Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The 2014 Coastal Invitational baseball tournament welcomed Class AAAA teams for the first time this season, and one of them, Greenwood, took home the title.
Waccamaw High, the host team, finished fifth.
“One of our best tournaments,” said Warriors coach Jeff Gregory. “Overall we learned a lot about our team and about the tournament.”
Mother Nature, a nemesis of the tournament in years past, sent rain and washed out Thursday’s entire slate of games. The weather improved enough for play through the rain on Friday, and the sun shone down on Saturday and Sunday.
Waccamaw’s first game on Friday night was a 4-3 loss to Class AAAA South Florence.
The Warriors gave up three runs in the seventh inning for the loss.
Tucker Perry pitched six innings, giving up three hits and striking out seven.
“He pitched a great game,” Gregory said.
Justin Busby pitched one inning and took the loss.
Levi Almond went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and J.C. Tolson went 1-for-2 with an RBI.
Curtis Lawing and Jack Monroe got Waccamaw’s only two hits in a 1-0 loss to Class AAA North Myrtle Beach on Saturday night.
The Warriors stranded eight men in scoring position.
“We put pressure on [their pitcher] all night,” Gregory said. “We couldn’t get the timely hit when we needed it.”
Carter Fox, making his first varsity start, pitched five innings, gave up four singles and struck out five.
“Not bad for his first outing,” Gregory said.
Immediately after the Chiefs game, the Warriors beat Pelion 7-4.
Ethan Leatherwood had a pinch hit, two-run double to spark the Waccamaw offense.
Scott Hiler went 1-for-2 with three RBIs.
Justin Colegrove picked up the win, striking out five, and giving up three walks and three runs (two earned) in four innings.
Tolson got the walk-off game-winning hit run the bottom of the fifth to lift Waccamaw to a 5-4 over Class AAA Broome on Sunday.
“I was thinking just try to get the ball in play and get the runner in,” Tolson said.
Hiler went 2-for-2 with two RBIs; and Lawing went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Almond picked up his first varsity win.
“Another tight game and a comeback,” Gregory said.
Tolson is one of 10 seniors on this year’s Waccamaw squad. Many are starting for the first time.
“A lot of these guys have waited a long time to take their position out there,” Gregory said.
Because of the weather, many of the games were shortened to five innings in order to fit more games into the schedule. Gregory said the shorter games gave teams a greater sense of urgency and added pressure, and he’s considering shorter game at future tournaments.
“Five innings games made me see a whole lot more about my team,” he added.
It would also allow him to add two more teams to the field and still play four days.
Greenwood went undefeated to win the tournament beating St James 12-1, Pelion 9-1, Broome 7-0, and North Myrtle Beach 2-1.
North Myrtle Beach was second, beating Pelion 3-0, South Florence 8-4, and Waccamaw 1-0, and losing 2-1 to Greenwood.
St James was third, beating Cheraw 5-0, Broome 5-1, and South Florence 8-1, and losing 12-1 to Greenwood.
South Florence was fourth, beating Waccamaw 4-3,and Pelion 9-1, and losing 8-4 to North Myrtle Beach, and 8-0 to St. James.
Broome was sixth, beating Cheraw 10-0, and losing 7-0 to Greenwood, 5-1 to St. James, and 5-4 to Waccamaw.
Pelion was seventh, beating Cheraw 6-3, and losing 9-1 to Greenwood, 3-0 to North Myrtle Beach and 9-1 to South Florence.
Cheraw was eighth, losing 5-0 to St. James, 10-0 to Broomer, 6-3 to Pelion and 7-3 to Waccamaw.
See more photos on page 1B.