Great season! Cougars first team to make it to semi-finals in CCHS baseball history | Sports | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | May 11, 2017 5:00 pm
Last Updated: May 11, 2017 at 9:30 am
By CINDY CROSBY
The Colleton County Cougar baseball season came to an end Monday night at Cougar Park in a 2-0 loss against Hilton Head in the semi-finals of the SCHSL AAAA playoffs.
Although there were more than a few tears shed Monday evening following the Cougars’ loss – there was much more joy at what the season brought.
The Cougars finished their 2017 season at 16-11 overall and 8-2 in Region 8-AAAA. They will forever hold a spot in the record books of Colleton County High School as the first-ever baseball team to capture a region title. Then the Cougars went undefeated through the district bracket and earned the District VIII Championship title. And finally, competing in the SCHSL Lower State bracket, the Cougars gained something that had been missing from the program for a while — respect.
Colleton County and starting pitcher Alan Grym held Hilton Head scoreless through five complete innings. The Seahawks managed to plate two runs in the sixth when an error, sandwiched between two walks, put runners on second and third with no outs. A wild pitch then scored the Seahawk runner on third, followed by a timely double to score the second run.
Although Grym recorded the loss for the Cougars, he went toe-to-toe with the highly-touted Hilton Head ace Carmen Mlodzinski through five innings. Grym allowed just two earned runs on two hits, issuing five walks and striking out four Seahawks in his six innings of work. He also recorded the Cougars’ only hit in the game on a well-hit ball to right field in the seventh inning.
Tyler Bell pitched one inning of hitless relief for Colleton County. The Cougars recorded three defensive errors in the game.
Mlodzinski worked seven innings, allowing just one hit, issuing five walks and striking out nine.
LAST WEEK’S ACTION…
Only the threat of EF1 tornadoes hitting Colleton County could have kept the Cougars from playing game one in the SCHSL AAAA Lower State bracket last Thursday, May 4 – and that is exactly what happened. Around 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the decision was made to postpone the matchup between the Cougars and Hilton Head due to the threat of foreboding weather later in the evening. It turned out to be a fortuitous decision, as two tornadoes touched down in the county.
Against Hilton Head the following evening, the only destruction came via special delivery – Michael Thigpen. Thigpen hurled a 2-0 shut out over the Seahawks in a complete game effort, allowing just four hits in the game. He issued one walk and struck out seven Hilton Head batters.
Hilton Head’s pitcher, Faggo, also allowed just four hits in the game, but issued three walks and struck out four. The Seahawks’ defense committed four errors in the game.
Both of Colleton County’s runs came in the bottom of the first inning with two outs. Thigpen singled on a line drive to centerfield, followed by a single to opposite field from cleanup, Reese Penfield. Henry Gibson then reached on an error by the Seahawks’ first baseman that allowed Thigpen’s courtesy runner, Owen Bridge, to score and moved Penfield to third base. Alan Grym then reached on another Hilton Head error, which allowed Penfield to cross home in the final scoring for both teams.
Following Thursday evening’s win, the Cougars hit the road the next day for the first time in AAAA playoffs to take on the perennial powerhouse, AC Flora. The Falcons entered post-season play ranked No. 1 in AAAA according to the latest S.C. Baseball Coaches Association poll.
The Cougars struck first when Trey Nettles was issued a leadoff walk, then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kaleb Gibson and took third on a ground-out by Thigpen. Penfield then singled on a line drive to right field, scoring Nettles. However, the Cougars fell behind 2-1 in the bottom of the second, then went down 4-1 in the bottom of the third in the final scoring of the game.
Lake Boseman took the loss for Colleton County, allowing three earned runs on four hits across four innings of work. Boseman issued two walks and earned one strikeout in the game. He was relieved by Alan Grym for the final two innings. Grym faced just six batters, allowing no hits and recorded two strikeouts in his appearance.
Flora’s starting pitcher of record, Caleb Speedy, earned a complete game win, allowing one earned run on four hits, issuing two walks and striking out seven Colleton County batters.