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

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior Olympics

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sand

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sandWhat was once a leisurely pick-up game on the beach [more]

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haul

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haulNorth Myrtle Beach believes Ryan Walker is the person to [more]

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut Former Coastal Carolina standout and Los Angeles Angels second baseman [more]

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures Game

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures GameMyrtle Beach Pelicans’ catcher Miguel Amaya has been selected to [more]

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth Clinic

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth ClinicEight former big leaguers - and about 60 aspiring ones [more]

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior Olympics

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program New Myrtle Beach High volleyball coach Alyssa Hunter knows she [more]

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 years

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 yearsA child steps up to the counter to purchase his [more]

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meet

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meetThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club combined boys and [more]

Rivers named honorable mention All-American

Rivers named honorable mention All-AmericanCoastal Carolina senior outfielder Kieton Rivers was recognized as a [more]

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-Stars

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-StarsMyrtle Beach right-handed pitchers Javier Assad, Jesus Camargo and Paul [more]

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleball

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleballNearly 100 local recreational athletes put themselves in a real [more]

CCU football loses legend with retirement of Glenn

CCU football loses legend with retirement of GlennCoastal Carolina football chief of staff and director of football [more]

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to Jackets

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to JacketsCoastal Carolina baseball had its season come to an end [more]

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in Regional

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in RegionalThe Chanticleers took an early 3-0 lead and did not [more]

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club Challenge

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club ChallengeThe Myrtle Beach Track and Field Club welcomed 22 clubs [more]

Chants battered by Tigers, drop into losers bracket

Chants battered by Tigers,  drop into losers bracketCoastal Carolina baseball saw a 2-2 tie disappear in the [more]

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine years

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine yearsNorth Myrtle Beach is looking for a new boys basketball [more]

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings Golfweek has unveiled its annual list of the “Best Courses [more]

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to five

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to fiveTonka Hemingway has played enough games with opposing offensive linemen. He’s [more]

Chants headed to Atlanta, face Auburn in first round

Chants headed to Atlanta, face Auburn in first roundCoastal Carolina baseball received the No. 3 seed in the [more]

Chants dig deep, defend Sun Belt championship

Chants dig deep, defend Sun Belt championshipCoastal Carolina outscored the Georgia Southern Eagles 9-1 over the [more]

Chants take doubleheader, reach Sun Belt title game

Chants take doubleheader, reach Sun Belt title gameThe Chanticleers scored nine runs over the first three innings [more]

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior Olympics

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Comments are closed.

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