Eagles power through 1st round

B Baker (11) | Photo: Daniel Bonds

WINNSBORO – The defending 1A SCISA state champion, St. John’s Christian Cavaliers, found the Richard Winn Eagles to be a formidable opponent in Tuesday’s baseball playoff game at RWA’s Billy Ladd Field. Head coach Paul Brigman’s Eagles earned the victory in a convincing 10-2 fashion.

Richard Winn entered the playoffs as the #1 seed in the 1A Upper State Bracket and hosted the #5 seed SJC Cavaliers. The Cavaliers defeated #4 King Academy on Monday to advance to Tuesday’s round against the Eagles.

The Eagles got another stellar performance on the mound from senior Berry Bonds who faced 29 batters in the seven inning game. Bonds threw 76 pitches, 45 of them as strikes, allowing two runs on three hits, three walks, and six strikeouts.

While Bonds was focused on working from the hill, his teammates were taking care of business offensively at the plate. The Eagle batters tallied nine hits to score 10 runs with four players collecting multiple hits.

Brian King led off the second inning with a double and advanced to third when Landon Caulder reached base on an error by the right fielder. With no outs, RWA got on the scoreboard after Lawson Wade hit a sacrifice fly to score King. RWA manufactured three more runs that inning to go up 4-0 on two Cavalier errors, a hit batter, a single by B Baker, and another sacrifice fly by Jacob Chaisson.

An Eagle error and a passed ball in the top of the third gave the Cavaliers a chance to score a run before the Eagle defense shut them back down.

Richard Winn scored three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to go up 7-1. Baker and Wilson had the big bats that inning with doubles.

St. John’s scored their second and final run of the game in the top of the fifth when a hit batter eventually advanced around the base path to score on a teammate’s single to right field. RW held the 7-2 lead going into the bottom of five.

It was the bottom of six when the Eagles expanded their lead further. Catcher Austin Lancaster drew a walk, and Travis Bonds took the courtesy runner position at first base. With Wilson as the next batter, T. Bonds was able to score on Wilson’s double to center field. Then King singled to score Wilson. Caulder singled next which allowed King to advance to third. Wade hit a line drive and reached on an error giving King a chance to score run number 10.

The Cavaliers failed to rally in the top of the seventh and went down 1-2-3.The Eagles had punched their ticket to the next round in the winner’s bracket of the double elimination Upper State playoffs.

Brigman had lots of praise and enthusiastic comments following his team’s first round playoff performance.

“Great team win by our guys. Berry Bonds set the tone for us on the mound. He stayed ahead in the count all night, and really showed a ton of senior leadership out there. Offensively our guys picked up where they left off at the end of the (regular) season. Austin Lancaster and Rob Wilson have consistently put us in run scoring situations, and our other guys followed their lead and produced big at bats. We are looking forward to going out and playing together again Friday night against another great team.”

Next RWA will host Holly Hill on May 6 in Winnsboro. Game time TBD.

The SCISA playoffs consist of five teams in each upper and lower bracket in double elimination rounds with the finalist in each bracket facing off in a best of three game series on May 16, 17, and 19.

SJC – 0-0-1-0-1-0-0 — 2, 3, 6

RWA – 0-4-0-3-0-3-X — 10, 9, 1

WP: B.Bonds. LP: K. Kacarka

Hitters: Baker 2-4, 2B, RBI(2); Wilson 2-4, 2B(2), RBI(2); King 2-4, 2B, RBI; Caulder 2-4; Steward 1-4

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