James Island starting pitcher Austin Weekley allowed just one run on two hits in a complete-game effort as the Trojans defeated visiting Richland Northeast, 3-1, on Friday evening in the first round of the Class AAAA baseball playoffs.
The postponement of the game from Thursday to Friday as a result of threatening weather in the Charleston area means that both teams face a quick turnaround.
James Island (24-3) will host South Aiken, a 7-6 winner over Fort Dorchester in extra innings, in a second-round District VII today at 7 p.m. The Cavaliers (12-11) will face the Patriots today.
Weekley, who will pitch at Charleston Southern next year, struck out 13 and walked a pair to improve to 8-1.
Friday's game was scoreless through three innings. And while the Trojans threatened in the third, putting runners on first and second with one out,
Richland Northeast starter Jason Washburn came out unscathed.
"I was always concerned with their pitcher because I knew he was an off-speed pitcher," James Island coach Tom Hatley said. "And (it was the) first game of the playoffs, and we're all excited, and it looked like sometimes we were trying to hit a five-run home run. We popped up and we were way out in front."
Despite entering the game with a .245 batting average as a team, Richland Northeast got on the scoreboard first. The Cavaliers used consecutive singles and an errant throw by Weekley on a play at the plate to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning.
The Trojans countered right back, as Carson Porcher's RBI single to left scored Joey Wilson, who led off the bottom half of the inning with a double.
Both teams went down quietly in the fifth inning, but James Island recorded two runs in the sixth to secure the victory.
Logan Mills' perfect bunt single loaded the bases with no outs before Tommy Hornsby, pinch running for Josh Escoffier after the third baseman's leadoff single, scored the game- winning run on Porcher's sacrifice fly to left field.
Trojans first baseman Wilson scored an insurance run on a wild pitch by Washburn.
"We knew they bunted, (but) we kind of won the game on a bunt," Hatley said of the irony. "I was proud of the way the boys hung with it, stuck with the game plan and stayed in there. It looks like a new guy every night comes up and comes through for us."
Hatley specifically complimented Robert Moody and Gerald Dickerson's performances at the plate.
JAMES ISLAND 3, RICHLAND NE 1
WP - Weekley (8-1). LP - Washburn.
Records: Richland Northeast: 12-11; James Island: 24-3.