St. James takes region title; NMB downs MB for second

sjbase-celebTrying to make heads or tails of the Region 7-3A baseball title race got a lot simpler Friday thanks to St. James’ 2-1 victory over Lake City and North Myrtle Beach’s 7-1 win over rival Myrtle Beach.

Faced with the possibility of deciding the region title between first-place mates St. James and Myrtle Beach via a coin toss was avoided by Friday’s turn of events in the regular season finale for all teams involved.

By virtue of their win, the Sharks were crowned the league champions and received the No. 1 seed headed into next week’s Class 3A playoffs. Meanwhile, Myrtle Beach slipped to the No. 3 seed with their defeat at rival North Myrtle Beach, which claimed the No. 2 seed with the win.

St. James clinched the title on the field by slipping past the fourth-seeded Panthers. The Sharks scored two runs in the first inning on RBI singles by Liam Bloom and Parker Rabon. It was the only two hits of the day for the Sharks, who were shut down by Lake City’s Keenan Graham the rest of the way.

St. James pitcher Grayson Stoneking held Lake City to only one run on six hits while striking out 11  through seven innings to get the win. Counterpart Graham doubled in the seventh and tried to score the tying run on an infield hit but was thrown out at the plate to end the game.

Meanwhile, North Myrtle Beach turned in a dominant performance against the rival Seahawks to secure a first-round home game. The playoffs get under way next week.

Photo courtesy of SJHS Athletics

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