Beaufort News

Lowcountry Heat rally for first win of season

Extra-inning drama, a double-digit offensive output and a Ryan Ward win on the mound.

That's more like it.

The Lowcountry Heat erased an early six-run deficit to pick up their first victory of the American Legion baseball season Friday night, an 11-10, 10-inning win against visiting Goose Creek. Devin McGuinness capped the comeback with a bases-loaded single to drive in the game-winning run in the 10th.

McGuinness, who hasn't played competitive baseball in nearly 11 months, chopped a bouncing ball through the middle of a drawn-in infield to score Michael Haven from third base.

"It wasn't the best hit -- it kind of snuck through there," McGuinness said. "But I'll take it. That's for sure."

So will the Heat. A year after finishing 14-2 in League 1 on their way to a league championship, the Heat dropped their first two games of the summer earlier this week.

They were on the verge of falling to 0-3 -- trailing 7-1 in the fourth inning Friday night -- but the offense slowly chipped away at Goose Creek's lead. The Heat scored in four of the next five innings and took a 10-9 lead in the eighth when Kevin Hickey laced a two-run single -- part of his five-hit night.

Goose Creek's Brandon Hall delivered a single off Ward in the top of the ninth to tie the game with two outs, sending the game to extras.

Haven hit a one-out single, and Hickey followed with a double in the bottom of the 10th. Goose Creek elected to intentionally walk Adam Orischak to load the bases, setting up McGuinness' game-winning single, the Heat's 17th hit of the night.

They made a winner out of Ward, who allowed one run in three innings behind starter Sean Bartlett and middle reliever Nic Levy. Ward won eight games as the Heat's ace last year.

"Our pitching depth showed up a little bit tonight," Heat coach Chris Wells said. "We threw three guys, and their guys were running out of gas a little bit. That helped tilt the momentum our way, as well."

They hope the win will do the same for their season. The Heat won't have long to savor their first win. They host West Ashley on Monday and travel to Beaufort on Tuesday. Both are League 1 games.

"We needed a win -- there's no doubt about it," Wells said. "You don't want to sugarcoat it. If we want to defend the league title, we couldn't fall to 0-3. That was a big win for us."

Lowcountry 11, Goose Creek 10

GC 102 410 101 0 -- 10 9 3

Heat 100 311 040 1 -- 11 17 3

WP: Ryan Ward (1-1) 3 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K.

LP: Cody Smith 4 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, 4 BB, 3 K.

Hitters: Goose Creek -- Zack Wimmer 2 for 4, 2B, 3 RBIs, John Piggott 2 for 6, 2 RBIs, run, Zach Lavery 0 for 1, 3 BB, 3 runs, Michael Gonzalez 2 for 5, 2 R; Heat -- Kevin Hickey 5 for 6, 2B, 2 RBIs, run, Cameron Stoltz 2 for 3, BB, 2 RBIs, 3 runs, DeAnte Scott 2 for 6, 2B, RBI, run, Charlie Wilkins 2 for 6, 2B, 2 runs, Brandon Johnson 2 for 5, 2B, RBI, run.