Bishop England continued its perfect season on Thursday night, winning the Hatfield
division title of the 49th annual Hanahan Invitational Tournament with a 7-3 win over Wando.
Ashley Ridge knocked off
Hanahan in the final of the Steadman Division, 7-3, claiming its first title after losing in the finals two years ago.
Bishop England improved to 15-0 on the season with the win over its longtime rival. Bishops coach Mike Darnell said beating Wando is special for the players.
“They all know each other from summer ball and stuff, so for our guys it’s a big deal to beat Wando,” Darnell said. “It’s good to keep winning. We (the coaches) sweat this stuff a lot more than these players. They play so much baseball nowadays, this is just normal for them.”
The Bishops wasted no time in setting the tone early, striking for two runs in the first on Matt Lobeck’s two-run double. Lobeck was named the most valuable player of the Hatfield division. Matt McManus’ sacrifice fly scored Lobeck for a 3-0 early advantage.
After the Warriors posted a run on Jaxen Rogers’ groundout in the second, the Bishops answered with two more tallies in the top of the third.
Wando loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with no outs but managed only one run as Leo Albano, in relief of starter Gregory Sanders, induced an inning-ending double play.
“We weren’t real sharp on the mound today, and Wando hit some balls hard but right at us,” Darnell said. “We hit some right at them, too, but we had a few more fall for us.”
Bishop England added two runs in the top of the sixth for a 7-2 lead, but the Warriors added a run before leaving two on base in the bottom of the sixth.
Ashley Ridge starting pitcher Chris Watkins did not allow a hit until the sixth inning, and the Swamp Foxes pounded out 14 hits in their win.
“We had a good week with the bats,” Ashley Ridge coach Brian Givens said. “We got a couple of breaks early in the game that led to some early runs, but we kept putting the ball in play and some good things happened.”
The teams were scoreless
until the third when the Swamp Foxes scored an unearned run for a 1-0 lead.
Ashley Ridge added two runs in the third on RBI singles from Tobias Jordan and Stevie DeFranc, then broke the game open with four runs in the fourth. Austin Little, Jordan, and Watkins all produced RBI singles, and DeFranc added a sacrifice fly for a 7-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Watkins cruised on the mound for five innings before Hanahan found success in the bottom of the sixth. Laith Williams ended the no-hitter and shutout with a triple down the line in right. Cooper Dawson, who belted three home runs during the tournament, followed with a double to center and Jonathan Barham tripled to right center to trim the lead to 7-3, chasing Watkins off the mound.
Jacob Bross relieved Watkins and ended the threat with a strikeout and flyout.
“Chris was pretty on tonight,” Givens said. “They got on him in that one inning, but he was pretty good tonight.”