The name of the school that eliminated Laurens Academy from the SCISA Class A baseball playoffs had a familiar ring to it.
One night after the Crusaders lost a heart-breaker in Moncks Corner to St. John’s Academy, Holly Hill Academy ousted the Crusaders with a 17-4 victory in Laurens.
The Raiders also eliminated Laurens Academy from the 8-man football playoffs in the semifinals.
This time Holly Hill (5-12) never trailed, scoring 3 runs in the top of the first inning. Laurens Academy (9-12) countered with 2 in the bottom half, but that was as far as the rally went. The Raiders, too, were coming off a bitter defeat in the opening round, where Patrick Henry had edged them, 12-11.
Led by Tyler Wright and Kanyon Hitzler, each of whom smacked 3 hits, the Raiders added 5 runs in the second inning, 2 in the fourth and 7 in the fifth. LA scored twice in the bottom half, in insufficient number to bypass the 10-run rule and keep the game – and season – going.
Holly Hill collected 15 hits off three Crusaders hurlers – starter Cal Robertson, Jordan Hudson and Ryland Paxton – while winning pitcher Ashton Soles and Joe Hufham combined to stop LA on 5 hits.
Catcher Judson Watkins was best in class for the Crusaders, going 2-for-2 and belting the team’s only extra-base hit, a double that nearly got out of the park in the first inning. Watkins and Hudson each drove in 2.