After two nights and eight games, two teams stand at 2-0 in the Dixie Youth Baseball Hilton Head Minors Super District Tournament at Hilton Head Island's Crossings Park.
Beaufort East and Hilton Head Coastal will square off in Game 11 at 8 p.m. Wednesday, and only one team will emerge unscathed in the double-elimination tournament for 8- and 9-year-olds.
"If you win tomorrow, it puts you in the driver's seat," said Beaufort East coach Brett Westerfield.
Westerfield's Beaufort East squad downed Beaufort American 4-1 Tuesday on the arm of Wes Graves and the bat of Jeremiah Simmons.
Simmons broke the game in Beaufort East's favor with two outs in the third inning. With the bases loaded as a result of three walks, Simmons doubled to clear the bases for a 4-1 lead.
Graves did the rest, pitching a complete game, striking out eight and surrendering just three hits.
"Phenomenal," Westerfield said. "There's no other way to describe it."
Westerfield, who said eight of the 12 players on his team could pitch, wasn't afraid to let Graves go the distance, meaning he couldn't pitch again in the tournament.
"We know we have to play out every game," Westerfield said. "We can't look ahead. That's why we had Wes go the distance tonight."
Mason Westerfield scored twice for Beaufort East, while Hayden Jennings went 3 for 3.
A night after coach Dobbie Green's Hilton Head Coastal team pulled off an 11-10 come-from-behind win over Hilton Head Atlantic, his team was locked in a scoreless duel with the Bluffton Nationals through four innings.
And it was an unlikely rally that was the difference for Coastal in a 3-0 win.
After Hilton Head Coastal loaded the bases with one out, Nicholas Flood hit a comebacker to the pitcher that resulted in an out at the plate, and it looked as though the Nationals might escape.
But Jaiden Hrobar was hit by a pitch to force in the game's first run, and Daniel Keeber followed with a walk to make it 2-0. Flood then pulled off a delayed steal of home to complete a most unlikely three-run rally for all the runs Hilton Head Coastal would need.
"With kids this age, you take the wins any way you can get them," Green said.
Ethan Hussong held the Bluffton Nationals scoreless for five innings for the win, and Keeber came on to pitch the final inning.
"Our pitchers did a good job," Green said. "And our defense, they made the plays."
Like Westerfield, Green understands Wednesday night's game will put one team at a big advantage for the rest of the week. But after "two good games against two good teams," he's not worried about his team losing focus.
"The teams that we've played have kept us humble," Green said.
In other game action:
Hilton Head Atlantic 14, Bluffton American 4, 4 innings: Leading off the bottom of the fourth, James Layman hit a deep drive into the right-field corner and came around on a wild throw to score the game-winning run.
Jace Blackshear, Layman, Guy Annunizata and Tommy Stauffer each had two hits for Hilton Head Atlantic, which advances to a 6 p.m. Wednesday elimination game against Beaufort American. Kyle Markowitz was 1 for 1 with two runs scored.
Bluffton American, which is eliminated, was led by Landry Donath, Ethan Peloquin and Max Hickey, who each had a hit and a run scored.
Hampton/Varnville 16, Walterboro 15: Jacob Harriot's two-strike, two-out sixth-inning line drive down the right-field line scored John Schaffer and Carson Poston, on board with back-to-back singles, to lead Hampton/Varnville to a come-from-behind win and avoid elimination.
Harriot went 3 for 4 with four RBIs to lead Hampton/Varnville, and John Schaffer, Bug Branson and Fisher Moore each had three hits and combined to score 11 runs between them. Schaffer and Jackson Phillips each added two RBIs.
Hampton/Varnville faces the Bluffton Nationals at 6 p.m. Wednesday in another elimination game.
For Walterboro, Jackson Bell and Dawson Sweat each had two hits. Bell scored twice and drove in a run, while Sweat scored three times and drove in two.
Dixie Youth Baseball Hilton Head Minors Super District Tournament
At Crossings Park, Hilton Head Island
Game 1: Beaufort East 19, Hampton/Varnville 6
Game 2: Beaufort American 9, Walterboro 5
Game 3: Bluffton Nationals 14, Bluffton American 2, 4 innings
Game 4: Hilton Head Coastal 11, Hilton Head Atlantic 10
Game 5: Hampton/Varnville 16, Walterboro 15, Walterboro is eliminated
Game 6: Hilton Head Atlantic 14, Bluffton American 4, Bluffton American eliminated
Game 7: Beaufort East 4, Beaufort American 1
Game 8: Hilton Head Coastal 3, Bluffton Nationals 0
Game 9: Hampton/Varnville vs. Bluffton Nationals, 6 p.m. (Field 1)
Game 10: Hilton Head Atlantic vs. Beaufort American, 6 p.m. (Field 3)
Game 11: Beaufort East vs. Hilton Head Coastal, 8 p.m. (Field 3)
Game 12: Game 11 loser vs. Game 10 winner, 6 p.m. (Field 3)
Game 13: Game 11 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 8 p.m. (Field 3)
Game 14: Game 13 winner vs. Game 12 winner, 6 p.m. (Field 3)
Game 15: Game 14 winner vs. bye, 8 p.m. (Field 3)*
*If after Game 13 there are three teams with one loss each, all will draw for the Game 15 bye.