Eagles clinch second straight SCISA 1A title

WINNSBORO – After winning game one 8-2 over Holly Hill Academy on Monday in the SCISA 1A baseball state championship three-game series, Richard Winn (20-2) looked to be making quick work of their repeat 2023 title. Despite two attempts to get game two underway, a stretch of stormy weather conditions pushed the second game back to Thursday.

“The weather was frustrating. We had dealt with a similar situation in the semifinals,” head coach Paul Brigman said, “and our boys handled it well. We were hopeful to get the same response this week as we dealt with the uncertainty. Ultimately, our guys were unfazed.”

The Eagle offense got off to a slow start Thursday evening when the game was finally underway. They went scoreless through two innings, but a solo shot to center from Miller Stuck put the Eagles on the board. Tied 3-3 into the bottom of the sixth, a two-run blast from Ethan Steward put the Eagles on top for the final time of the season. They went on to clench game two with a 5-3 final and their second SCISA title in two years.

Brigman said that while the season ended the same way as it did last year, the journey was different. With six seniors graduating from last year’s team, several players saw their first varsity action this year.

The team opened the regular season in dominant fashion, beating Ridge View and Richland Northeast to open play. The season wasn’t perfect, though, and the Eagles found a tough opponent in York Preparatory Academy. York Prep defeated RWA 5-7 in mid-March, and the Eagles wanted redemption when they faced off again in early April.

“Although it was a non-region game, our guys wanted to win badly, and we did not play well,” Brigman said. “We made several errors which led to runs, and we were shut down by their pitcher.”

The Eagles were tied at three with York Prep heading into the bottom of the seventh, but the Panthers scored four runs for the go-ahead win, giving the Eagles their second loss of the season. It would be their last.

“In the disappointment that night, we talked as a team about clearing the slate, putting the failure behind us, and making a run,” he said. “We won thirteen straight games after that to lead us to State.”

Apart from York Prep, the Eagles dominated in the regular season. They went 16-2, bulldozing through their region opponents and into a first round playoff bye. They defeated Jefferson Davis Academy 10-0 and 9-0 in the SCISA 1A semi-final round series.

Game One

Richard Winn traveled to Holly Hill Academy for game one of the best-of-three series on Monday.

The Eagles went ahead in the top of the first after Charlie Bonds hit an RBI single to left, scoring Miller Stuck, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the game.

They went up 2-0 in the third on a solo shot from Anthony Armstrong.

Landon Smith and Stuck drew walks to get on in the top of the third. A bunt from a Bennet Nicholson third loaded the bases. Then Ethan Steward doubled on a two-out fly ball to center, scoring three.

The Eagles led 5-0 through the fourth. Holly Hill responded in the fifth, plating two runs, but the Richard Winn got them back in the sixth to stretch the lead back to five. They scored once more in the top of the seventh to finish the game 8-2.

Stuck had a strong performance from the mound. He threw a complete game, facing 26 batters. He struck out six, walked one, and allowed only one hit and two runs (1 ER).

Photos: Laura Bonds

Game Two

Armstrong took the mound for Thursday’s game at Billy Ladd Field.

Holly Hill went three-and-out to open play. Stuck led off for the Eagles in the bottom of the first with a walk, then stole second. A fly out and two ground outs ended the inning with Stuck stranded on third.

The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the third when Stuck homered on a shot to center. With one out, Bennett Nicholson followed Stuck with a single to third. Nicholson took second, then advanced to third on a single from Charlie Bonds. Nicholson stole home; Bonds took second, advanced to third on a passed ball, then scored on a pitcher error before a groundout ended the inning. 

Holly Hill knotted the score in the top of the fourth.

With two outs, a Raider batter reached base on an Eagle fielding error. Holly Hill’s next batter hit a two-run shot to narrow the lead. Another fielding error put a runner on for the Raiders. He stole second and third, then scored to tie the game at three. A fly ball to right ended the inning.

“Of course you worry when you go into late innings tied or down, because one play can mean the game either way,” Brigman said. “Everyone was up in the dugout. We knew the runs they had scored were the result of our mistakes, so we felt confident that we could hold them. We have such strong senior leadership that they would not allow anyone to get down.”

Owen Martin got on in the top of the fourth with a one-out single to left, but got out at second on a fielder’s choice. Another fielder’s choice ended the inning.

Richard Winn went back up in the bottom of the sixth. Charlie Bonds drew a walk to lead off the inning. Ethan Steward followed with a 3-1 homer to put the Eagles up 5-3.

Charlie Bonds came in to close the game for Armstrong. Bonds and the Eagles seated the Raiders in three at-bats to clench the W.

Armstrong threw six innings. He faced 21 batters, walked one, struck out three and allowed one hit and three runs (0 earned). Bonds struck out one in three batters faced.

Brigman said the excitement of the championship win on Thursday is shared with the school’s graduation on Friday, when six of his players received their high school diplomas.

“I’m just excited for our seniors that are moving on to the real world,” he said. “We will catch our breath and enjoy the accomplishments for a little while, and then start looking forward to next year. We are once again losing a large senior class, so we will be working hard to fill those spots. The State Championship will remain the standard for next season.”


RICHARD WINN – 1-0-1-3-0-2-1 – 8, 8, 2

HOLLY HILL – 0-0-0-0-2-0-0 – 2, 1, 2

WP: Stuck

Hitters: Steward 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI. Armstrong 1-3, HR, RBI. Bonds 2-5, RBI. Burchell 1-3, RBI. Stuck 1-3. Nicholson 1-3.


HOLLY HILL – 0-0-0-3-0-0-0 – 3, 1, 1

RICHARD WINN – 0-0-3-0-0-2-X – 5, 5, 2

WP: Armstrong

Hitters: Steward 2-2, HR, 2 RBI. Stuck 1-2, HR, RBI. Bonds 1-2. Nicholson 1-3. Martin 1-3.

The Voice thanks Laura Bonds for her exceptional photos during the 2024 season and the title series.

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