Beaufort High School baseball coach Scott Mullen is becoming quite the fan of his team's depth.
The Eagles took the diamond Thursday afternoon without the services of five varsity players -- including injured catcher Weber Pike -- but still managed to cruise to a 13-7 win over Bluffton.
"It is encouraging, especially going into the playoffs, when you know you've got some depth at every position," Mullen said.
The Eagles (11-5) were forced to call up a trio of junior varsity players this week after several veterans departed for vacation, Mullen said. But they still managed to go 3-1 in Bluffton's BATRUP Tournament, capped by the six-run win over the Bobcats. First baseman Mattison Pike, the younger brother of Weber, tallied two RBIs in a rare start and Louis Brown caught his fifth consecutive game behind the plate.
"It was a good opportunity to get some of these young guys in the game, to get some pitchers that haven't pitched some innings in," Mullen said.
Beaufort High struck for 11 early runs off Bluffton right-hander Chance Murphy. Starting pitcher David Tilton hit a two-run single in Beaufort High's five-run first inning, while center fielder Luke Smith added a two-run double down the first base line an inning later.
"We're on a frustrating roller coaster ride right now," Bluffton coach Bryant Kitty said. "We face a lot of adversity sometimes and we don't know how to adjust and come back from it."
Bluffton committed seven errors in the loss and stranded a bevy of runners on the basepaths, including leaving the bases loaded in the third after managing just a run-scoring walk to Weston Gillespie.
"We made some early mistakes and dug a deep hole, which was kind of hard to get out of," Kitty said.
The Bobcats still managed to spark a rally in the fifth, as Jake Martin's two-run single cut the Eagles' advantage in half at 12-6. The Bobcats also got a strong showing from reliever Logan Phillips, who allowed just a pair of runs in his 4 1-3 innings of work.
"We wanted to finish on a positive note, which we did," Kitty said. "Some good things came out of the game, even though the score said a little differently."
Austin Willis-Greene picked up the win in relief, as the right-hander allowed four runs in three innings with three strikeouts.
Beaufort High 533 011 0 -- 13 16 4
Bluffton 111 031 0 -- 7 8 7
WP: Austin Willis-Greene (4-2) 3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.
LP: Chance Murphy 2 2-3 IP, 13 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.
Top hitters: Beaufort High -- Alex Silon 4 for 5, RBI; David Tilton 3 for 5, 2B, 3 RBI; Luke Smith 2 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI. Bluffton -- Jake Martin 2 for 4, 2B, 3 RBI; Michael Grant 2 for 4, 2B; Weston Gillespie 0 for 1, 2 BB, HBP, RBI.
Thursday night's championship game of the BATRUP tournament between Summerville and South Lakes of Reston, Va., was postponed by rain. It will be played at noon today at Bluffton High School.
Battery Creek 12, Whale Branch 0 (5 inn.): Thomas Smith pitched five shutout innings and also had a triple and three RBIs as the Dolphins concluded play in Bluffton's BATRUP tournament with a 12-0 win.
Smith allowed two hits and struck out four for Battery Creek (6-13).
Shane Goude and Shane Dixon led the Dolphins' offense. Goude had a home run, double and three RBIs, while Dixon hit a pair of triples and also had three RBIs.
Dee Delaney had both hits for Whale Branch.
Battery Creek returns to action Monday and Tuesday, hosting Duluth, Ga., for a two-game series. Both games start at 6 p.m.