAACK!!!!!!!!!! Yes, baseball fans, it’s time for PRIDE BASEBALL! The 2018 edition of the Piedmont Pride summer collegiate baseball team will be looking to repeat as the Southern Collegiate Baseball League Champions.
The Pride players will descend on Rock Hill starting May 24. Some players will report late due to college team playoffs. The 30 players come from 12 different states and the Dominican Republic. There are 7 players from South Carolina, 5 from Pennsylvania, 4 from New Mexico, 3 from North Carolina, 2 each from Ohio and Alabama, and 1 each from New Jersey, Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia, Florida, Delaware and the DR. The player who lives the farthest from Rock Hill is Richard de la Cruz from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, while the closest player is Jake Wright, from nearby Chester, SC.
The 2018 Pride will again play their home games at York Comprehensive High School. The league has expanded to 8 teams, and will now play all single 9-inning games on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. The Pride home opener is scheduled for Thursday, May 31 against the Lenoir Oilers. All games start at 7:00PM.
This will be the Pride’s 4th year in the SCBL. Their 3-year record is an impressive 96-28. They were the 2015 and 2016 Regular Season Champions, and the 2017 League Champions. The team will again be coached by former Winthrop University Head Coach Joe Hudak. The veteran coach is excited about his 2018 squad. “It looks like we are going to have another outstanding club”, Hudak commented. “I’m looking forward to getting the players here and getting started.”
While the Pride has certainly been very successful on the diamond, Hudak is even happier about the team’s success off the field. “While we do play to win every day, and our goal is always to win the SCBL Championship, we are even more interested in helping our players grow and develop as young men,” the long-time skipper added. “As a faith-based team, our goal is to help our guys grow in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” The players have team Bible studies and go to church together to help achieve that goal. They also do community ministry in York County. In the past, the players have put on baseball clinics, worked FCA camps, partnered with The Boys and Girls Club of York County, Habitat for Humanity, Tender Hearts, and the Harold C. Johnson Elementary School Reading Program.
The team always ends the summer by going on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Hudak hopes to take two mission trips this summer. “The mission trips are the highlight of the summer for these players”, he explained. “We have always taken a trip at the end on the summer. Some players were not able to go because they needed to get home for a while before going back to school. This summer we hope to take a trip in the middle of the summer for those who can’t go at the end.”
It’s shaping up for another great summer of baseball and faith for the Piedmont Pride. Please stay connected with our website to keep up with the Pride. You will find team and game stories, schedule, statistics, and everything else you need to know about Pride Baseball.