An improbable late-season run has landed the surprising Northwood Academy baseball team in the SCISA Class AAA state championship series.
The Chargers completed yet another upset series victory on Friday night, beating Laurence Manning, 9-7, in a deciding game three of the semifinal series. The game was played at Heathwood Hall in Columbia.
Northwood will play defending state champion Wilson Hall in a best-of-three championship series beginning on Monday night at Northwood.
Northwood, winners of only seven games during the regular season, are 6-1 in the state playoffs and have upset three higher-seeded teams on its way to the state finals.
The Chargers rallied from a 5-2 deficit on Friday, tying the game at five in the fourth. The Chargers grabbed a 9-5 lead in the top of the sixth when senior Micah Deveaux singled to center with the bases loaded. The ball escaped through the legs of the centerfielder, allowing all three runs to score.
Senior Hunt McLeod had two hits — a double and a triple — and knocked in three runs. Deveaux also had three runs batted in while senior Garrett Jarrell had a pair of doubles. Northwood was out-hit, 12-8, in the game.
Northwood starting pitcher Jason Cassanello allowed eight hits but no earned runs in 4 1/3 innings of work. Sophomore Jon Glee finished the fifth and earned the victory. Senior Will Lloyd pitched the final two innings for the save, allowing two runs.
St. John’s Christian Academy also was playing for a spot in the SCISA Class A state championship series but lost to Holly Hill Academy, 5-0, in game three of its SCISA Class A semifinal series. The game was played at Colleton Prep Academy in Walterboro.
The Cavaliers close out one of the best seasons in school history with a 20-3 record. The Cavaliers lost game one of the series, 14-7, Monday night, before winning game two on Wednesday, 7-4.
Holly Hill Academy will play Dorchester Academy in the Class A state championship series, which begins Monday.