Knights rally to win HIT opener
There’s a couple ways of looking at Stratford’s baseball game on Monday night, being disappointed it was as close as it was or proud of the way it ended.
Simply put, it’s baseball and some times things go your way and other times they don’t.
The Knights made four errors and served up a grand slam ball but were able to rally from a five-run deficit to knock off Avon, Ohio 7-6 in the opening game of the Hanahan Invitational Tournament.
“They battled and fought,” SHS coach John Chalus said. “At times, we get frustrated like the players get frustrated. Baseball is such a mental game. When we work on things and we’re unable to stay focused long enough to do that we get upset.”
The Knights (6-5) fell behind 6-1 after Avon’s grand slam highlighted a six-run fourth inning. They scored two runs in the bottom of the inning to slice their deficit in half and then took the lead with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Asher Smith’s two-run single made it 6-5 and then catcher Jordan Lacavera laced a two-out, two-run double to left center, putting the Knights on top.
Justin Walker (1-0) retired the side in order in the seventh, striking out the last batter, to preserve the victory. Walker worked the final three innings to earn the win on the mound.
“He did a good job throwing strikes and keeping us in the game until our bats could get to their second and third pitchers,” Chalus said.
Chase Fowler, Eddie Hiott, Smith and Jamison Mobbs had two hits apiece for the Knights.
Fowler threw the first four innings for the Knights but was hurt by his defense.
“We didn’t play behind him,” Chalus said.
The HIT tournament is in its 44th year and 28 teams are vying for the title. The final is set for Friday.
Monday’s Stratford game was played at Bishop England High School, one of seven sites.
Goose Creek lost its opening game 4-3 to Beaufort at Berkeley High School, while Cane Bay defeated First Baptist 5-3 at the James Island site.
All Berkeley County schools are on spring break this week.
“It’s like playing baseball in the minors,” Chalus said. “You wake up, practice, play baseball and then go to bed.”