Stags can clinch region title with win over Hilton Head
Berkeley's magical baseball run continued last week, with the Stags steamrolling through Region 8AAA competition to set up a Friday showdown with Hilton Head for the Region 8AAA crown.
The Stags, 18-1 overall, continued the team's 5-0 conference start in wins over James Island and Hanahan last week.
“It comes down to beating Hilton Head,” said Coach Landy Cox, whose team is now 7-0 in 8AAA action.
Berkeley hosts Stall and Orangeburg-Wilkinson this week before making the drive to the coast on Friday.
If ever a clear-cut message was sent to the rest of Region 8AAA it was in the 16-2 drubbing of Hanahan. Keyed by a seven-run fifth inning that included a grand slam home run by junior Kyle Garrick, his third on the season, Berkeley systematically dismantled the Hawks, pounding out 17 hits while allowing just two.
Connor Teague led the offensive barrage with a 3 for 4 performance in the game and 6 for 8 for the week to up his average to a team-leading .410.
Eric Orton went a perfect 3 for 3 from the leadoff spot. In addition to Garrick's grand slam, the Stags also got homers from Josh Simmons and Brandon Browder. Simmons had two hits with a pair of RBIs. Garrick was also 2 for 3 at the plate with a double and four RBIs in addition to the grand slam.
Lost in the fireworks was the stellar pitching of Zach Gonzales who gave up just two hits to improve to 8-0 on the season.
In the 6-4 win over James Island on April 10, Andrew Lockliear threw a complete game three-hitter to improve to 4-0.
Stags hurlers have notched a suffocating 2.16 ERA for the season, led by Lockliear and Gonzales. Lockliear has 47 K's in 47.1 innings pitching, averaging a strikeout an inning while Gonzales has notched 46 strikeouts in 41 innings. He sports a team-leading 0.68 ERA.
Lockliear sports an equally impressive 1.91 ERA.
At the plate, five of the nine starters are hitting above .300 with Dylan Baker following Teague with a .345 average, Orton is next with a .339 clip, Gonzales and Garrick each post .328 averages, and Browder chips in with a .324 mark.
First pitch at Hilton Head is at 6:30 p.m.