AIKEN — For the second straight game, Bishop England received a strong pitching performance and played error-free baseball to defeat Silver Bluff, 4-0, Saturday in the second round of the Class AA state baseball playoffs.
Patrick Clarey pitched a five-hit shutout, striking out four, for the Bishops. Harrison Boals, Cameron Garrett and Tradd Lowman all had two hits each. Garrett and Lowman drove in runs, while Jonathan Browning drove in two runners with a hit in the top of the seventh as the Bishops beat Silver Bluff ace Darius Washington.
On Thursday, Bishop England beat Bamberg-Ehrhardt, 2-0, as Lowman pitched a two-hitter and benefited from an error-free game.
“We have been pitching very well,” Bishop England coach Mike Darnell said. “We have a good team ERA, and we have a good batting average. But we have made tons of errors. It seems like every time we make an error, a run scores. But we’ve played well defensively in the playoffs. I guess that old saying about pitching and fielding is true.”
The Bishops (18-4) are in command in District 5 and will play at home Wednesday. They will play the winner of Monday’s game between Silver Bluff and Bamberg-Ehrhardt. The Bishops will advance to the Lower State Championship Series with a win. The Bishops’ opponent Wednesday will have to beat the Bishops twice to advance. The first game is set for 5 p.m.
The Bishops have won state titles in odd calendar years since 2003 and are in position to keep the streak alive.
“I really don’t talk about it,” Darnell said. “Coach (Bill) Collier talks about it. He tells them to keep the tradition going and not be the ones who have the streak end. I don’t know if it motivates our players, though.”
Bishop England 010 010 2—4 8 0
Silver Bluff 000 000 0—0 5 0
WP-Clarey. LP-Washington. Record: BE 18-4. Next: BE hosts either Silver Bluff or Bamberg-Ehrhardt on Wednesday at 5 p.m.