Bishops in launch formation
The Bishop England baseball team hit a school record nine home runs in a 22-13 victory at Hanahan on Thursday night.
Jimmy Lindberg, Ryan Mills and Cameron Garrett each hit two homers, while Andrew Kinard, Morgan Bastian and Ryan Maksim contributed one each as the Bishops took advantage of the friendly confines of Hanahan's Sportsman's Field.
The South Carolina High School League doesn't keep records for homers in a single game. The national record is 16 set by Atlantic (Iowa) in 1928. The Bishops' nine homers are tied for 21st on the all-time single-game homer list.
The Bishops have been swinging their bats well after struggling earlier in the season. They have upped their team batting average from .289 to .357.
"We're really hitting the ball hard," third-year coach Bill Collier said. "Baseball is a game of spurts, and we're on a roll. We just have to keep swinging the bat well during the playoffs."
Garrett's homers came in his first varsity start as the team's designated hitter. He is a sophomore and joined the team after the junior varsity season concluded. He finished with four hits in five at-bats against Hanahan, including a pair of doubles. He drove in six runs. He hit a two-run double Friday in a 3-2 loss to Wando.
The Bishops also had a big game against Hanahan in 2009 when they hit eight homers against the Hawks.
The 42nd annual Hanahan Invitation Tournament, one of the top high school baseball showcases in the country, will begin Monday and concludes Friday. This year's field includes 32 teams.
The lineup includes 18 teams from the Lowcountry: Hanahan; Woodland, West Ashley, Beaufort, Bishop England, Wando, Summerville, Stratford, Berkeley, Fort Dorchester, James Island, Ashley Ridge, First Baptist, Goose Creek, Cane Bay, Pinewood Prep, Dorchester Academy and Hilton Head.
State teams include Thomas Sumter Academy, Daniel and West-Oak.
Out-of-state teams include Oakton (Va.); Southlake Christian (N.C.); Grassfield (Va.); Westfield (Va.); Hickory Grove (N.C.); James River (Va.); James Madison (Va.); Nansemond River (Va.), and Kirkland (Ohio.)
Games will be played at eight sites: West Ashley, Wando, Bishop England, Hanahan, Ashley Ridge, Berkeley, Fort Dorchester and James Island. The semifinals and championship will be held at Hanahan's Sportsman Field.
The 21st annual Azalea Invitational Tournament is streamlined, but will still have softball star power. The tournament, which features 16 teams, has been shortened by a day, and begins Monday and concludes Tuesday.
Summerville, the state runner-up last year and currently ranked No. 2 in the state, headlines the field.
State powers White Knoll and Nation's Ford are in the field as well as last year's AIT champ, Stratford.
Other in-state teams include James Island, Berkeley, West Ashley, Northwood Academy, Clover, Thomas Heyward and Fort Mill.
Out-of-state teams include South Lake Christian Academy (N.C.), Williamsport (Pa.), and New York entries Penfield, Brockport and Rush-Henrietta.
Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @pandcphil.