Mike Smith has stressed for some time now of the weight the next several days will carry for his Beaufort Ospreys baseball team.
Post 6 entered the week facing four games in a 72-hour span. Victories were needed in each of them to pull the Ospreys into a deadlock with the Lowcountry Heat atop the American Legion League 1 standings.
"I've told the boys that this is a very important week," Smith said. "We need to take two from these (Lowcountry Heat) guys and two from Moncks Corner starting Wednesday."
His team got the message. Post 6 pounded out 20 hits Tuesday in a 21-4 walloping of the Lowcountry Heat to inch closer in the standings and keep its championship hopes alive.
The Ospreys jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the third inning and never let up. Center fielder Stephen Baggett supplied most of the power, going 3 for 6 with a pair of homers and 6 RBIs while David Tilton added a 4-for-5 performance, which featured a blast of his own and four runs driven in.
"That was good to see, because I felt we were capable of hitting the ball better than we have," Smith said. "I think this was one of those games where you get on top of somebody, and the ball starts bouncing your way a little bit, there was just nothing they could do to get back in it."
Lowcountry Heat starter Randy Young took the brunt of the punishment, lasting only 1 2-3 innings while giving up four earned runs, including all three homers from Baggett and Tilton.
"What goes around comes around," said Heat coach Sam Martin, who was filling in for Chris Seelbach while he traveled to Florida with his little league team. "The last two or three games we've been the recipients of five, six, seven outs per inning. Tonight was our night. It's one of those nights where you take it on the chin and go on."
Beaufort right-hander Thomas Smith pitched with ease in his 6-inning, complete-game effort, allowing just two earned runs to go along with five strikeouts. He helped rest an Ospreys bullpen that expects action over the next two nights. Right-handers Tilton and Austin Willis-Greene will start in Wednesday's doubleheader with Moncks Corner.
A sweep will set the stage for a pivotal rematch with the Heat (10-3) on Thursday, where the Ospreys (7-4) could pull into a first-place tie with their Lowcountry rivals.
"Hopefully (Wednesday) will be a big day for us if we can win both of those," Smith said. "And we'll come back here on Thursday and that'll be a big day for us."
Beaufort Ospreys 253 443 -- 21 20 5
Lowcountry Heat 001 210 -- 4 7 6
WP: Thomas Smith 6 IP ,7 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
LP: Randy Young 1 2-3 IP, 7 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Top hitters: Beaufort -- David Tilton, 4 for 5, HR, 2B, 4 RBI; Matt Thorpe 4 for 5, 2B, 2 RBI; Jesse Sanborn 3 for 4, 2 BB, 4 R; Stephen Baggett 3 for 6, 2 HR, 6 RBI; Mattison Pike 3 for 5. Lowcountry -- Caleb Martin 2 for 4, 2B, R; Randy Young 2 for 3, 2B, R; Michael Perez 2 for 2, R, RBI