Beaufort Ospreys center fielder Stephen Baggett found a Goose Creek relief pitcher at home plate Tuesday night and complimented him on his two innings thrown.
That was the only kind gesture Baggett extended the visitors during their American Legion game at Beaufort High School. The soon-to-be Beaufort High senior doubled three times, drove in a pair of runs and scored on a bizarre series of events after drawing a walk to help lead the Ospreys to an 8-1 victory.
Baggett, done with spring football practice and with the school year closing, said he is ready to focus on the Legion baseball season.
"We're not going through this just for fun," Baggett said. "We want to do this to win."
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Mike Smith's team improved to 2-2. He told his players after the game similar performances were needed, that they should take a serious approach to the season to earn the best possible playoff seed.
"The way you do that is you come out here and play ball every night, you play to win," Smith said.
Everything seemed to click Tuesday.
Starter Thomas Smith delivered another eight-inning outing, not allowing an earned run despite Goose Creek rapping out 12 hits. Goose Creek twice wasted bases-loaded, one-out situations, both times the Beaufort defense helping Smith escape the jams.
"I didn't really know what we were going to get on three days' rest," Mike Smith said.
And at the plate, Ospreys hitters found the gaps, pounding six doubles.
At 6-foot-5, Baggett's size has led pitchers to throw around him, especially of late. He walked three times during a Monday loss to Moncks Corner. With David Tilton batting ahead and Mattison Pike following Baggett's cleanup spot, the Ospreys have an intimidating middle of the order.
But everyone got their licks.
Goose Creek cycled through four pitchers. Reliever Chris Zurcher, its third arm of the night, was the one to impress Baggett.
Baggett got the better of their duel, though, drawing a walk and sprinting around the bases to score after the catcher failed to immediately field a passed ball and Goose Creek fielders threw the ball away trying to gun him down.
The hustle is what Smith wants the remainder of the season. The parity in the league is strong, he said, and earning a respectable playoff seed will require constant effort.
The Ospreys plan on it.
"Every team in the district has about an equal amount of talent," Thomas Smith said. "Every day you have a chance to win, so you've got to play good."
Goose Creek 100 000 000 -- 1 12 2
Beaufort Ospreys 100 150 10x -- 8 13 2
W: Thomas Smith (2-0) 8 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 K, 12 H, 1 BB
L: Cody Maw 4 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 9 H, 1 K
Top hitters: GOOSE CREEK-- Zach Wimmer 3 for 5, SB. BEAUFORT -- Stephen Baggett 3 for 3, 3 2B, BB, 3 R; Jordan Clegg 2 for 3, 2B, 2 RBIs, BB; David Tilton 2 for 4, 2 RBIs; Matt Thorpe 2 for 4, RBI; Chris Tealy 2 for 3, 2B.