HOLLY HILL - The defending SCISA Class A state champions had rough start to the 2017 state title series on Monday, as Holly Hill Academy fell 15-7 at home to rival Dorchester Academy.
Each team used four pitchers in a drawn-out game, hoping to save some pitching for Tuesday's game two of the best-of-three series at Dorchester Academy at 6 p.m.
In what was a 2-2 game after three innings, the visiting Raiders from St. George plated four run in the fourth and then posted nine runs in a 6-hit, 1-error sixth inning at-bat to take control.
DA collected 12 hits in the final six innings, after going down in order on strikeouts to open the game. HHA managed just seven hits in the game, after managing none in their first at-bat.
The host Raiders didn't help their own cause, with five base runners thrown out trying to advance or picked off base through the opening five innings of play. Also, HHA posted five errors, compared to just one by DA.
Leading hitters for DA were Lance Brownlee, 3-for-5, with 3 runs, 2 RBI; Jacob Reeves, 2-for-5 with 3 RBI, a run; and Rhett Mizzell, 4-for-5, run, RBI.
Leading hitters for HHA were Even Boyd, 2-for-3, run, RBI, 2 walks; and Jordan Boyd, 2-for-3, double.
For DA, Josh Chinners pitched three-and-two-thirds innings, allowing five hits and six walks to pick up the win. Mizzell, Chase Way and Chase Kennedy each came on in relief down the stretch to complete the victory for the visitors.
For HHA, Hanks Avinger pitched five-plus innings, allowing six earned runs on six hits and two walks, while picking up six strikeouts and shouldering the loss. Nick Strickland and Shane Hawkins came on in relief for the home team.
Holly Hill picked up the first run of the game with John Brown leading off the bottom of the second inning with a double. He later took third on a fielder's choice and scored on a wild pitch.
DA answered back with two runs in the top of the third. The two-out rally started with Brownlee reaching on a throwing error and Way reaching on a hit-by-pitch. Brownlee scored on a single by Reeves, and Way came around on a fielding error off the hit.
HHA found a way to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the inning, as Andrew Siau picked up a one-out walk and scored two batters later on an RBI-double from Strickland.
DA settled in against Avinger with three hits and four runs in the top of the fourth. Chinners led off with a single and courtesy runner Colby Weeks took second on a sacrifice bunt from Mizzell. Austin Parker then doubled in Weeks. After a strikeout and a walk, Parker scored from second on a Brownlee single that resulted in a throwing error that plated Clayton Jackson. Brownlee took third on the error and then scored on a passed ball for a 6-2 lead.
HHA got a lead-off single from Dylan Hill in the bottom of the fourth. He stole second base and later scored on a two-out single from Boyd.
After a scoreless fifth inning, DA sent 13 batters to the plate in the top of the sixth. Andrew Faulling and Jackson earned walks to get things started, before Brownlee singled to load the bases. Way walked in a run, Reeves singled in two runs, Kennedy singled in two runs, Chinners earned a walk, Mizzell singled in a run, Faulling picked up his second walk of the at-bat, Jackson singled in two runs and Brownlee picked up his second single of the at-bat, plating his team's final run for a 15-3 advantage.
HHA answered with a brief rally in the sixth, as Hill led off with a walk and Jordan Boyd followed suit. One out later, Even Boyd singled in Jordan Boyd and both Andrew Siau and Avinger picked up walks. Strickland plated a run with a hit-by-pitch, before Josh Siau singled in two runs for the 15-7 final score.
DA got runners on first and second with two outs in the top of the seventh, after which HHA loaded the bases with two outs. But neither team reached home plate again before the three-hour-and-20-minute game was completed.
DA softball falls in Game One
ST. GEORGE - Dorchester Academy softball took a 12-0 home loss to Wardlaw Academy on Monday night in game one of the SCISA Class A State Softball Championship series.
Wardlaw had seven hits, while DA managed just two. DA made five errors, while the Lady Patriots played without recording an error.
The Lady Raiders were playing without two starters due to injury and illness.
Game two of the best-of-three series will be played on Tuesday at Wardlaw Academy in Johnston.