Banks Faulkner is in his first year as the Wando baseball coach, but he's been around long enough to know that a team needs time to gain chemistry and maturity.
That was evident when he said, "This team is a work in progress," before this season began. The team had some top-notch talent returning but lost some key players.
The Warriors struggled, fighting to stay above .500, but they peaked at just the right time. The Warriors rallied to defeat Summerville, 9-4, Saturday night in a Class AAAA playoff game to win their eighth straight game and push their record to 17-10.
The Warriors were batting .431 as a team and are just impressive on the mound with an ERA under 2.00.
Wando outscored its foes 69-13 during the stretch. Jordan Eysen, who is ranked No. 2 in his class academically, is hitting .625, South Carolina-bound Connor Bright is batting .600, and Casey Fries is hitting at a .500 clip during the streak. On the mound, Jake McBreairty, Michael Carpin and Daniel Willet are each 2-0.
During their run to the HIT championship, Wando beat Cane Bay, 25-0, in a game in which the Warriors slugged three grand slams, which is tied for third most in history, according to the National Federation of High Schools' record book.
The SCISA state championship season is in full swing.
The state track championships are Saturday at Sumter's Memorial Stadium.
The baseball playoffs begin Monday and conclude with best-of-three state championship series May 16-17, and May 19 if needed.
The state soccer championships are May 14 at Porter-Gaud. The girls Class AAA championship is at 10 a.m. and the Class AAA boys match is at noon. The girls Class AA-A championship is at 3 p.m. and the boys' AA-A match is at 5 p.m.
The state softball championships are May 13-14.
Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter at @pandcphil.