Looking up at a 13-run deficit going into the bottom of the sixth inning, Myrtle Beach coach Tim Christy challenged his team to wake up on offense.
They did just that, scoring six runs – five with two outs – but couldn’t muster enough offense to fully dig themselves out of the hole. With a 14-6 loss, the Seahawks’ season ended in the Class 4A District VII playoffs.
“It was too little, too late from my team,” Christy said. “We showed some character in the sixth inning when we finally started to grind out some at bats and attack some fastballs. Why we waited that long to really grind out and have good at bats, I just don’t know.”
Chapin’s starting pitcher, freshman William Privette, kept Myrtle Beach off balance all day, surrendering two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. His day ended after a home run by Luke Edwards and a double by Cameron Bodge in the sixth inning, but by then, Privette had done more than enough to put his team in a position to win the game and advance in the playoffs, surrendering only two hits in his first five innings of work.
“We knew that they were a very good hitting team and our little freshman came out and did great for six innings,” said Chapin coach Scott McLeod. “He started to run out of gas toward the end and we were trying to save him for later on in the playoffs with the pitch count rules, but he gave us a great effort.”
Chapin would jump on Myrtle Beach early, with a home run by leadoff hitter Will Kroske to start the game and sacrifice fly by Kale Rhame later in the first inning. Chapin would continue to batter Myrtle Beach pitching, adding a run in the third inning, three runs in the fifth, seven in the sixth and another insurance run in the seventh.
Chapin will travel to Hilton Head on Monday, needing to win two games to advance in the Class 4A playoffs.
“When we hit the ball, we can play with anybody,” McLeod said. “We’re going up to Hilton Head and we’ve seen their flamethrower, so that will be a challenge. We’re going to go up there and give it a shot and see what happens.”
Christy attributed some of Chapin’s early runs to a lack of focus from his team, something he hadn’t seen many times this season.
“Like I told the kids, [Chapin] scored 14 runs, 11 of those reached base on a walk, hit batter, an error, or a wild pitch. You’ve got to catch balls and throw strikes – that’s what won us a region championship,” he said.
While the loss ended the season for Myrtle Beach, there is much to look forward to for the program.
“We only lose two seniors (Jay Morris and Cameron Bodge), so I’m already looking forward to next year,” Christy said. “We had a great year, a region championship that nobody can take away. This is a great group of kids; we’ll work hard in the off-season and try to repeat next year.”
WP: William Privette. LP: Tyler Burgess. Top hitters: Chapin: Will Kroske 1-3 2RBI 3runs, Kale Rhame 2-4 2runs, Kareem Bowers 2-5 2RBI run. Myrtle Beach: Luke Edwards 2-3 2RBI run; Dalton Todd 2-2 RBI run; Jay Morris 2-3 2RBI.