DeShields no-hits Socastee as St. James claims region

The third time proved to be the charm for the St. James High baseball team. So did pitcher Anders DeShields.

The hard-throwing lefthander pitched a no-hitter against visiting Socastee in a 5-1 victory that clinched the Region VIII-AAA regular-season championship for the defending region and state champion Sharks (17-5 overall, 9-1 region).

After getting hammered by the Braves (17-5, 8-2) in the first two meetings of the season (by an 11-3 score in the first meeting last month and 11-1 in the championship game of the Mingo Bay Classic last week), St. James shut down the high-powered Socastee offense on Friday.

DeShields did not allow a single hit, and was only scored on after his defense committed two of its four errors in the fourth inning to make it a 2-1 deficit. But the Sharks tallied three runs in the bottom of the frame to cap the scoring.

Socastee’s Chase Keevert appeared to break up the no-hitter with a hard shot up the middle in the seventh by the play was ruled a throwing error – St. James’ fourth of the day – on the official book.

St. James’ Zack Cook went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the Sharks’ attack, and DeShields helped his own cause by going 1-for-3 with a run scored. Trey Merritt and Kasey Crooks also had one hit and one run scored apiece. St. James pounded out seven hits to zero for the Braves.

The Sharks, who lost 10 seniors off last year’s state championship team, won their third straight region crown and now turn their attention at making another run at the the state championship. They will host a first-round game against the fourth-place team from Region VII-AAA next week.

Socastee, which went unbeaten in region play until going 0-2 this week, lost to North Myrtle Beach on Tuesday before Friday’s downfall by the same score. The Braves will still host a first-round playoff game against the Region VII-AAA third-place squad.

Photo by Ranicer Photography

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