The stretch-run craziness in Region 5-3 baseball will be resolve once and for all tonight when Brookland-Cayce hosts South Aiken in the final game of the region campaign.
South Aiken blew its chance to clinch the pennant on Tuesday when it lost to last-place Midland Valley, 8-3. Perhaps no one should be surprised. The Mustangs from Graniteville beat B-C 11-5 last week for its first region win, throwing the Bearcats into a seemingly disadvantageous position.
“We had no rested arms and didn’t pitch well (against MV) and we made four errors,” said B-C coach Brian Hucks. “It just proves that there is a lot of parity in high school baseball this year.”
South Aiken comes into the region finale with a 6-3 conference mark, and tied for second place with B-C. Dreher, which completed its region campaign on Monday, has a half-game lead at present, but the Blue Devils are locked in as the No. 2 playoff seed out of the region, no matter the outcome on tonight’s game.
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The bottom line: Wednesday’s winner is the region’s No. 1 seed; the loser is No. 3. If Brookland-Cayce wins it will share the region championship with South Aiken and Dreher. If South Aiken prevails, the Thoroughbreds are the outright champs.
The Bearcats rebounded from the Midland Valley fiasco by beating Airport 1-0 on Tuesday. Senior ace James Hall tossed a four-hit shutout with eight strikeouts, easing out of one bases-loaded jam along the way. The lone B-C run came on a two-out triple by Jeremy Brazzell that plated courtesy runner Zac McLaurin in the fourth inning. McLaurin was running for catcher Austin Harris, who drew a one-out walk.
Airport finished 5-5, and is the region's fourth and final playoff entry.