Through a glum haze Tuesday night at Beaufort High School's baseball field, a little hope shone through.
The feeling is going to have to be infectious for the Beaufort Ospreys to close the American Legion regular season with a flourish.
The Ospreys dropped another game, falling to League 1 power Goose Creek, 17-4, in eighth innings. Goose Creek chased Beaufort starter Joe Fields early and feasted on his relief.
Beaufort (3-9) is trying to salvage the fourth and final playoff spot from League 1, but will have to win its final four games and hope the push is enough. The Ospreys close with games at Summerville, at the Lowcountry Heat and they host a doubleheader with West Ashley on Saturday.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"We still have a chance," Pike said. "If we can focus for four games and really try hard, I think we can do it."
Pike finished with two hits Tuesday and drove in a run. David Tilton doubled twice and drove in a run to help lead Beaufort. Pike said the Ospreys would have to produce more runs to pull off the improbable.
The Ospreys stranded 13 runners against Goose Creek during the eight innings. Mitchell Stewart and Mark Jones rapped out hits and scored in the second inning. Stewart scored again in the eighth. But Goose Creek had already built an insurmountable lead.
By the end of the week, the Ospreys will face a problem they have all season. Key players will be out of town, Pike said. If Beaufort wins out, it will do so with a make-shift lineup.
Goose Creek coach Jimmy Huskey said he knew the Ospreys pitching would be thin, based on their loaded schedule this week, and that his team hoped to run up the score early.
"We don't take anything for granted," Huskey said. "But we got up early and took the wind out of them a little, I think."
Fields left in the second inning, after facing eight batters. Goose Creek piled on during the middle innings to remove much doubt.
"I just wasn't feeling it," Fields said.
Goose Creek starter Zack Lavery improved to 5-0 with a victory. He gave way to Ryan Makism after five innings. Huskey said he wanted Makism to throw some innings in preparation for next week's playoffs.
The Ospreys hope to be there. But their chances appear dim at this point.
The pulls of summer makes it difficult to keep players on the same page, shortstop Mitchell Stewart said. But Pike said if the Ospreys can somehow earn a playoff spot, the season will have a new life.
"As long as you make it, you have a shot to go as far as you can," he said.
Goose Creek 17, Beaufort Ospreys 4 (8 innings)
Goose Creek 213 320 05x-- 17 10 1
Ospreys 002 001 01x-- 4 12 4
WP: Zack Huskey 5 IP, 3 K, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB
LP: Joe Fields 1+ IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB
Hitters: Goose Creek-- Zach Wimmer 2 for 3, 2B, RBI, BB, HBP, 2R. Ospreys -- David Tilton 2 for 4, 2 2B, RBI; Weber Pike 2 for 5, RBI.