The Bishop England baseball team won the Class AA Lower State championship Friday night, but there was no celebration. Coach Mike Darnell had his team run 10 laps, going from one foul pole to the other.
“We handled things poorly after the game,” Darnell said after the Bishops posted a 2-1 victory.
But the Bishops handled things well during the game at Father Kelly Field. They made the most of their four hits and got two huge defensive plays to push their record to 23-4 and advance to the state championship series. The Bishops travel to Chesnee for Game 1 on Monday.
Jonathan Browning threw out a runner at the plate to save a run, while catcher Cameron Garrett turned a fouled bunt into a double play in the top of the seventh.
Tradd Lowman pitched five innings and Ryan Rogers finished off the Lions (19-8).
“Chesnee ... It will be interesting,” Darnell said. “I have some friends who coached against them. We’ll travel 31/2 to four hours. The kids will be happy they won’t be in school, but it will be a long trip for some of us.”
The Bishops took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Harrison Boals’ RBI single. He had two of the Bishops’ four hits.
Loris tied it at 1-1 in the top of the third inning on an unearned run. It was only the fourth run Bishop England allowed in five playoff games.
Loris threatened in the top of the fifth inning, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Loris starting pitcher Tanner Chalk singled up the middle and Austin Hoard never slowed down en route from second base. Browning’s throw from center field nailed Hoard at the plate and the Bishops got out of the inning unscathed.
The Bishops won it in the bottom of the sixth inning. Boals singled, went to second on a passed ball and moved to third on Lowman’s sacrifice bunt. Griffin Herbert singled to center to score Boals.
In the top of the seventh, Loris got its leadoff man on. But Stacy Dozier popped up a bunt in foul territory. Garrett caught the ball and threw to first, to beat the runner attempting to get back to first.
Loris 001 000 0—1 7 0
Bishop England 100 001 x—2 4 1
Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @PandCPhil