Defending Champs clip the Eagles

Noah Edwards (20) comes in as a courtesy runner, and slides in past a close tag at home. Photo/ Martha Ladd

WINNSBORO – Richard Winn baseball was eliminated from SCISA State title contention Wednesday after a 14-4 loss in the second game of their series with the Holly Hill Raiders. Holly Hill, last year’s SCISA Class A baseball champions, won game one 11-1 on Tuesday.

“Holly Hill is a team that’s won back to back state championships,” Richard Winn head coach Paul Brigman said. “They were the number one seed this year so they’re clearly the best team in 1-A. They got a really good program. That program has been really strong for several years.”

Despite the final score, the game stayed interesting up through the first few innings, and Richard Winn even held the early lead. After Holly Hill was shut down in the top of the first, the Eagles put up a score on a Bryant Carvalho RBI-single that scored Brandon Miller, who was hit in the head by a pitch.

The Raiders did not wait long to tie the contest back up at one. Josh Siau got on base due to an Eagles’ fielding error, and after a stolen base and sacrifice bunt, Siau ended up on third with just one out. Dylan Hill dribbled a ground ball for the second out, but in the process brought Siau home. In the third, Hank Avinger and John Brown also knocked in ground-out RBIs for the Raiders to go along with two errors and another run scored.

After the three-run third inning, Holly Hill took a 4-1 lead, but it was short-lived because the Eagles charged back in the bottom half of the third. Chris Christianson led the surge with a base-knock to begin the inning.
Bryant Carvalho reached on first on an error, and a pitch that went to the back-stop scored Christianson and Carvalho made his way over to third base. Jimmy McKeown followed Carvalho and delivered a big RBI single.

Later in the third, Peyton Gilbert jolted another RBI single out to left field that evened the score up again. However, the next three innings were all Holly Hill.

The first four Raider batters in the fourth delivered hits, including a Hank Avinger RBI-double that broke the tie. Nick Strickland knocked in two base-runners with a single, and then a series of errors allowed two more Raiders,including Strickland, to cross the plate.

By the time the first five batters had cycled through the fourth inning, the Raiders had scored five runs. They followed that up by putting up a three-run fifth inning that featured Hank Avinger getting two more RBIs to add to his total.

The 10-run mercy rule kicked in after the Raiders picked up two more runs in the top of the sixth frame.

“I think the future is bright,” Brigman said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys. Most of our issues this year was experience, especially with our pitching staff. We  really only had one guy that we could consistently count on to throw strikes, but we’ve got several guys that came on right at the end of the year that are going to be able to help us next year.”

This game was the last for Richard Winn seniors’ Bryant Carvalho, Chris Christianson and Tyler Douglas.

“We’re going to miss this senior class an awful lot,” Brigman said. “ These are guys that when I came in coaching five years ago, were eighth grade kids and we’ve kind of all been together in the program for the last five years and they do mean a lot to me and they mean a lot to the team as well. For the first time in a long time we were an extremely young team and those guys did a really good job of being leaders.”

RWA: 1-0-3-0-0-4

Hitting: 1B- Peyton Gilbert, Chris Christianson (2), Bryant Carvalho, Jimmy McKeown (RWA); Evan Boyd (4), Andrew Siau, Hank Avinger, Nick Strickland, Josh Siau, Jordan Boyd, Shane Hawkins (2) (HHA). 2B- Hank Avinger, Josh Siau (HHA).
Pitching: WP- Josh Siau, LP- Zach Taylor.

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