Sharks shake away playoff jitters to dominate opener

Two errors, two wild pitches and two runs.

And that was just the top of the first inning.

St. James’ first foray into the playoffs in the state’s largest classification started off about as ugly as its players’ traditional postseason haircuts. But even with some ill-advised buzzed ‘dos, one of the most important traits of coach Robbie Centracchio’s 2019 team remained.

Tuesday’s 11-2 win over Lexington to open the Class 5A playoffs was the Sharks’ ninth come-from-behind victory of the year.

“They don’t let it get them down,” Centracchio said after his team advanced to a second-round game against Ashley Ridge. “They believe in the end result. They fight. The first couple games of the year, it was weird. They were real quiet in the dugout and we were trying to figure out if they were going to be a loud bunch like last year. But they would be kind of quiet. They’re kind of loud now.”

They certainly earned the right to be against the Wildcats after dropping all 11 of its runs in the final four innings. After all, yet another game started with the Sharks in the hole.

Lexington leadoff batter Tristan Allen took the first pitch of the game into the gap in left-center for a double. A couple pitches later, Landon McMahan bunted him over to third while forcing a bad throw that allowed him to reach safely.

That was followed up by a wild pitch that allowed Allen to score, and then another wild pitch that brought McMahan home. St. James booted a routine ground ball a few moments later. Although it didn’t lead to any more scoring that frame, it was clear St. James wasn’t looking like the same team that won the Region VI-5A title.

That theme ended in plenty of time for the Sharks do their thing again.

They dropped three runs in the bottom of the third – with RBI singles from Caleb Bondi and Ethan Salak sandwiching a balk-induced Tanner Johnstone run. In the next inning, Andrew Leo’s base hit brought in another, and then Nikko Andre added an RBI of his own in the fifth.

The five-run sixth? That was just unnecessary insurance that illuminated the overall point. During St. James’ offensive onslaught — they scored all 11 runs in that four-inning span — they had 11 of their 13 hits.

Only one of them went for extra bases.

“We’re a fighting team. All we do is fight,” said Andre, who was four-for-four with three RBI. “We’ve been down before to better teams. Nothing against Lexington, but we’re just battlers.”

Said Lexington coach Brian Hucks: “They were just a little bit tougher than we are. We put runners on base but would get strikeouts. The momentum swung and they put the ball in play and made stuff happen.”

Hucks’ bunch — which was the last team to qualify for the Class 5A playoffs via the at-large selection process — came in hot after picking up a pair of victories in the prestigious Diamond Invitational last week. However, in this match-up, the team that has been at or near the top of its own region standings for most of the year took advantage of playing on its own field.

Because of it, Sharks will face Ashley Ridge (a 2-0 winner of Stratford on Tuesday) at the Shark Park on Thursday.

Win there, and St. James will be hosting the district finals on Monday with a game to spare.

In any scenario, Centracchio isn’t going to be worried by a few early lumps.

“We had confidence in the hitting. We had confidence in Ethan on the mound,” Centracchio said. “Even though we went until the third without a run, we had good at-bats. That’s just a feel thing. We’ve been doing that for a while now.”

Regardless of classification.

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

Myrtle Beach's Doty heads to nation's top QB camp

Myrtle Beach's Doty heads to nation's top QB camp Luke Doty’s Myrtle Beach legacy already includes some gaudy numbers, [more]

CCU drops Sun Belt debut; faces elimination Thursday

CCU drops Sun Belt debut; faces elimination ThursdayCoastal Carolina baseball surrendered eight runs over the last three [more]

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debut

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debutEighteen members of the Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club [more]

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournament

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournamentA two hour and five minute-lightning delay nor two Appalachian [more]

Clemson hammers Coastal with early offensive barrage

Clemson hammers Coastal with early offensive barrageSimilar to the two teams' first meeting back on March [more]

Seahawks claim state title in tribute to late coach

Seahawks claim state title in tribute to late coach John Ed Cahill queued up an old voicemail from his [more]

MB golf team flying high, riding ties to state tourney

MB golf team flying high, riding ties to state tourneyThe Myrtle Beach High boys golf team is tying its [more]

Lynch-inspired Seahawks advance to 4A state final

Lynch-inspired Seahawks advance to 4A state finalLL Coach. The somewhat cryptic rallying cry (Long Live Coach) was [more]

Soccer: MB, Socastee fall in lower state semifinals

Soccer: MB, Socastee fall in lower state semifinalsMyrtle Beach’s season came down to about three minutes. In that [more]

South Aiken stops Lady Seahawks state title run

South Aiken stops Lady Seahawks state title runThe closest thing to a blemish South Aiken had on [more]

Green Wave sinks Sharks in Lower State opener

Green Wave sinks Sharks in Lower State openerIn any other game, St. James coach Robbie Centracchio may [more]

Soccer: Braves, Seahawks reach Lower State semis

Soccer: Braves, Seahawks reach Lower State semisThe Socastee High boys soccer team crushed Cane Bay 5-0 [more]

Seahawks go from funeral to Lower State title match

Seahawks go from funeral to Lower State title matchEven after his death earlier this week, longtime Myrtle Beach [more]

Illing steps down as Socastee football coach

Illing steps down as Socastee football coachDoug Illing struggled with the emotions. He even fought himself trying [more]

Sharks top Swamp Foxes, reach lower state tourney

Sharks top Swamp Foxes, reach lower state tourneyIt took a little longer than St. James fans may [more]

CF girls fall in first round for season-ending defeat

CF girls fall in first round for season-ending defeatHeading into the playoffs, Carolina Forest’s girls soccer team hoped [more]

Seahawks draw inspiration from fallen coach Lynch

Seahawks draw inspiration from fallen coach Lynch John Edward Cahill III occasionally glanced at a spot at [more]

MB girls stun Hilton Head to reach Lower State semis

MB girls stun Hilton Head to reach Lower State semisFor all of the dominant results, all the blowouts and [more]

Seahawks lose legendary tennis coach, mentor Lynch

Seahawks lose legendary tennis coach, mentor LynchCookie Goings was barely a teenager, an eighth grader running [more]

Local club hosts another solid Coast Spring Classic

Local club hosts another solid Coast Spring ClassicMore than 400 teams from six states completed in the [more]

Renfrow claims NFL dream as Raiders' fifth-round pick

Renfrow claims NFL dream as Raiders' fifth-round pickFormer Socastee High and Clemson standout Hunter Renfrow was selected [more]

Lady Panthers charge into playoffs as region champs

Lady Panthers charge into playoffs as region champsWhen Katie Kulick drove the ball past the West Florence [more]

Chants rally in 10th inning to knock off Georgia State

Chants rally in 10th inning to knock off Georgia StateThe relentless Chanticleers scored a run in each of the [more]

MB Track and Field Club welcomes kids for 2019

MB Track and Field Club welcomes kids for 2019The Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club will host open [more]

Sharks shake away playoff jitters to dominate opener

Sharks shake away playoff jitters to dominate openerTwo errors, two wild pitches and two runs. And that was [more]

Myrtle Beach's Doty heads to nation's top QB camp

Myrtle Beach's Doty heads to nation's top QB camp Luke Doty’s Myrtle Beach legacy already includes some gaudy numbers, [more]

CCU drops Sun Belt debut; faces elimination Thursday

CCU drops Sun Belt debut; faces elimination ThursdayCoastal Carolina baseball surrendered eight runs over the last three [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach