PREP BASEBALL

Catching on: Wilson Hall backstop Dabbs signs with FMU

BY DENNIS BRUNSON
dennis@theitem.com
Posted 11/16/17

Daulton Dabbs doesn’t mind being behind the plate as a catcher in a baseball game.

“I realized it was my best bet if I wanted to play at the next level,” Dabbs said. “So I starting working …

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PREP BASEBALL

Catching on: Wilson Hall backstop Dabbs signs with FMU

Wilson Hall’s Daulton Dabbs, shown connecting for a double in a playoff game against Hammond, has
signed to play college baseball with Francis Marion University in Florence.
Wilson Hall’s Daulton Dabbs, shown connecting for a double in a playoff game against Hammond, has signed to play college baseball with Francis Marion University in Florence.
SUMTER ITEM FILE PHOTO
Posted

Daulton Dabbs doesn’t mind being behind the plate as a catcher in a baseball game.

“I realized it was my best bet if I wanted to play at the next level,” Dabbs said. “So I starting working hard at it.”

And it is mission accomplished for Dabbs, the catcher for Wilson Hall. Last week he signed to play at the collegiate level with Francis Marion University, the NCAA Division II school located in Florence.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” Dabbs said. “I’m getting a chance to move on to hopefully bigger things.”

Dabbs has been a standout behind the plate and in the batter’s box for the Barons the past two seasons. As a sophomore, he went 25-for-63 for a .397 batting average. He had five doubles, a triple, a home run and 13 runs batted in while scoring 19 runs. He walked 15 times and struck out only seven times.

Behind the plate, Dabbs threw out nine base runners.

His numbers improved as a junior. Dabbs led the team in batting with a .406 average, going 28-for-69. He had nine doubles and two homers with 14 RBI while scoring 30 runs. He walked 24 times while striking out just 10 times.

Dabbs, who was an all-region performer and played in the SCISA North-South All-Star Game, threw out 10 runners trying to steal.

WH head coach Adam Jarecki has nothing but praise for Dabbs, who is preparing for his senior season.

“Daulton has just done a great job as a catcher for us,” said Jarecki, who pointed out that Dabbs was able to make the catch and get the throw to second base anywhere from 1.9 seconds to 2.1 seconds.. “He has worked very hard to make himself into a better catcher. He has been a sponge with that.

And he’s one of our better hitters. He led us this past season, and he’s got some power in his bat as well.”

Dabbs said he was also receiving interest from The Citadel, Presbyterian, Florence-Darlington Technical College and the University of South Carolina Sumter. FMU just seemed right to him.

“I like it because it’s a small campus like here (at Wilson Hall),” he said. “I didn’t want to go anywhere that was really big. Also, it’s kind of close to home and my family will be able to come see me play a lot.”

Dabbs said it was in freshman season that he started to get the notion that he might be able to play baseball beyond high school.

“I had a couple of coaches who told me that it could probably be an option for me,” Dabbs said. “I opened my mind to it and began to work harder for it.”

Jarecki thinks FMU is a good fit for Dabbs.

“Francis Marion has a good baseball program, and Daulton should do well there,” Jarrecki said. (FMU head coach) Artie Inabinet is an outstanding coach and is good at developing players.”