MONCKS CORNER - Zach Gonzales pitched a complete-game shutout, striking out six, and fourth-ranked Berkeley took a 3-0 victory over No. 2 Socastee in the Class AAA Lower State baseball playoffs Tuesday night.
The Stags (23-3) will travel to Hartsville at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday for a winners' bracket game. The winner of that game will play for the Lower State title on Monday.
Tuesday's game was the completion of a game suspended by rain on Monday. The Stags took a 1-0 lead in the first inning Monday on a Josh Simmons single before the rains came.
Tuesday night, Dillon Salisbury drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the second inning to back up the pitching of Gonzales (6-0).
Gonzales, a junior, threw nine pitches Monday night before coming back Tuesday to finish off the game, allowing just three hits.
"He threw three and sometimes four pitches for strikes," Stags coach Landy Cox said. "And we played phenomenal defense behind him."
Cox said junior varsity shortstop Zach Ganey, called up to play first base against Socastee, "made some spectacular plays."
Hartsville took a 4-3 win over Gilbert on Monday to advance to the winners' bracket. Socastee and Gilbert will meet in an elimination game Wednesday.
Berkeley and Hartsville met during the HIT tournament this season, with Hartsville taking a 6-3 win in an 11-inning game that was marred by a benches-clearing brawl.
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