Eagles complete 2-game sweep for SCISA A state championship

Pictured, standing, from left: coach Peyton Gilbert, head coach Paul Brigman, Turner Burchell, Bennett Nicholson, coach William Ladd, Landon Smith, Tony Armstrong, Grant Brown, Lawson Wade, Travis Bonds, Charlie Bonds, Connor Little, Ethan Steward, Rob Wilson, Miller Stuck, Johnathan Bonds, Owen Martin,coach Daniel Bonds. Front, from left: Jacob Chaisson, Stone Gill and Landon Caulder.

BLACKVILLE—For the first time in a long time, the Richard Winn Academy baseball team can close out the season with no tears of regret, no woulda-coulda-shouldas.

The Eagles secured a 9-0 victory Tuesday night over Jefferson Davis Academy, and clinched a 2-game sweep over the Raiders in the SCISA 1A state championship series.

And in doing so, Richard Winn’s perfect 25-0 season drew to a happy close in the twilight over Blackville.

“The main thing was we had belief, No one had doubt in our pitchers, our staff, we all believed.” said Miller Stuck, who got the win on the mound in Monday’s 14-1, 5-inning win over the Raiders. “And that door, we’ve knocked on it many years in a row, and it was time for it to fall down.”

Stuck led the way for the Eagles offense Tuesday night, going 3-for-4 with a double and driving in two runs. He wasn’t the only big hitter.

Jacob Chaisson doubled and Lawson Wade went 2-for-3 with a solo home run in the seventh inning. Landon Caulder, who pitched a complete-game 4-hitter, went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI.

“It felt good,” Caulder said of his night. “I didn’t have a great performance last week, something I wasn’t happy with, but I came back this week and I was really pleased. This feels awesome. We’ve been trying to get over the hill, couldn’t make it, but this time we finally got it.”

Much like Monday night’s win at RWA’s Billy Ladd Field, Tuesday’s action was all Eagles.

Richard Winn got a run on a JDA error in the second inning, but rang up four runs in the third inning to take a 5-0 lead.

Stuck got the surge started with a one-out single, took second and third as Jacob Chaisson batted, and scored when Chaisson doubled to right. Chaisson came home on Charlie Bonds’ infield single to make it 3-0.

Rob Wilson drew a walk before Wade grounded out, and both Bonds and Wilson crossed the plate on Caulder’s line-drive double into centerfield.

Anthony Armstrong struck out to end the inning, but Richard Winn got three runs on two hits and two Raiders errors. Wade’s solo shot in the seventh was the period on the Eagles’ exclamation point of a series. 

“It’s been a long, long time,” said Eagles head coach Paul Brigman, noting Richard Winn last won a state title in baseball in 2008. “I know we’ve had good teams in the last four or five years and we came really close, but we hadn’t been able to get the break that we needed to get over the top. But this team just banged their way through all year.”

As Stuck said, the secret to the team’s success was belief, something Brigman alluded to when thinking about the 2023 season.

“We told them it doesn’t really matter who we play as long as we play the way we can play and it’s been like that,” Brigman said. “It’s been a great year. I would say it’s been the greatest year in our school’s history.”

The Eagles returned to Winnsboro for a home-field celebration following Tuesday’s win at Jefferson Davis. Fairfield County Sheriff’s Deputies escorted the team from I-77 to Richard Winn. A crowd gathered on Congress St. near the Town Clock to welcome the new champs back home.

GAME 2: RWA 9, JDA 0

Richard Winn Academy  – 0-1-4-0-0-3-1 – 9, 11, 0

Jefferson Davis Academy – 0-0-0-0-0-0-0 – 0, 4, 6

WP: Landon Caulder

RWA: Miller Stuck 3-4 2B, 2 RBI. Jacob Chaisson 2B. Landon Caulder 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI. Lawson Wade 2-3, HR. JDA: P Payne 2-2.

Grab a copy of The Voice of Fairfield County’s May 18, 2023 paper for a special edition wrap featuring Richard Winn’s newest state champs.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]