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Bishop England nips Boiling Springs, 3-1, to win IP Classic baseball title

Georgetown – Bishop England went 4-0, including a 3-1 championship game victory over defending champion Boiling Springs, to claim the title of the 28th annual International Paper Classic at Mike Johnson Field on March 4th.

The Bishops, the defending Class AAA state champions and the top-ranked team in AAA entering the 2018 season, also recorded victories over Hartsville, T.L. Hanna and Summerville to win their first-ever IP Classic title in their second-ever trip.

“It’s a great way to open the season and certainly I am very proud of the players for the way they played this weekend,” Bishop England coach Mike Darnell said. “We weren’t always clean but we played hard all weekend. The effort of our players is what I am most proud of.”

Senior right-hander Ryan Gaffney was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Gaffney started the championship game and had a perfect game through four innings. He ended up allowing a run on three hits in six full innings of work.

“He was great today,” Darnell said. “He worked ahead all day and threw strikes. We played well defensively behind him as well.”

Named to the all-tournament team from Bishop England were senior outfielder Leo Albano and junior left-handed pitcher Geoffrey Gilbert.

Boiling Springs catcher John Michael Faile and pitcher/outfielder Dalton Taylor also were named all-tournament.

Bishop England scored a run in the second after a walk and hit batsman. Gaffney delivered an RBI groundout to plate the initial run.

A walk led to Bishop England’s second run in the third as Corey Cochran eventually scored on a double-play groundout by Greg Sanders.

The lead went to 3-0 in the fifth on an RBI single by Albano, scoring Sanders, who had a hit and stolen base ahead of Albano’s liner to right.

The Bulldogs scratched for a run in the sixth on Taylor’s RBI single, scoring Andrew Greer. Albano entered the game in the seventh and struck out the side for the save.

Summerville beat Blythewood in the third-place consolation game, 6-2. Johnny Cook and Daniel Lloyd were all-tournament selections from Summerville, whose only loss was to Bishop England on Saturday.

T.L. Hanna edged South Florence, 4-3, and Hartsville beat Georgetown, 9-8, in other consolation games on Sunday.

Other all-tournament selections included Will Hardee of South Florence; Widener Wilfong of Hartsville; James Parker of T.L. Hanna; and Ben Lang-Spittler and John Lanier of Blythewood.

Gilbert won the home run derby on Saturday night.

© 2017 High School Sports Report

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