With a stunning rally against Citadel recruit Zach Wimmer, the Hilton Head High baseball team defeated Cane Bay, 8-7, in the teams' second game Wednesday night in Summerville to capture a Class 3-A district championship.
The Seahawks advance to the Lower State playoffs Saturday, traveling to St. James. Game time is to be determined.
The rally against Cane Bay's ace pitcher came after Hilton Head High's Matt Brown had thrown a gem in the first game of the day, leading the Seahawks to a 5-0 win and setting up the winner-take-all final game.
The Seahawks (20-8) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the decisive game, but Cane Bay scored twice in the second to take the lead. The Cobras tacked on another run in the fifth and four more in the top of the sixth to go ahead 7-1.
With Wimmer on the hill, the Seahawks' chances appeared slim. But Hilton Head High sent 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, knotting up the score at 7-7 on Brandon Johnson's two-out, two-run single.
Sean Bartlett came on in relief in the top of the seventh for Hilton Head High, stranding runners on first and third base while striking out the side.
The Seahawks made Bartlett (7-3) a winner in the bottom of the inning. Leadoff hitter Adam Orischak walked and Kevin Hickey followed that with an infield single. After an infield fly and a fielder's choice put runners on the corners with two outs, Caleb Martin came to bat. On a 2-0 count, Wimmer threw a wild pitch, allowing Orischak to come in from third base with the winning run.
Charlie Wilkins was 2 for 3 with two runs scored, Hickey went 2 for 4 and Johnson was 1 for 2 for Hilton Head High, which went 4-1 in the district tournament.
Hickey was also 2 for 3 with two runs and a triple in the first game, and Wilkins had an RBI-single. Cameron Stoltz had a two-run single and Storm Grisham drove in two runs in the opener.
Brown (3-1) didn't need all that offense, holding Cane Bay to two hits and three walks while going all seven innings. He struck out eight, and the defense turned three double plays to help him.
Thomas Heyward Academy 10, Carolina Academy 8 (8 inn.): The Rebels wrapped up their regular season with an extra-inning win.
Brianna Kelnhofer was 4 for 5 with an RBI to lead the Rebels (23-3). Chandler Cook went 3 for 4 with an RBI and Andrea Daring was 2 for 5 with a pair of RBIs.
The Rebels were ahead 7-0 after three innings and pitcher Ashlie Layman was cruising, but Carolina Academy battled back. Taylor Ernestine came on to pitch the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but the home team continued to put up runs, eventually tying the game.
Layman came back in to pitch the eighth inning to earn the victory. She gave up three runs in five innings on a walk and two hits. She struck out five. Ernestine gave up five runs in three innings on two hits and two walks.
The Rebels are off until the SCISAA state tournament May 13-14 in Lexington.