HANAHAN -- Wando rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday night to defeat James Island, 4-3, in the Hanahan Invitational Tournament championship game.
Sophomore catcher Nick Ciuffo delivered the game-winning hit, a two-out, bases-loaded single to right to score pinch-runner Brandon Scherling.
It was the first win for Wando (15-10) in three tries against James Island (22-3), which beat Wando, 3-1 and 6-5, during the regular season.
"We just kept battling; all night it was a battle," said Wando coach Banks Faulkner. "We've had three great baseball games against those guys and I guess it was our turn to win one. They're a great team and this does a lot for our confidence heading into the playoffs."
Wando came into the championship game hitting .496 for the tournament and having out-scored its first four opponents, 57-7. Wando hit 11 home runs during the tournament, including eight in the last two games.
However, hits were hard to come by against James Island starter Austin Walker, a sophomore left-hander who limited Wando to four hits and one earned run over for the first six innings.
James Island coach Tom Hatley went with junior Josh Escoffier in the seventh and Wando seemed to welcome the chance to face a right-hander.
"With our lineup, having left-handed hitters all through the middle, it was
a tough night against their lefty," said Faulkner. "We just hung in there and gave ourselves a chance at the end."
Taylor Forcier led off the bottom of the seventh with a double and moved to third on Austin Sneed's groundout to first. Pinch-hitter Jared Schulte tied the game with a single to right.
After tournament MVP Connor Bright flied out to deep left, Casey Fries and Jordan Eysen reached on walks to load the bases for Ciuffo, who went hitless in three at-bats against Walker.
Ciuffo drilled the first pitch he saw from sophomore Tyler Weekley to win the game.
James Island took a 1-0 lead in the first when Christian Dorothy doubled to left, scoring Bo Patterson, who had singled.
Wando tied the game in the fourth on an RBI single from John Eysen. The Warriors took a 2-1 lead in the fifth in Jordan Eysen's sacrifice fly.
Dorothy homered in the sixth to tie the score and Ryan Stone gave the Trojans' a 3-2 lead with a deep homer to center in the top of the seventh.
Daniel Willett earned the win for Wando.
Wando made it a clean sweep in the HIT as the Warriors' junior varsity team beat Ashley Ridge, 18-11, in the final of the Junior Varsity tournament. Madison Aselage had a grand slam for the Warriors.