Bishop England ran away with a 13-1 win over Academic Magnet Saturday in the second round of the Class AA baseball playoffs at Collins Park on Saturday night.
The Bishops return home Wednesday for the first time this postseason to host the District VI title game against either Bamberg-Ehrhardt or Academic Magnet, who will play Monday.
In Class AAAA baseball, Ashley Ridge defeated Carolina Forest, 11-3, to advance to a Monday elimination game. Ashley Ridge (19-5) will host Dutch Fork, with the winner going on to face Wando in the district finals.
Also in AAAA, Goose Creek is in the District V finals after a 5-0 win over Ridge View. Summerville lost at top-ranked Sumter, 11-1, and faces an elimination game Monday.
Bishop England coach Mike Darnell said his team has come a long way this season.
"We're having fun," Darnell said. "Right now, we're just having a good time playing the game."
Sophomore lefty Gunnar Finneseth earned the win for the Bishops, allowing one earned run off two hits, three walks while striking out two through five innings.
Bishop England (12-13) pounded out 12 hits against three Raptor pitchers in the six-inning offensive onslaught.
With a two-run lead in the bottom of the first, Finneseth loaded the bases on back-to-back walks and walked home Jake Sossamon a batter later for Magnet's only run. Finneseth was near perfect from then on, allowing one hit and no walks through the next 42/3 innings.
"I think we pressed a little bit at the plate tonight," Magnet head coach Andy Rusciolelli said. "We were anxious. Their pitcher did a good job. We got bats on ball but we couldn't find the holes."
Jonathan Browning drilled an inside-the-park home run to the wall in left-center to score Reed Fosberry and Paul Provost and break open a 7-1 Bishops lead in the third inning.
The Bishops rang up five more runs in the sixth to extend their lead past the 10-run mercy rule mark. Chandler Sambets drove in Edward Bolchoz with a sacrifice RBI. With two outs, Fosberry tripled down the right-field line to score Griffin Herbert. Provost singled down the left-field line to score Fosberry. Harrison Boals brought home Provost with a double and Browning scored on a passed ball.
Josh Isaacks was 2 for 3 with a double to lead Magnet at the plate. Provost finished 4 for 5 with an RBI and four runs scored, and Boals was 3 for 5 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI.
"Our guys were real fired up today," Darnell said. "That's how we need to play. It's that brand of baseball that will win us games. Fired up, aggressive and have a good time doing it."
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