For the second time in three years, Stratford High School’s bats ran into a buzzsaw in the form of Goose Creek High School pitcher Cody Smith.
The Charleston Southern signee fanned 16 batters, allowing just one hit and one walk, in powering Goose Creek to a 4-0 victory over the Knights on Friday at GCHS. The performance was similar to one he had against the Knights as a sophomore. He tossed a no-hitter against the Gators’ city rivals.
“He was hitting his spots and he was getting all three pitches across for strikes,” GCHS coach Chris Pond said.
The win gave Goose Creek a 2-1 series win against Stratford. Both of Goose Creek’s victories counted in the region standings. Game 2 was not considered a region game.
The Gators won Game 1 on Wednesday before dropping Game 2 on Thursday.
The only hit he allowed was Eddie Hiott’s leadoff double in the fourth inning and he tossed 110 pitches in the victory.
The start was a night and day contrast to his previous start.
In a 13-3 loss to Hanahan on March 12, Smith got just one batter out, allowed two home runs and nine runs while walking three batters in the bottom of the first inning. Five of the runs were earned.
Against the Knights, though, he was physically stronger and locating his pitches well.
“He had about seven days rest and he was a totally different Cody Smith,” Pond said.
The Gators (3-3, 2-0 region) scored all of their runs in the third inning. Stratford starter Jamison Mobbs, a Clemson commitment, allowed four hits over six innings and struck out four. All of the Gators’ runs were unearned. A two-out error allowed two runs to score and then two more scored to give Smith all the run support he needed. None of Mobbs’ runs allowed were earned. He walked four and struck out four.
The Knights (2-4, 0-2 region) are slated to take on Wando in another region series this week while Goose Creek’s lone game is Friday at home against Academic Magnet.
Both of the first two games in the Goose Creek-Stratford series were decided by one run.
In Game 2, Stratford bounced back from a 3-2 loss in Game 1 to win 7-6 in eight innings.
Mobbs drew a bases loaded walk to force in the winning run for the Knights.
Stratford trailed 5-1 entering the bottom of the third but eventually caught the Gators in the fifth inning. Each team scored a run in the sixth inning, setting the stage for another tight finish.
Ty’Reik Faulks led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to right field and eventually moved to second on a groundout. Two walks later - one intentional - the bases were loaded for Mobbs with two outs.
Gators reliever Sean Freeland missed the strike zone on a full-count pitch and Faulks came home with the winning run.
Mobbs and Isaac Greer had two hits each for the Knights. Mobbs finished with three RBIs.
Justin Walker threw all eight innings to earn the win, scattering 10 hits and three earned runs. He walked three and struck out two.
Freeland, who threw 1.2 innings and walked three batters, took the loss. Singleton started on the mound and threw four innings, giving up two runs on one hit. Michael Cedotal relieved in the fifth and surrendered four runs on five hits. He walked two and fanned one. Two of the runs he allowed were unearned.
The Gators made four errors in the game to Stratford’s one.
Tyler Rio and Bryce Jonason had two hits and drove in two runs apiece for the Gators. Kyle Moore and Singleton each chipped in two hits and an RBI.
In Game 1, Rio tossed a complete game, striking out 10 batters, and drove in two runs.
Christian Sillanpa, Singleton and Kyle Moore also had two hits for the Gators.
The score was tied 1-1 before a dramatic seventh inning decided it.
Singleton’s RBI single gave the Gators the lead with one out in the top of the inning and Rio followed with an RBI double to score Singleton, making it 3-1.
The Gators left the bases loaded and that almost came back to haunt them when Jordan Lacavera doubled in a run and the Knights loaded the bases with one out.
But Rio was up to the task, recording back-to-back strikeouts of Mobbs and Walker to end it.
Mobbs and Walker already had two hits each in the game. Rio allowed seven hits, walked four and surrendered two earned runs for the Gators.
Hiott was strong in the loss, scattering eight hits over 6.1 innings. He allowed two earned runs and struck out five batters. He walked four batters.