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Holly Hill Academy High School

Holly Hill Academy baseball looking for state finals berth

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Holly Hill – As the May edition of the High School Sports Report went to press, the baseball team at Holly Hill Academy was one win from advancing to the SCISA Class A state championship series.

After sweeping Richard Winn in the opening round best-of-three series, the Raiders hooked up with Wardlaw in another best-of-three series in the semi-final round. The winner of the series will play Dorchester Academy in a best-of-three championship series starting on May 14th.

Holly Hill won game one of the series with Wardlaw, 3-1. Junior pitcher Hanks Avinger, the ace of the Raiders’ staff, allowed just two hits and struck out 10 in the victory.

Defensive issues cost the Raiders a chance to sweep as Wardlaw captured an 8-4 win. Holly Hill made six errors, allowing seven unearned runs in the loss. Game three of the series was May 11th at Holly Hill.

“When we have lost games this year, we could usually point to bad defense,” Holly Hill coach Ashley Brunson said. “We allowed seven runs in one inning in game two and made four errors. It’s hard to beat any team with that many errors, especially a good team like Wardlaw. I feel like if we can make the plays defensively, we are good enough to beat anyone. Our pitching hasn’t been an issue much. We have to make plays and get some timely hits.”

The Raiders entered the May 11th game with a 13-4 overall record. Brunson says his team is a good mental frame of mind.

“Losses tend to stick in my head a lot longer than the players,” the coach said. “The boys take it all in stride. They know what’s at stake. They know what we need to do to win. They will be ready to play.”

Avinger’s win in game one of the series pushed his record 6-2 on the season. He has posted a 0.75 earned run average with 72 strikeouts in 47 innings of work. At the plate, Avinger leads the team with a .540 batting average, belting three homeruns with 25 RBI’s.

Even Boyd is hitting .362 with 14 runs driven in and 21 runs scored while Nick Strickland is hitting .358 with 19 RBI’s. Andrew Siau is hitting .352 with nine RBI’s and Josh Siau is hitting .318 with 21 RBI’s.

Josh Siau also is solid on the mound, posting a 4-0 record with a 0.53 earned run average. Strickland has a 3-3 pitching record with a 2.07 earned run average.

The Holly Hill softball team will begin play in the class A state tournament on May 12-13 in Lexington. The Raiders were runner-up in their region and enter the state tournament with an 21-10 record, counting tournaments.

Head coach Henry Lockey recently received a huge honor when the school named the softball field in his honor.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported us, all of my current and former players, and the school administration for allowing me to stay here this long,” Lockey said. “It is a very humbling experience to have something like this happen and it was not expected, I can assure you. This never really crossed my mind but I am very thankful for it.”

 

 

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