Lancers gearing up for first campaign

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By Robert Howey

The University of South Carolina-Lancaster baseball team won't play a game for another five months, but the program's first-ever team is beginning to take shape.

By the time the Lancers host open tryouts in August, USC-L coach Mike Prochaska said he will likely have 55 players.

Since January, Prochaska has been working with a group of 13 USCL students who are striving to be a part of the team.

The number actually was 30, but is now down to 13.

The players participate in a mandatory study hall two days a week, mandatory weight room two days a week and pool work at 5 a.m. each Wednesday.

At 7 a.m. each Thursday, the team has sprint conditioning. Regular practice, approximately 2 1/2-hours worth, is held Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m. on each of those days.

"We're coming along," said Prochaska. "I've been pleased with what we've done so far.

Prochaska has two student assistants in Kevin Thompson and Rick Caughman.

"We're working on bringing on more staff members in the future," Prochaska said. "As time moves on, we will be setting our staff."

When not working with his team, Prochaska has been busy seeking to build his team.

So far he has 27 baseball commitments.

The group includes: Blane Walker (Ben Lippen), Trey Thames (Georgetown), B.J. McConell (Georgetown), Nick Hartman (Wade Hampton), Shawn Thomas (Indian Land), Kyle Hartley (Fort Mill), Corey Wines (Dorman), Justin Temple (Great Falls), Rick Davis (Ben Lippen), Mobley Jeter (Ben Lippen), Jacob Oren (Brookland Cayce), Bobby Mahaffey (Lancaster), Justin Gross (Brookland Cayce), Charles Martin (Brookland Cayce), Ben Pinckney (Hillcrest Simpsonville), Shanndon Kemmerlin (Calhoun Academy), Cory Davis (Calhoun Academy), Tyler Clark (Blue Ridge), Jonah Smith (Blue Ridge), Aaron Storey (Greer), Trey Paul (J.L. Mann), Trenton Frala (Woodmont), Mack Irick (Calhoun Academy), Mike Cobb (Union County High School), Jacob Andrews (J.L. Mann), Kyle Hohman (Simpsonville) and Shane Whitman (Fort Mill).

The Lancers' 13-player roster includes Tristin Blount, Tripp Cameron, Khoury Hammond, Olmand Hopkins, Jeremy Johnson, Chris Lester, Bruce McCaskill, Matt McLaughlin, Derek Parker, Chris Richardson, Matt Schipani, Chad Thompson, Drew Thompson and Chase Watson.

"We feel we have a good group of players who can step in and play and make us competitive," he said.

The Lancers will play a 20-game schedule in the fall and open their first season next spring with a 56-game slate.

The fall schedule will include games with Limestone, Lander, Newberry and USC.