The 16 strikeouts by Post 185 hitters Tuesday night normally wouldn't bother coach Chris Seelbach, provided his Lowcountry Heat batters still being able to bring runners home when it counts.
"That's OK if you're hitting home runs like the Atlanta Braves, but we don't hit home runs," he said. "That's part of having runners in scoring position with less than two outs. You have that, you get the ball in the air, you put the ball on the ground (and get runners in.)"
Unfortunately for Seelbach, Braves standouts Evan Gattis and Justin Upton won't be coming to the Hilton Head High baseball field anytime soon. And his Lowcountry Heat hitters struggled with that situational hitting against Goose Creek, which in turn sent Post 185 to a 6-2 defeat.
"We had plenty of chances to put six or eight runs on the board," Seelbach said. "It's just situational hitting. That's always going to hurt you, especially with the pitcher you're playing."
The Heat (5-2) stranded eight men in all on the base paths against Goose Creek, and watched runners fail to come home from third base three separate times with less than two outs.
Those offensive struggles doomed Post 185's solid pitching effort, which held its own against The Citadel right-hander Zach Wimmer and two other solid Goose Creek relievers.
"It's mostly mental, but it does get kind of hard when you have a guy like Zach throwing," said Logan Phillips, who took the loss after allowing two earned runs in four innings of relief. "He throws really good and he's a good pitcher. There were a couple times we should have cashed in and we didn't."
Phillips took a 1-0 lead to the mound in the seventh inning after bringing home the Heat's first run in the fourth on a single through the right side. But Goose Creek struck for a trio of runs in the decisive seventh, which started with a hit batter and a pair of doubles. The first double came off the bat of pinch-hitter Sean Freeland, who delivered an 0-2 fastball down the left field line.
Goose Creek tacked on another trio of runs off relievers Michael Perez and Grant Youmans in the ninth to run away with the victory, its second in as many games against Post 185 this season.
"It was tough," Phillips said. "I had the one guy 0-2, threw a fastball over the middle to start off the rally. If I didn't do that, that probably wouldn't have happened."
Those runs only added to the deficit for the Heat's struggling offense, which finished 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
"The pitchers pitched well enough to win the game," Seelbach said. "We just didn't do anything to help them with the bat."
Goose Creek 000 000 303 -- 6 8 2
Lowcountry Heat 000 100 100 -- 2 4 1
WP: Tyler Rio 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
LP: Logan Phillips 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Top hitters: Goose Creek -- Cody Smith 3 for 4, RBI; Sean Freeland 2 for 2, 2B; Tyler Rio 1 for 5, 2B, RBI; Austin Timm 2 for 4, RBI. Lowcountry Heat -- Logan Phillips 2 for 3, RBI; Jake Martin 1 for 2, 2 BB, 3 SB; Storm Grisham 1 for 4, RBI.