HANAHAN -- The Hanahan baseball team lost the first game of a critical playoff series Monday night.
Sound familiar, Hawks fans?
Chesnee gained an 11-0 victory over the Hawks in Game 1 of the Class AA State Championship Series. It isn't the first time the Hawks have found themselves in a hole.
The Hawks dropped Game 1 of the Lower State Championship Series to Bishop England last week. The Hawks rallied to beat the Bishops two times Friday night to remain alive.
That was a tough order, and so is what is in store for the Hawks this week. On Wednesday, the Hawks travel to Chesnee to play the Eagles. The game will be the final time legend Danny Jones coaches at the field that bears his name. If the Hawks win that game, the deciding game will be played Friday at a neutral field.
The Hawks aren't quitting.
"It was just one game," Hanahan coach Brian Mitchell said. "It doesn't matter if you lose 11-0 or 2-1. You play three games for a reason, and our goal is to get to the third game. Last week, we were down 1-0 and didn't fold. We're going to give the ball to our ace (Bryce Hines). Come Wednesday, we'll be a different team."
Chesnee pitcher Brandon Henderson, who is headed to Gardner-Webb and is likely to be drafted next month, was outstanding Monday night as the left-hander hit the upper 80s on the radar gun on a consistent basis in a game that was called after five innings because of the mercy rule. Last year, he struck out 15 batters and allowed only four hits in a 3-1 loss to Bishop England in Game 1 of the State Championship Series. He was even more impressive against the Hawks. The senior left-hander allowed only two infield hits and struck out nine in five innings. He didn't allow a walk and faced the minimum 15 batters as he upped his record to 13-0.
"He's been outstanding all year," said Jones, who is in his 47th and final season at the Upstate school. "His ERA was 0.40 and it's probably about 0.20 now."
The Eagles took a 4-0 lead in the top of the second on three of well-placed hits.
The big difference in Chesnee this year is in the hitting category. The Eagles collected 14 hits, including five for extra bases.
No. 9 hitter Taylor Waldrup blooped a single just out of the reach of third baseman Tyler Allen to make it 1-0. Leadoff batter Taylor Wade made it 3-0 with a two-run triple just out of the reach of diving right fielder Ryan Manore. Stephen Cantrell then hit a chopper that third baseman Allen couldn't handle.
The Eagles came back with two runs in the top of the third inning to push their lead to 6-0.
Jordan Garrett and Colby Painter hit back-to-back singles to start the inning and David Jones recorded his second sacrifice of the night to put runners on second and third. Jordan threw a wild pitch and catcher Derek Coblentz's throw hit Garrett in the leg, allowing both runners to score.
Henderson breezed through the first three innings, facing the minimum nine batters. He allowed infield singles to Bryce Hines and Tyler Allen, but both runners were thrown out at second on steal attempts. Henderson struck out six of the first nine batters he faced.
The Eagles plated four more runs in the top of the fourth inning. Evan Mitchell blasted a two-run homer to key the inning.
Waldrup collected his second hit of the game with a solo homer to lead off the top of the fifth inning.
WP-Henderson. LP--Jordan. Records--Chesnee 25-2; Hanahan 26-5.