Bishop England baseball named program of the decade
It was a decade of dominance.
The Bishop England baseball team posted a 216-95 record during the 2010s, winning four state championships, while finishing state runners-up one time.
The program, led by Mike Darnell and Bill Collier during the stretch, was recently named the Class AAA program of the decade by diamondprospects.com, which tracks the top players and teams in the Palmetto State.
The Bishops won the 2011 state title with a 26-9 record under Collier, and closed out the decade with three straight state titles with Darnell at the helm. The 2017 team went 24-9, the 2018 posted a 31-2 record and last year’s team went 24-9.
Darnell said the 2018 team is the one that stands out. “The 2018 team was one of the best teams I have been a part of,” he said. “We won The IP Classic preseason tournament, the Hanahan Invitational Tournament and the state championship. That was a very special team.”
The 2018 team featured pitcher Geoffrey Gilbert, who was a member of three state title teams. He was selected as the BE player of the decade. The 6’ 2”, 200-pound lefty signed with Clemson.
Gilbert played varsity ball as a seventh grader and displayed unusual talent from his sophomore year on. He was 8-0 as a sophomore and turned it up a notch the next season when he became the first junior ever to win the Gatorade South Carolina Player of the Year. He was 10-0 in 2018, allowing only 19 hits in 66 2/3 innings while striking out 93.
He finally lost a game to a Palmetto State foe in 2019, but was still impressive with an 8-1 record, allowing only 30 hits in 61 2/3 innings, while striking out 102 batters.
His three-year totals were 26-1 with an ERA of 0.63. He pitched in 175 2/3 innings and struck out 278.
While it’s hard to conceive of a state championship team as an overachiever, Darnell said the 2017 and 2019 teams fit the bill.
“The 2017 and ‘19 teams were very similar,” Darnell said. “Both had good players who were not proven and were able to step up in big situations. Shawn Runey and Adam Salmorin had very similar paths to the state series. Both are sidearm guys who were relievers for the most part and became starters at the end of the year. They both pitched games 1 and 3 of the state series. We won games 1 and 3 in those years.”
While all high school teams are different because of graduation and personalities, the BE baseball teams of the 2010s had a common denominator.
“Work ethic,” Darnell said. “Even when things were tough, they didn’t complain. They were always willing to put in the work necessary to become great.”
Here is the Bishop England all-decade team as picked by The Daniel Island News after consulting with the school’s baseball program: