Eagles split 2 with Jefferson Davis

Eagle seniors Peyton Gilbert, left, and Ethan McManus, pictured with their parents, were honored be-fore their final regular season game on April 27. | Martha Ladd

WINNSBORO – The Richard Winn Eagles began their SCISA playoff journey at home on Monday night when they hosted Jefferson Davis Academy in game one of a potential three-game series. Eagles’ starting pitcher Zack Taylor and his counterpart, Adam Gee, delivered excellent pitching performances, but the Raiders’ bats did just enough to bring home game one, 2-1.  Richard Winn took game two at Jefferson Davis, 9-1, on Tuesday. The deciding game will be played Thursday at RWA.

Freshman ace Zack Taylor (10) suffered his first loss of the season in the 1-run loss to Jefferson Davis. | Martha Ladd

Both Taylor and Gee pitched complete games in Monday’s game, both gave up a combined seven hits, Gee struck out nine and Taylor rang-up eight. The only rough patch for both of the talented arms came in the early innings.

“Zack was good. He’s been good all year,” Eagles’ head coach Paul Brigman said. “First ballgame he’s lost this year, he pitched like he always has pitched. When you get to the playoffs it’s a lot tougher, everybody left is good and got good pitchers, so you got to battle really hard at the plate and we just came up short on that.”

Taylor walked the first two Raider batters of the game but answered back by striking out the next three. Gee hit Peyton Gilbert during the first at bat of the game, and the next batter, Luke Martin, scored Gilbert with a deep single.

Jefferson Davis pushed across their only two runs of the game in the second inning. Kyle Renew scored after Tyler Renew came up with an RBI-double. A couple of batters later, the second Renew tallied a run via a Wyatt Brant single.

The Raiders threatened several times in the later innings, but Taylor stuffed each threat. Jefferson Davis stranded six baserunners between the third and sixth innings. Richard Winn was a base-hit away from tying the game in the fifth.

Austin Lancaster reached base on an error with one out and was allowed to take second after the ball traveled out of play. Dru Caldwell, the next batter, grounded out but moved Lancaster over to third. Gee got Gilbert line out to end the threat.

Cameron Bass attempted to spark another rally in the bottom of the sixth with a one-out single, but Gee forced Taylor into a double play to escape. Gee shut the Eagles down in order in the seventh inning.

“It really was a great a game, and a good battle,” Brigman said. “Our guys played pretty well, we just told them you can’t really hang your head about too much that happened today. A swing here, a swing there, if we could have got a clutch hit at the right time I think we would have been good but overall. We can’t be down because we played a pretty good game.”

RWA:1-0-0-0-0-0-0 – 1
JDA:0-2-0-0-0-0-0 – 2

Pitching: JDA – Adam Gee (W), CG, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 9K, 1HB.  RWA – Zack Taylor (L) CG, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 8K, 4BB, 1HB

Hitting: 1B- Luke Martin, Cameron Bass, Dru Caldwell. (RWA); Wyatt Brant, Lance Ray.(JDA). 2B – Ethan McManus (RWA). Tyler Renew (JDA).

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