The Hilton Head Dixie Boys have gone back-to-back, and this time, they did it in dramatic fashion.
Down four runs heading into the bottom of the seventh and final inning in North Augusta, Hilton Head rallied for five run, capturing the state championship for the second consecutive year on a walkoff single by John Burke.
The 9-8 win over Mullins sends coach Bill Keen and his team to next week's World Series, held in Bossier City, La. Despite the dramatic win, Keen said Thursday's game was a challenge, and did not show his team at its best.
"Today we kind of struggled," Keen said. "They threw two pitchers at us that kind of threw us off our game."
A good example of this was the first inning, when Hilton Head loaded the bases with nobody out and failed to score. Still, as the team gears up for its final test, Keen said he remains confident that they have as good a shot to win as anyone.
"Last year I didn't know what to expect," Keen said. "Our bats are just as good as anyone's."
That could be bad news for the rest of the field.
Hilton Head Dixie Boys
Players: Nathaniel Anderson, Eric Ashdown, Cameron Bent, John Blackshire, Cody Brigham, John Burke, Dargan Cherry, Michael Graupner, Jacob Hussain, Collin Kaiser, Boyce Koebler, Alexander Morse, Jameson Rice
Manager: Bill Keen
Assistant coaches: Mike Cherry, Bryant Brigham