Pinewood Prep golfers set for USGA juniors

Pinewood Prep will be well represented at the USGA Junior Championships, which begin July 16.

Three Panthers golfers have qualified to participate.

Richard Hubbard, the Post and Courier’s player of the year, earned a spot in the boys competition by being the top qualifier at the Country Club of Petersburg, Va., last month. Hubbard had rounds of 71 and 64 to earn the only spot available at the qualifier. The boys tournament will be played at the Golf Club of New England in Stratham, N.H.

Katelyn Dambaugh will compete in the event for the third year in a row. This year’s girls competition will be held at the Lake Merced Country Club in Daly City, Calif.

Dambaugh earned a three-year exemption into the tournament after finishing second in 2010.

She will be joined by teammate Reona Hirai, who won a qualifier at Spring Valley last month and will make her junior championships debut.

Pinewood was denied its third straight SCISA state title, but having three golfers in such a prestigious event is an indicator of the program’s success and depth.

“Having three players qualify for their national championship is pretty unbelievable, especially when you consider Pinewood is not a big high school,” coach Greg Baechtle said. “People don’t realize how difficult it is to qualify for this tournament, which is the most prestigious junior tournaments in the world. There were 2,941 boys and 1,070 girls trying to earn one of the 156 spots in each event. I am really thrilled that they will have the opportunity to experience an event like this. The atmosphere alone at a USGA National Championship is unbelievable. I hope that they can make it into the match play portion of the events, because once you get there, anything can happen and perhaps they can have run like Katelyn did a couple of years ago.”

Both tournaments open with two days of stroke play with 156 golfers and is reduced to a field of 64 golfers, who will compete in a match play tournament.

Two Wando baseball players and a former Warrior have taken the next step.

Michael Carpin, a rising senior, has committed to play for the Georgia Bulldogs, while Babe Thomas, who plays catcher, pitcher and outfield has committed to play for Winthrop. Robbie Dodds, who graduated from Wando in 2010, finished his stint at Spartanburg Methodist and will play for Georgia Southern.

Carpin, a 6-2, 200-pound right-hander, has emerged as one of the top pitchers for the Class of 2013. He was 5-2 with a 2.02 ERA this spring. He allowed 33 hits in 45 innings with 19 walks and 54 strikeouts. He plays for the Diamond Devils’ 17-U team.

Thomas batted .438 with three homers and 18 RBIs. He also plays for the Diamond Devils.

Dodds batted .299 for SMC this season with 52 hits in 174 at-bats. He had seven doubles and drove in 38 runs.

Former Northwood baseball player Brandon Stoots has transferred from USC Salkehatchie to Francis Marion.

He allowed 66 hits in 521/3 innings in his final season at USC Salkehatchie with a 2-0 record and 6.60 ERA.

Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @pandcphil