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Hillcrest tops Summerville 8-7 to sweep series and capture AAAAA baseball crown

Simpsonville - Baseball is a game where you must take advantage of your opportunities and the Hillcrest Rams did just that as they beat the Summerville Green Wave 8-7 to capture their first AAAAA state baseball championship.

The win coupled with Tuesday night’s 5-3 victory gave the Rams a two-game sweep over the Green Wave.

“This is hard to put into words right now. I’m so proud of our kids and the resilience they showed all year,” said Ram’s head coach Dale Nelson

The Rams only scored and had hits in two innings (1st and 3rd) during the game the first and third but that is all they needed to pull out the win to become state champions.

The Green Wave got off to a great start as lead-off hitter Cole Messina singled to start the game. Two-hole hitter freshman PJ Morlando then hit a blast to the deepest part of the ballpark and Summerville had a 2-0 in the top of the first.

The Rams would come right right back in their half of the first when Jacob Calvert doubled to start the inning. Wyatt Stone walked and both runners were brought home on Brady Jeffcoat’s double in the left-center gap. Jeffcoat went to third on the throw to the plate and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Houston Curry

The final run of the inning for the Rams came when Carson Erlewine went yard and the Ram’s had a 4-2 lead after one complete inning.

Summerville would retake the lead in the third when they put up a four spot. Messina singled to start the third, Morlando walked and Owen Wellman reached first on an error to load the bases. Maddox Webb then brought Messina home with a sac fly to right.

After the second out of the inning, freshman Carson Messina hit a three-run homer and the Green Wave regained the lead at 6-4.

Hillcrest responded again with four runs in their half of the third to regain a lead they would never relinquish at 8-6. Curry doubled to start the inning and was brought home by a single off the bat of Peyton Nelson

Erlewine then hit into a force to reach first and Landen Thurston was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second to bring up Conner David. Then on a 3-2 pitch, David promptly dropped the next pitch over the left-field fence for a three-run shot to cap another four-run Ram inning. 

The Green Wave would cut the lead to one in the top of the fourth when Wellman doubled and then scored on a Lane Tobin single. The Rams lead was now 8-7.

The Green Wave had two chances to tie the game, but the Rams denied them both times. The first chance occurred when Cole Messina tried to steal home in the top of the sixth but was tagged out by Hunter Jagodzinski for the third out of the inning.

The top of the seventh brought more drama. The Ram’s closer Stone got the first two outs of the inning but then walked three straight hitters to load the bases. That brought up Cole Messina and you had the matchup of the game, All-State selection versus All-State selection. On the second pitch Cole hit a soft liner to Jeffcoat to end the game and the celebration began for Ram Nation!

“Wyatt has done that all year for us. He was a bit tired, but he gutted it out. He is the toughest kid on our team,” coach Nelson said.

Summerville out hit Hillcrest 11-6 but were done in by 10 walks and a hit batsmen.

“You can not walk 10 hitters and expect to win at this level. I thought we played well enough to win in other areas of the game,” said a dejected Green Wave head coach Bo Charpia.


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