HANAHAN -- As a pitcher, Bishop England's Jimmy Lindberg hates playing at Sportsman Field at Hanahan High School.
As a hitter, he loves it.
Lindberg hit a three-run home run that highlighted a five-run sixth inning to lead Bishop England past Hanahan, 10-5, Monday night in the Class AA Lower State semifinals.
The Hawks (23-4) will take on the winner of the Cheraw-Dillon game Wednesday at home in an elimination game. The Bishops (22-7) will get the rest of the week off, waiting on their next opponent in Friday night's Class AA Lower State finals.
Sportsman Field has notoriously short fences to all fields, so even the most innocent fly ball can be trouble for a contentious pitcher.
"Any little pop fly can turn into the home run out here, so you've got to keep the ball down all the time," Lindberg said. "You can make a good pitch, and it can still end up going over the fence, so it can be a little frustrating to pitch here."
Lindberg gave up three home runs in the first three innings as Hanahan jumped to a 4-1 advantage early in the game.
"I made a couple of mistakes, I left the ball up and (Hanahan) made me pay for it," Lindberg said. "You try not to let if affect the way you pitch, but it's hard not to think about it."
Ryan Manore, Hunter Bessinger and Bryce Hines each hit solo homers for the Hawks.
"We did some good things at the plate early in the game," said Hanahan coach Brian Mitchell. "I thought as the game went on (Lindberg) settled down. He's a crafty pitcher. He knows how to move the ball around in the strike zone."
After giving up a home run to Bessinger in the third, Lindberg retired 15 of the next 17 batters he faced.
"It seems like we've just gotten off
to slow starts here in the playoffs," Bishop England coach Bill Collier said. "Once Jimmy settled down, he got into a groove and pitched really well."
Trailing 4-1, the Bishops grabbed a 5-4 lead with a four-run third inning highlighted by Andrew Kinard's two-run single.
"I think that inning really helped our confidence," Collier said. "It's easy to get discouraged when you're playing here."
With the score tied at 5 in the sixth, the Bishops broke the game open with five runs, two of which came from self-inflicted wounds in the field by the Hawks. Patrick Mikell and Ryan Mills each reached on errors and Ryan Maksim walked to load the bases. Mikell scored on a passed ball to give the Bishops a 6-5 lead with one out.
"We didn't make the routine defensive plays when we needed to," Mitchell said. "I thought we had some good at-bats, and once Bryce settled down he threw well. We lost this game with our defense."
Lindberg put the game away with his three-run home run.
"That's when you love to be playing," Lindberg said. "I was waiting on a fastball, and that's what I got and I drove it to the opposite field."