Baseball: No. 1 Eagles edge No. 2 Sharks in Lower State

Saturday’s showdown between the top two ranked baseball teams in Class 4A lived up to its billing, with No. 1 Chapin holding on for a 4-3 victory over No. 2 St. James at Shark Park.

The Sharks (25-5) made a strong comeback bid in the Class 4A Lower State winners’ bracket contest as St. James put the potential game-tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh, but Cole Prosser’s groundout ended the threat and the game. The Sharks will host the loser of Lugoff-Elgin/AC Flora on Monday for the chance at a second (and perhaps third) shot at Chapin.

“We had a chance in the end, we just didn’t get the big hit when we needed it,” said St. James coach Robbie Centrachhio, whose team lost for just the second time in 21 games – both by one run. “We got the runners on and we’ve been getting the big hits in those situations lately, we just didn’t get it done today. … We’re not out of it. There’s still a lot of fight left this team.”

The contest started out as a pitchers’ dual between Chapin’s Cade Austin and St. James’ Nick Bray, with both hurlers posting shutouts through four innings. The Eagles (22-4) finally got to Bray by scoring two runs both in the fifth and sixth. Bray left after 5 2/3 and Cam White came in to end the inning on a pop up.

Trailing 4-1 in the seventh, the Sharks put the first two runners on base as Chapin pulled Austin for closer Drew Highfill. Jacob English bunted the runners into scoring position. Cam Dean drew a wild pitch that scored a run before walking, and Trystan Freeman sacrificed home another run to make it 4-3, but that was all the Sharks could muster.

Photo by Janet Blackmon/myhorrynews

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