Beaufort News

Lowcountry Heat survives tough stretch to stay in playoff race

The schedule appeared ominous -- for a second consecutive week the Lowcountry Heat started with back-to-back road games.

The Heat dropped both the first time, and this past week started with a marathon loss at Goose Creek. But with the American Legion playoffs approaching, the Heat tried to maintain a mind-set they have kept throughout the season, to hold things together as long as possible and see what happens.

They came back Tuesday from five runs down to defeat the rival Beaufort Ospreys for a third time this season.

"We're looking good going to the playoffs," the Heat's Patrick Andrews said. "All the games we're losing, we're battling, we're staying close. That's all you can do."

The Heat (10-7, 7-6 League 1) close the regular season with three more games this week, two at home. After erasing a five-run deficit and almost coming back to beat Goose Creek, the Heat are confident they can stay competitive.

They'll have a chance at home Friday to sweep the season series with the Ospreys. Beaufort, which has struggled to field its full team throughout the season, won this past Friday at West Ashley to improve to 3-8.

The Heat won their first two games against the Ospreys by a run, and the victory this past week came in extra innings.

"It's always interesting," Andrews said.

FIELDS GIVES OSPREYS DEPTH

Every game, it seems, Beaufort Ospreys coach Bryan Thompson has had to work around key players being out of the lineup.

The inconvenience is a product of summer. Players have a lot going on outside of baseball.

For more depth, the Ospreys added a familiar face. Former Battery Creek standout Joe Fields filled the Ospreys' final roster spot, making his debut June 13.

Fields has played center field and given Beaufort a boost with his bat. He had two hits, drove in a pair of runs and scored twice during the team's victory at West Ashley this past Friday.

"We really needed some more bench players," Thompson said. "We'd been struggling all year...I really like Joe in the outfield."

Beaufort continued to struggle with its numbers this past week. But ace Junior Delatorre returned from a trip in time to help the Ospreys defeat West Ashley.

"We only had 10 players," Thompson said. "But we just played a lot better. "

The Ospreys have five games remaining, with a rainout makeup with West Ashley scheduled as a July 5 doubleheader.

BEAUFORT OSPREYS

Player of the week: Junior Delatorre, pitcher -- Delatorre returned to the mound after a trip West and earned his first victory of the season, striking out nine at West Ashley.

Last week's results (1-1): Lost to Heat 10-6; defeated West Ashley 8-5.

This week's schedule: Tuesday host Goose Creek, Wednesday at Summerville, Friday at Heat

LOWCOUNTRY HEAT

Player of the week: Patrick Andrews, designated hitter -- Andrews launched his second and third home runs of the season, including a go-ahead shot to help defeat the Ospreys for a third time this season.

Last week's results (1-1): Lost at Goose Creek, 14-12; defeated Ospreys, 10-6

This week's schedule: Monday host Summerville, Tuesday at West Ashley, Friday host Ospreys

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