Eagles fall short in title game

The Eagles finish second in SCISA 1A. | Photos: Martha Ladd

WINNSBORO – Tuesday night the Richard Winn Academy Eagles varsity baseball team’s season ended with a loss to the Dorchester Academy Raiders, which earned the Raiders their third straight SCISA 1A state championship as they topped the Eagles 9-4. Richard Winn finishes the seasons with a 21-8 record for the year.

The Eagles scored early, answering Dorchester’s initial run in the first inning with an RBI double from Zack Taylor scoring Luke Martin from second base to tie up the game at 1-1 going in to the second.

Hudson Wade

A line drive hit in the top of the second inning glanced off Richard Winn pitcher Hudson Wade’s head, scoring a runner from second for Dorchester Academy to go up 2-1 as Wade fell to the ground with coaches and staff rushing to assist. After a brief delay to assess Wade’s condition, he shrugged it off and managed to pitch several more innings, but the Raiders added another run in the second off a base hit and Eagles’ error to make it 3-1.

 

“Hudson took a pretty tough hit there, but he did a great job coming back from that to stay in and give us a couple more innings,” Richard Winn head coach Paul Brigman said after the game. “We’re limited on pitching, especially deep into the playoffs, and he really helped keep us in the game.”

Both teams went scoreless in the third inning, but Dorchester loaded the bases in the fourth, and after a wild pitch and a pair of errors, the score jumped to 6-1 in their favor.

Zack Taylor (10)

Dru Caldwell took over at that point for Wade on the pitcher’s mound, giving up another run on a wild pitch before a fly out to right got the Eagles out of the inning, trailing the Raiders 7-1.

 

Richard Winn’s fourth inning included their best offensive stretch of the night.

Taylor scored from second on a Cam Bass RBI single, and when Jimmy McKeown’s hit loaded the bases and Will Carvalho walked in a run, the Eagles cut the lead to 7-3.

If the fourth was the Eagles’ best inning, the fifth was the worst. After Austin Lancaster hit a short grounder up the first base line, he followed up with a seemingly deliberate collision on the tag-out designed to jar the ball loose, but it only served to stir up tensions on and off the field in an already tense game.

“We are disappointed in the way he chose to handle that play,” Brigman said. “I know it’s a heated moment and passions run high with so much on the line, but we teach class and sportsmanship here, which are more important than being a winner. It’s my hope that he’ll learn from it.”

The Eagles couldn’t close the gap in the remaining innings, managing only one additional run while allowing two more in the seventh for a 9-4 final, Dorchester Academy on top.

“This was one of the best seasons we’ve had here in a while,” Coach Brigman said after the game, reflecting on the loss. “When you get this far, to lose in the end always hurts a little more, but we’ll use it as motivation to get us moving forward into next year, when we’ll have a good core group of players back with us.”

Dorchester 9, Richard Winn 4

DA – 1-2-0-4-0-0-2 – 9, 8, 2

RWA – 1-0-0-2-0-0-1 – 4, 7, 4

PITCHING: Hudson Wade – LP, 3.2 IP, 4H, 7R, 1ER, 3K, 1BB (RWA).

HITTING: 1B: Caldwell, Bass, Lancaster, McKeown, Russell. 2B: Taylor (2). RBIs: Bass, Carvalho, Taylor(2) (RWA).