Socastee put together a successful day at the plate Wednesday.
However, the Braves’ offense couldn’t surmount a middling performance on the mound.
Marist (Chicago, Ill.) jumped on Socastee starter Javel Passley for three runs in the first inning and, despite being outhit by the Braves, never trailed in a 16-7 win in the Mingo Bay Classic.
“We have to pitch better. We hit too many people and walked too many people,” said Socastee coach Lester Hudson, who used five pitchers Wednesday. “We hit the ball [well], and that’s what we did again tonight. But when you give up that many free passes, you can't win. We still battled though, and we hit the ball but it was tough to overcome.”
Passley lasted just 2 1/3 innings and allowed six runs (five earned) on two hits, two walks and hit two batters in the loss.
“It starts with our pitchers,” Hudson said. “It always starts with your pitcher and he didn’t get off to a good start tonight. We need our [starter] to come out with some momentum tomorrow to get us going, which we could have used tonight.”
After Socastee tied the game 3-3 in the second inning, Marist's Brandon Hanick hit a two-RBI double and Tom Wade had an RBI groundout in the third to give the Redhawks a 6-3 lead.
The Braves tacked on a run in the bottom half of the third inning, but Marist pounced on Socastee for four runs in the fifth and sixth innings to run away with it.
“We lost a tough one tonight, but we just have to bounce back,” Braves senior Jason Farria said. “Baseball is a 24-hour game – we have a short memory. We’ll just come back [Thursday] with some intensity.”
Socastee had a good idea of what to expect as the team watched Redhawks power hitter John Carmody blast a home run over the scoreboard at the Braves’ baseball field in Marist’s win over Logan (W. Va) the day before.
Carmody went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two doubles, and Hanick was 2-for-4 with four RBIs Wednesday.
Said Hudson: “We knew they were going to be pretty good and they were what we figured: an offensive team. They were going to score runs and we needed to score runs. But it's kind of hard to keep pace when you're walking a lot of people. At one point they had one hit and three runs and we had five hits and only one run. We need to reverse that by just throwing better, catching better and pitching better.”
Socastee, which used every player on its roster, was led on offense by Taylor Karnap, who was 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs.
Despite the loss, the Braves are looking at the Mingo Bay Classic as preparation for a tough Region VI-AAAA slate in April.
“Hopefully we do take a lot from this,” Hudson said. “We wanted to play better, but good thing is we come back tomorrow and play again.”
▪ W: Ben Chaffee .L: Javel Passley. Top hitters: MAR: John Carmody 2-4, 2 2Bs, 3 RBIs, 2R; Brandon Hanick 2-4, 2B, 4 RBIs; Tom Wade 1-2, 2 RBIs, 2 BB. SOC: Taylor Karnap 3-4, 2B, RBI, 2R.
Mingo Bay Classic - Day Two
George Washington (W. Va.) 9, Georgetown 2
Lake Park (Ill.) 11, Conway 1
Myrtle Beach 3, Nitro (W. Va.) 2
North Myrtle Beach 4, Musselman (W. Va.) 3
St. James 3, Jefferson (W. Va.) 0
Waccamaw 5, Canfield (Ohio) 0
West Florence 10, Aynor 5