ROCKINGHAM — James Eason and Camron Seagraves will team up together later in June to compete in the 2023 BodyArmor State Games.
The two junior baseball players from Richmond Senior High School, who were both selected to the All-Sandhills Athletic Conference team this week, are set to continue their development on a bigger stage.
A “premier high school baseball event,” this is the 37th year the State Games will be held. The program, which was formally the Powerade State Games, features 28 sports at a variety of youth and adult levels.
Seagraves is no stranger to the State Games, as this will be his third summer competing. Eason will play in his first baseball tournament, but competed in soccer last year.
Both players tried out and were selected as one of the best 20 players in Region 4, which is made up of 11 counties. Those counties include Richmond, Scotland, Moore, Roberson, Lee, Columbus, Bladen and Cumberland counties, among others.
Heading up the Region 4 team is head coach Jarrod Britt of Cape Fear High School. Assistant coaches are Jevon Wade (Lee County), Zach Bingham (Harnett Central) and David Reece (Triton).
During last summer’s tournament, the Region 4 team made it to the championship game. But due to scheduling issues, the game was canceled.
The baseball tournament is open to rising seniors, juniors and sophomores. During the 2022 State Games, nearly 80 scouts from colleges, universities and Major League Baseball organizations were present.
For Eason, who will likely play the middle infield and pitch for Region 4, the State Games are an opportunity to help get him to the collegiate level.
“I decided to try out this year to try and get more exposure,” Eason said. “And I wanted to see what other competition was out there to try and help me get better. I want to play college ball, so playing will get me in front of scouts. Hopefully they see I have the potential to play in college.
“I’m looking forward to it and getting a chance to play with Camron. We all pretty much play against one another and know each other. I expect to help the team get back to the championship and win it.”
This past spring for Richmond, Eason pitched 49.2 innings (team-high) with 38 strikeouts. At the plate he batted .320 with 13 RBI and 18 runs scored.
Seagraves committed to Campbell University earlier this school year and will be pitching for Region 4. With college ball squared away, he’s hoping this year’s outing gets him on the radar for the MLB draft.
“I’m going to the State Games this year to try and get my name out in front of as many pro scouts as possible,” Seagraves explained. “Even if that doesn’t mean I get drafted next year, it puts my name on the radar for the (MLB) draft when I’m in college.
“Our team should be well-bonded because there are a lot of guys who know each other. We need to win the championship this year, especially since we didn’t get a chance to finish the job last summer.”
Selected to his second straight All-SAC team, Seagraves pitched 48.2 innings and was fourth in the conference with 87 strikeouts. As the leadoff batter, he ranked in the top-10 in the SAC in slugging percentage (.469, ninth), batting average (.358, 10th) and runs scored (22, 10th).
The BodyArmor State Games will shift to a new location this summer, with the five-day event taking place in Charlotte. In previous years, the baseball tournament was held in Durham and Chapel Hill.
Running June 12 through June 16, Eason and Seagraves will start with scout workouts at Stick Williams Dream Fields Complex on the first day.
That will be followed by three pool games at Truist Field and Hayes Stadium at UNC-Charlotte to determine the championship bracket. Region 4 will play Region 2 (June 13), Region 8 (June 14) and Region 6 (June 15), with the latter two games at UNC-Charlotte..
The final day of competition, June 16, will feature the gold and bronze medal games, as well as two consolation games.
Following the State Games, Eason and Seagraves will play travel baseball this summer. Eason will also compete for the first time with the Hamlet American Legion Post 49 program.