Raiders end Eagle playoff run

WINNSBORO – The Richard Winn Eagles staved off a fierce comeback in the seventh inning to escape their first round series against Jefferson Davis Academy and moved on to a second round set against Holly Hill. The Raiders took game one, 9-0, at home, and RWA needed a win Tuesday night to survive.

Ethan McManus (15) slings one from the mound in last Thursday’s playoff win. | Martha Ladd

“They got really good pitching,” Eagles’ head coach Paul Brigman said. “The guy we faced last night, he’s a college pitcher and we couldn’t handle him. The guys tonight threw well enough to hold us off.”

Richard Winn trailed 5-0 until the fifth inning when they exploded for a five-run inning, but Holly Hill turned the tide again in the sixth. The Raiders plated four more runs in the top of the sixth, and the 9-5 lead proved to be good enough to punch their ticket to the State Championship series.

The bats were quiet for both teams until the top of the third inning. A couple of walks and a double loaded the bases up for the Raiders, and then a Nick Strickland fielder’s choice plated the game’s first run. Holly Hill scored two more times in the inning, both off of errors.

Errors plagued the Eagles again in the top of the fifth. They surrendered two more runs after a bad throw to home bounced over the plate, but Holly Hill hit their first rough patch of the playoffs in the bottom of the frame.

Zack Taylor, the Eagles’ lead-off man, was hit by a pitch. Ethan McManus got on after a Holly Hill error at first base. Jimmy McKeown followed McManus and also reached on an error at first base, which scored Taylor for the Eagles’ first run.

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