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Top Ranked Summerville Defeats Stratford 5-0 In AAAAA Baseball Action Monday Night

Top Ranked Summerville Defeats Stratford 5-0 In AAAAA Baseball Action Monday Night  

By Billy G. Baker

Publisher

Summerville—The Summerville (7-1) Green Wave baseball team, ranked number one in the first HSSR ranking of the season, got a 5-0 non-region road win at Stratford Monday night, as four major league baseball scouts watched Summerville ace pitcher Aiden Hunter scatter four hits and strike-out 12 Knights in seven innings of work.

The two teams will meet again on Wednesday in Summerville to conclude a mutual consent two game home-an-home series. Summerville will then host AAA power Bishop England at 6 p.m. on Thursday.  

Summerville head coach Bo Charpia, starting his 5th season as the head coach at Summerville, reacted positively to the question of how does it feel for your team to be number one ranked early in the 2021 season?  “I think we are up there, and we have the talent and the coaching you need to compete at a high level.” said Coach Charpia. “Really, there are seven or 8 teams in 5-A who could all be there in the end playing for a state championship. We have a little injury bug right now but when we get everyone back, I think we could be even a stronger team then we are right now.” (Injured players include key relievers Maddox Webb who had a strong outing in the IP Classic won by Summerville recently and Trae Bunch who has been sidelined with a broken thumb and he is also a solid relief pitcher.)

Hunter threw 92 pitches, and at least five of them were over 90 MPH, as scouts from the Giants, Cubs, Padres, and Pirates looked on with keen interest. Hunter (R-R) has signed to play baseball at South Carolina next season.

“It is going to take some serious money for Aiden not to go on to college,” said Coach Charpia. “His brother (Skylar Hunter) left The Citadel early (2015) and signed with the Phillies as a pitcher. Hunter is a great kid and he should get some consideration as an early round pick because he is such a great kid. He stays around the strike zone and he such a hard worker. He throws his fastball consistently between 89 and 91. He was also the MVP of the championship game at the IP Classic.”

During the IP Classic Summerville went 4-0 with wins over Carolina Forest (9-3), Greenwood (15-14), Hammond (15-1) and in the championship game they defeated Hartsville (11-3). After 8 games the top three hitters are Cole Messina (.522 with 9 RBI’s, 2 HR), Webb is at .412 with four RBI’s. and Wellman is at .387 with 8 RBI’s. Carson Messina is at .345 and PJ Morlando is at .320.

The Green Wave have freshman second baseman/ relief pitcher Cole Messina already committed to South Carolina and freshman outfielder/first baseman Morlando is committed to Mississippi State.

Summerville is currently starting four seniors plus a senior designated hitter. They include Hunter, senior shortstop Lane Tobin, Wellman is a senior lefthander in center field, while Powell is the senior designated hitter currently batting .320 with three RBI’s.

“We have a good blend of senior leadership and younger talent in the 9th and 10th grades,” said Coach Charpia. “When we played Cane Bay earlier and they have a right- handed pitcher who is under the radar right now and they beat us 1-0 so who you have on the mound is big deal for sure. If we coaches can stay out of the way and not screw anything up, and if we stay healthy, I feel for certain we can make a deep playoff run this season and hopefully compete for a state title at the end.”

Brandon Beckman is the head coach at Stratford starting his 6th season.  “I know for everybody not having a season last year due to Covid that we still trying to find out just where this team is and we have guys who are playing for us right now as seniors who really needed a junior year of competition,” said Coach Beckman who graduated from Summerville in 2006. “That extra year could have helped us build some cohesiveness as a team. We are still trying to work through that a little bit.

Josh (Davis) (A Clemson Commitment) gives us a chance to win every time he is on the mound and it is unfortunate the team didn’t play well behind him tonight,” said Coach Beckman. “He wasn’t his typical self-tonight with the hit batters, and the two walks, but he had six strike-outs. This wasn’t one of his better outings but he is a very good pitcher who happened to have an off night every once in a while.  Our fielding mistakes didn’t help him very much either.”

Coach Beckman said the Knights will throw freshman Cole Greer at Summerville on Wednesday. “He’s given us some good outings so far this season,” said Coach Beckman. “We just need to get our bats going and play some good defense behind him.”      

The Green Wave scored their first run in the top of the second as Carson Messina singled and advanced to second on a stolen base. He later scored from second on a two-base throwing error. The Wave added two additional runs in the third inning as Owen Wellman led off with a single and then PJ Morlando reached on a walk. Carson Messina then singled in Wellman to make it 2-0. Hunter was then hit by a pitch to give Summerville runners on first and third.  Summerville sent the first base runner on a steal of second and the catcher bit on the play Morlando tore home from third to put the Wave up 3-0.

In the fourth inning the Green Wave made it 4-0 as Jennings Flower reach on a lead-off walk advanced to second on a passes ball and later scored from third on a SAC fly by Brandon Powell. Summerville added an insurance 5th run in the sixth inning when Powell reached on hit-by-pitch and then Cole Messina put down a two-out bunt that resulted in an over throw to first scoring Powell.

Stratford managed four hits against Hunter who wasted little time between pitches as 64 of his pitches pounded the strike zone. Four different Stratford players had one single each and they were Thomas Purcell, along with ace pitcher Josh Davis, a Clemson commitment, who went six innings allowing five hits and striking-out six batters. Brent Marrs and Austin Kling got the other two hits for Stratford.  Davis was relieved by Thomas Kistler for the Knights in the top of the 7th.     

 


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