By CINDY CROSBY Cindyc4@yahoo.com The Colleton Prep War Hawk Baseball team qualified for post-season play and will begin competition in the SCISA AA Lower Bracket as they No. 3 seed. They will face No. 2 seed Lee Academy on the road on Tuesday, April 27. The War Hawks (11-8, 8-2) finished their regular season with a win over Branchville High School (6-2) and a loss to Orangeburg Prep (7-6).
Playing on the road against Orangeburg Prep on Wednesday, April 21, the War Hawks fell behind by five runs in the third inning. Despite a five-run fifth inning, the War Hawks would fall by a run to Orangeburg Prep. Carter Smoak started the game for Colleton Prep and surrendered five runs on five hits over three innings, striking out three. Colton Daniels threw six and a third innings in relief , allowing one earned run on seven hits, striking out six and issuing three walks. Daniels led Colleton Prep at the plate, going 3-5 (homerun) with an RBI. Kyle Hooker was 1-3 (homerun) with 2-RBI’s. Pete Peters, Huiet Rowe, Cole Gulotti, Grayson Mills and Wyland Sheffield had a hit each.
“This loss tonight was a tough one,” said CPA Baseball Coach Collin Miller. “I loved the way the guys came back and showed that there is no quit in this team. Going down five in the third, the guys could have just rolled over and quit but that is not what this team is about.”
In the at-home win over Branchville High School on Thursday, April 22, Colleton Prep scored one run in the second inning and added three in the third for an early lead. Hooker started in the last home appearance of the regular season, allowing no hits, striking out six and issuing four walks. Gulotti closed, allowing one earned run on four hits, striking out three and issuing three walks. Hooker went 3-3 on the day with 2-RBI’s and scored twice. Rowe and Gulotti were both 2-3 in the game. Peters and Daniels each had a hit.
“This was a great tune up game for the playoffs,” said Miller. “The guys were focused and played with a chip on their shoulder tonight, and the result showed. Kyle and Cole were great on the mound tonight even on pitch counts so they are available for the playoffs.” “Lee Academy is going to be a tough first round match up,” said Miller. “They are a well-coached team and will be prepared from the first pitch. I do know some of the guys on the team remember what happened two seasons ago when Lee took the title from CPA in the state finals. I, and the coaching staff, will have the boys prepared and ready to go.”
When asked about playoff seeding and Colleton Prep garnering a No. 3 spot after their only losses in Region IV-AA coming against (flex) Hilton Head Prep, he had the following to say, “ I am not going to comment on how SCISA decided to change the playoff format less then 72 hours before the start of the playoffs, and how a region champion has to go on the road in the first round of a double elimination tournament style playoff bracket, and not a three-game series. We will play anyone and anywhere at any time.”
The JV team lost 9-4 against Orangeburg Prep last week. Colleton Prep had seven hits in the contest, with Cole Davis accounting for two. Owen Harrelson and Will Cain saw time on the mound for CPA. They would fall in their final game of the season to Branchville High School (16-3). Jeb Bootle and Braeden Hiers both saw time on the mound. Owen Harrelson, Hiers, and Britton Phillips all collected a hit in the contest. “I am proud of this team this season,” said Miller. “Each of the guys grew as baseball players and I am looking forward to seeing how they look next season.”