Hanahan junior right-hander Malcolm Van Buren allowed two hits over six innings and the Hawks pounded out 15 hits in a 6-2 win over Marlboro County in an elimination game of the AAA District V playoffs.
Hanahan (17-9) advances to Friday’s District championship game at Gilbert, needing to beat the Indians twice to advance to the Lower State final four bracket. The Hawks lost to Gilbert, 4-2, on Monday night.
“It’s all about surviving now,” said Hanahan coach Brian Mitchell. “At this point, you have to use who you have to use and do whatever you can. You can’t worry about the next day. You have to win now and tonight we did a great job. We hit the ball really well, hit a lot of balls on the ground and found some holes.”
Hanahan scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning to give Van Buren some breathing room. Kevin Acosta made it 5-0 with a triple in the fourth and later scored on a wild pitch. Six runs was all Van Buren needed. The 6-2 right-hander breezed through five innings without allowing a hit. Marlboro County scratched for two runs and two hits in the six.
“Malcolm did a great job,” said Mitchell. “We needed someone to give us some innings because obviously we have to go win two on Friday. He gave us six strong innings and was really sharp.”
Mitchell says his team is playing with confidence and is more than capable of winning twice on Friday night. Pitching depth has been a key all season and that will come into play on Friday.
“We do have pitching depth and we have a lot of guys that I have confidence in,” said Mitchell. “That’s probably our biggest strength, so we feel good going to Gilbert.”