When Aynor’s scoreboard turned on for the first time Wednesday, it still displayed the 11-1 result from Saturday’s win over Edisto in the second round.
The Blue Jackets topped even their own run figure once again.
Coach Chad Sarvis’ team defeated Edisto 12-3 in the District VIII championship game, pushing its three-game postseason tally to 35 runs, combined with a 12-run outburst against Lee Central in the opening round. It was the most runs any of the Lower State teams scored in the district rounds, and it is part of the reason Aynor is no longer flying under the radar as it advances to the Lower State tournament.
After sweeping its way through a Region VIII field that also included Waccamaw and Dillon, not to mention Loris, Aynor appears to be getting stronger.
“We come out and preach to them every day to get better every day, every time they step between the line,” Sarvis said. “I think our kids have bought into that. Any time you’re playing against those great clubs, Waccamaw and Dillon, it makes you better. We found a way to get some timely hitting.”
There was plenty of that against Edisto the second time around.
Seven of the nine offensive starters scored a run and all nine had at least one base hit. The Blue Jackets scored twice in the second, starting with pitcher Walt Richardson’s home run, and then batted around in the third to add four more.
“We want to get as many runs as we can as early as we can,” Richardson said.
The rhythm continued throughout, as the Blue Jacket’s used their own brand of small ball to continue to pile up more runs. They had four sacrifices in the game via bunt or fly out, and several bunt attempts turned into something more.
“We had to [sacrifice] some people over. Our kids are not selfish,” Sarvis said. “Then we get that timely hit when it’s there. It takes the pressure off any one guy from feeling like he’s got to carry the load.”
The win over Edisto moves Aynor into a Lower State field in which it will hold possession of homefield advantage as long as it continues to win.
Much of that is credited to the South Carolina High School League’s pre-determined brackets. But the Blue Jackets have also earned that right with some dominating performances the past week in the district after that undefeated run through the region.
“We believe if we play as a family, nobody can beat us, especially at our house,” Richardson said. “With our family and friends around, there’s [no other team] the same.”