ST. GEORGE – For a second straight day, the visiting team in the SCISA Class A state championship baseball series made themselves right at home to take a lopsided win.
A night after Dorchester Academy took a 15-7 win at Holly Hill Academy in game one at Holly Hill, the defending state champion HHA Raiders collected 10 hits in a 13-3 win in six innings at DA on Tuesday night.
The result forced a decisive game 3, which will be played on Thursday at Woodland High School at 6 p.m.
“Last night, DA came to our place ready to play, plain and simple,” HHA head coach Ashley Brunson said. “We had some things happen in the game that our boys didn’t mentally rebound from.
“We put the bat on the ball tonight. We knew this would be a hard-fought series. It just happened that the first two games were lopsided one way and then the other way. We are familiar with each other and this is a rivalry. Pitching makes a difference, but both teams hit the ball really well.”
Andrew Siau pitched all six innings for HHA, picking up the win with two strikeouts against just five hits and two earned runs. Plans are for Josh Siau to take the mound in game three.
Hanks Avinger, moved up in the HHA lineup to bat leadoff, didn’t manage a hit, but reached base safely four times and was one of three red-white-and-blue Raiders to score three runs. Even Boyd went 2-for-5, with three runs scored, while Andrew Siau went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and three runs scored. Josh Siau went 2-for-5 with 2 RBI, while Jordan Boyd went 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored.
“I’m proud of our guys; they could have easily folded tent last night and not show up ready to play today,” Brunson said. “We hadn’t had what happened to us last night happen to us all year.
“They hit Hanks and things went downhill for us. But the guys rebounded. It’s baseball and it’s a funny game.”
DA starter Lance Brownlee went four-and-one-third innings on the mound, picking up three strikeouts and allowing nine hits and nine earned runs to shoulder the loss. Chase Kennedy, David Cleland and Wyatt Judy each came on in relief for the host Raiders, as the coaching staff saved Chase Way for game three.
DA did not have a batter collect more than one hit in the game, as the home team didn’t manage a base hit after getting five in its first two at-bats.
“I expected them to swing the bats against Lance, but they got hits and we made errors and our guys let one or two plays in the game influence how we played the rest of the way,” DA head coach Chris Mizzell said. “But, we’ll regroup and come out on Thursday ready to play much better. The team that plays good defense is going to be in great position to win game three.
“This (position to win a state title with one more win) is what you play for all season long, and what we talk about all off-season long.”
The scoring on Tuesday started off steady, feeling like a continuation of the 22-run scoring onslaught from Monday night. HHA plated three runs in the top of the first while sending all nine batters to the plate, before DA answered with two runs in the bottom of the first.
Avinger reached on a leadoff walk and was followed by Even Boyd with a single to left. Andrew Siau then loaded the bases with a bunt single. Nick Strickland was then hit by a pitch, plating Avinger. A fielder’s choice scored Boyd, before Jordan Boyd plated Siau with a two-out, bases-loaded single to right field for the 3-0 score.
Brownlee led off the bottom of the first with a single. After taking second on a fielder’s choice and third on a fly-out, Brownlee scored on a Chase Kennedy’ single to left. Josh Chinners and Rhett Mizzell then had back-to-back singles, the second of which resulted in a fielding error that plated Kennedy for a 3-2 score.
After a scoreless second inning, DA knotted things at 3-3 in the third, with Kennedy reaching on a one-out throwing error, taking second on a balk and third on a wild pitch. A fielder’s choice off the bat of Chinners then scored Kennedy.
HHA then settled in at the plate and on the base paths, plating three runs in the fourth, four in the fifth and three in the sixth. DA assisted the visitors’ cause by committing four errors in the final three innings.
Josh Siau highlighted the fourth with an RBI-single, before John Brown delivered an RBI-double.
Andrew Siau helped his cause with a 2-run, bases-loaded single in the fifth, before scoring the fourth run of the at-bat for HHA.
Two DA errors, one walk and a single from Jordan Boyd helped HHA get six base runners and three runs in the sixth.
The host Raiders got four base runners in the final two innings, but none made it safely past second base.
DA softball wins 7-4, forces game 3
JOHNSTON – The Dorchester Academy softball team returned two starters to its lineup on Tuesday, returning to the win column in taking a 7-4 win in game 2 of the SCISA Class A state championship series at Wardlaw Academy.
The win evened the best-of-three series and forces a decisive game 3 on Wednesday at Cardinal Newman School in Columbia to decide the state champion.
Lady Raiders pitcher Hannah Reeves returned after a one-game absence due to illness to go six innings in the circle, allowing no earned runs while picking up six strikeouts and the win.
DA batting leaders were Savanna Shelton, 3-for-3; Elizabeth Traxler, 2-for-3; and Reeves, Lydia Hofstetter, Savanna Varn, and Ashlynn