Ryan Day hit the baseball well all season for Thomas Heyward Academy and started the American Legion season strong with the Beaufort Ospreys.
But he felt he was coming out of his swing a little too soon, he said, and recently has vowed to keep his head down. Batting leadoff Monday, with the Ospreys in need of a win to right a rough patch, Day delivered.
The spark at the top of the lineup helped Beaufort to a 13-3 home victory over Summerville in eight innings. The win snapped the Ospreys' four-game losing streak. The Ospreys during the first inning Monday doubled their output of the previous 32 frames.
"The bats finally came around," said Day, who finished 4 for 5 with a double and scored three times. "It picked up a little bit."
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Day said his focus was on keeping his head down, that he had been coming out of swings of late. He smacked a base hit through the mound to establish the tone in the first and would reach safely his first five at-bats.
Beaufort (2-5, 2-5 American Legion League 1) received six solid innings from pitcher Luke Smith, who made his first start since Beaufort High School's season ended. Smith allowed only a run and escaped his only jams with timely double plays.
Beaufort's Bracken Lambert pitched the final five outs to close the win.
Smith was tied up with football and has had to slowly condition his arm to throw again. He credited a sharp curveball and slider for his effectiveness Monday, as well as for the plays behind him.
He said the Ospreys have tried not to let their slow start to the season affect them.
"It hasn't really gotten to us," Smith said. "It was kind of bad luck and not getting timely hits."
Beaufort discovered both Monday, down to a squeeze bunt with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning that scored David Tilton and ended the game as Kyle Dawson reached first safely.
Summerville also aided Beaufort's cause with some blunders in the field.
"It feels good to get back on the winning track," Ospreys coach Bryan Thompson said. "There's no reason we can't win the next nine."
BEAUFORT OSPREYS 13, SUMMERVILLE 3 (8 INNINGS)
Summerville 001 000 11x-- 3 7 8
Ospreys 430 020 04x -- 13 12 0
WP: Luke Smith 6 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 5 K.
LP: Kyle Hair 4 IP, 7 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 6 K.
Hitters: Ospreys -- Ryan Day 4 for 5, 2B, RBI, BB; Weber Pike 3 for 5, 3 RBI.