Though the odds were pretty long against it not too long ago, defending Class 3A state champion Brookland-Cayce is still standing in the 2009 playoffs. The Bearcats wrapped up the District V championship on Wednesday with a gratifying 5-2 home win over South Aiken.
B-C, the No. 3 district seed after losing a tie-breaking game to South Aiken at the conclusion of the Region 5-3A campaign, sent the pennant-winning T-Breds packing thanks to a solid pitching performance by sophomore left-hander Michael Gilroy and an efficient small-ball offensive approach.
Gilroy allowed one earned run and scattered seven hits while improving his season record to 7-0 and lowering his ERA to 0.63. Offensively, the Beatcats had just one RBI hit that left the infield.
“When your struggling with the bats, your have to try to find other ways to score runs,” said Bearcats coach Brian Hucks.
Foster Stephens led off the game for B-C with a single and eventually scored on a double steal. In the fifth, the Bearcats pulled even at 2-2 when pinch runner Zac McLauren scored on a wild pitch.
In the sixth, B-C put it away with three runs. Chase Shelton scored the go-ahead run on a double by Jeremy Brazzell, but the back-breaker for South Aiken was a deftly placed squeeze bunt by Zack Warner that scored pinch runner Hunter Watts from third and Brazzell from second.
The Bearcats (21-7) open the Lower State tournament Saturday at home against St. James. The game is tentatively set for 7 p.m.