North Myrtle Beach Chiefs Baseball

North Myrtle Beach senior pitcher and Clemson commit Billy Barlow takes the field.

Before Billy Barlow ever threw a pitch for North Myrtle Beach, he was hitting big numbers on radar guns and was verbally committed to Clemson.

Naturally, everyone knew the Chiefs were getting one heck of a hurler. But for as talented as the big righty was, he was also relatively raw.

“He learned how to pitch as he got older,” North Myrtle Beach coach Brian Alderson said. “When coach [Monte] Lee at Clemson saw him, yeah, he had the fastball — he touched 90 the August before his sophomore year. But he was a gunslinger. He learned how to control his fastball, his four seamer and his two seamer. He improved his slider. And that’s why he’s going to have the opportunity to be really, really good.”

Barlow, the MyHorryNews.com 2021 Baseball Player of the Year, is in the conversation to be selected during July’s Major League Baseball Draft. His final high school season in Little River after transferring from the Pee Dee after his freshman season didn’t hurt.

In 59.2 innings this spring for the Chiefs, Barlow piled up eight victories while striking out 105 batters, nearly three times the number of hits he allowed. He walked 18 hitters and finished with a 1.17 ERA.

All those figures pushed North Myrtle Beach to a Class 4A playoff berth. The run was short-lived, as the Chiefs were eliminated after two games. Barlow, though, wasn’t one to make excuses.

After all, he was a major defensive standout on the school’s Class 4A runner-up football team last fall that dealt with some of the same pandemic-related restrictions as the baseball squad.

“You can’t blame the craziness of the year,” he said. “I was on the football team and we did something that had never been done in school history. We had everything put together. It was the same thing with the baseball team; we had all the talent in the world. I know that if we had put it together every single game, we would have done something that North Myrtle Beach has never done before.”

Alderson pointed out that Barlow’s strike percentage was north of 60% in all but one outing in 2021. Along with his power, it put the Chiefs in position to win each time he took the mound.

It also attracted scouts in droves. 

“I was really pleased with how he handled it,” Alderson said. “A lot of high school kids, it’s hard to see that many pro guys coming to see you every time you throw. It didn’t bother him at all. I don’t think he got rattled or nervous when they were there. He typically threw well.”

What those scouts saw over and over again leads Alderson to believe Barlow’s name will be called during the three-day draft.

If not, Barlow has a dynamic fall-back plan. He’ll report to Clemson at the end of the month, having made the most of his stop in Little River following his commitment.

“I would love to get drafted. But for right now, I am going to Clemson,” he said. “I’m excited to see how it plays out. Let’s say I don’t even get drafted; Clemson’s one of the best schools in the country to go play for.”

MYHORRYNEWS.COM ALL-COUNTY BASEBALL TEAM

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Billy Barlow

School | North Myrtle Beach

Position | Pitcher

Grade | Senior

Year in review | Class 4A All-State selection finished the season with an 8-3 record and a 1.17 ERA in 59.2 innings. Struck out 105 hitters while walking just 18 and allowing 37 hits. 

Derek Bender

School | St. James

Position | Catcher

Grade | Senior

Year in review | Class 5A All-State selection and Coastal Carolina signee batted .430 with 20 RBIs, 19 runs scored, 10 doubles, two triples and three home runs.

Landon Beverly

School | Aynor

Position | Pitcher

Grade | Senior

Year in review | The Citadel signee, Region VII-3A Co-Player of the Year and Class 3A All-State pick was 8-3 with a 2.50 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 44.2 innings pitched.

Tyler Burgess

School | Myrtle Beach

Position | Pitcher

Grade | Senior

Year in review | Francis Marion signee and SCBCA All-Star selection struck out 75 batters in 51.1 innings, allowing just 11 earned runs all season for a 1.50 ERA.

Grayson Carroll

School | Green Sea Floyds

Position | Shortstop

Grade | Senior

Year in review | Tied for the area lead in RBIs with 32 while finishing second with .446 average. Add 19 runs scored and 11 stolen bases for the Region V-1A champion Trojans.

Jaquan Dixon

School | Green Sea Floyds

Position | Outfield

Grade | Senior

Year in review | Class A All-State selection finished off his electric Green Sea Floyds multi-sport career by batting .395 with 29 runs, 19 RBIs and 25 stolen bases for the Region V-1A champs.

Carson Grainger

School | Loris

Position | Third base, pitcher

Grade | Senior

Year in review | Batted .441 with 23 RBIs and 16 runs while going 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched, leading to a Class 3A All-State selection.

Burgess Gurganus

School | North Myrtle Beach 

Position | First base

Grade | Junior

Year in review | Earned Class 4A All-State honors after batting .405 with 10 doubles and a pair of home runs, knocking in 29 RBIs and scoring 23 runs.

Mac James

School | Conway

Position | First base, pitcher

Grade | Senior

Year in review | Class 5A All-State selection hit .380 with 32 RBIs, 22 runs and five home runs while going 6-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 44.2 innings on the mound.

Ethan Salak

School | St. James

Position | Pitcher

Grade | Senior

Year in review | Coastal Carolina signee and Class 5A All-State pick was 6-1 with a save and a 1.61 ERA in 56.2 innings. Recorded 79 strikeouts against just 16 walks.

Maddux Smith

School | Socastee

Position | Pitcher, outfield

Grade | Junior

Year in review | Was 5-1 with a 0.98 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 43 innings while adding 21 runs and 11 RBIs offensively, earning Region VI-5A Player of the Year and Class 5A All-State nods. 

Dalton Stroud

School | Green Sea Floyds

Position | Pitcher, third base

Grade | Junior

Year in review | Region V-1A Player of the Year hit and area-best .451 with 29 RBIs and 33 runs and 22 stolen bases while also going 8-1 on the mound with a 1.09 ERA in 49.1 innings. 

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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