High School Sports

Falcons claim first crown

Ben Lippen coach Brent Walsh said the smartest move he made all year was to move third baseman Kyle Williamson to the top of the batting order. It may not have been the only smart move, but it paid off with a state championship Tuesday night.

The Falcons, needing a win to close out sweep the best-of-three SCISA 3A championship series against Northwood Academy, earned a drama-filled 5-4 victory at Ben Lippen.

Williamson, one of eight seniors in the Falcons’ starting lineup, had a pair of singles and scored a pair of runs — including the deciding run in the top of the sixth — to lead Ben Lippen to its first title.

“Kyle has been our trendsetter all year,” Walsh said. “We moved him to the leadoff spot because people were pitching around him. We said if people are pitching around him, we might as well get him on base more.”

Ben Lippen (25-5) had to battle back from a pair of two-run deficits against the North Charleston team before taking the lead for good in their last at-bat.

The visiting Chargers went up 2-0 in the second on four singles off Ben Lippen starter Justin Norris in the second inning, only to let the Falcons back into it in the bottom of the frame. One single and four hit batsmen against Northwood starter Brett Ballard left the door open, and Ben Lippen tied it up.

In the fourth, Northwood scored two runs again, this time on a combination of three hits and a Falcons error. But Ben Lippen battled back and again tied it on a leadoff single by No. 9 hitter sophomore Joey Carter, a single from Williamson and an RBI base hit by Blaine Walker.

Ben Lippen’s winning run came in the sixth off Northwood reliever Brandon Hester, a freshman who had struck out the side after the Falcons tied it in the fourth.

Williamson opened with a single, moved to second on Walker’s sacrifice and stole third. Then when Hester’s delivery to his opposite number from Ben Lippen, Norris, was wild, Williamson took off for home with what would be the winning run.

“I saw that thing in the dirt and I just took off,” Williamson said.

Norris, who went to 10-0 with the win, also had one of Lippen’s five hits.