The trophy awarded the winner of the Lowcountry Invitational rested in the dirt behind the screen in front of Beaufort High School's home dugout, all but hidden from view.
The Eagles claimed the trophy with a 15-7 victory Wednesday over county rival Hilton Head High, a win that avenged last season's loss in the tournament title game. But the trophy remained on the ground during the postgame bustling. No one got on a microphone. There was no team photo or raising the hardware.
This was a preseason tournament. And Beaufort High players and coaches treated it as a chance to get better, to figure out where things stand with the rotation and in the field as they prepare for the start of the regular season next week.
Beaufort High (4-0) won its own event. Bluffton defeated Colleton County 10-0 on Wednesday and finished the tournament 3-1. Hilton Head High went 2-2.
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Eagles coach Brook Dixon said he approached the game like a scrimmage for starting pitcher Luke Smith, who nursed a tender hamstring and had not pitched in more than a week. Smith walked the first two Seahawks on eight pitches. After that, he settled in and got some outs before leaving in the third.
"We had his back," Eagles shortstop Mark Jones said. "We knew we would get through it."
Dixon has said there are interchangeable parts to his rotation, that he is not sure where everyone fits at this point. A constant the first four games has been the Eagles' hitting. Dixon said the Eagles' bats can help their pitcher's confidence.
And Beaufort High again piled up runs. The Eagles pounded out 13 hits while rolling over Bluffton on Monday. They recorded 15 hits Wednesday, with seven going for extra bases.
"Everyone can hit," Jones said.
Hilton Head High did not play well defensively, Seahawks coach Chris Wells said. He said starter Sean Bartlett pitched well enough to not be pinned with the loss but that various breakdowns in the field cost his team.
"Our defense didn't support our pitchers," Wells said. "So they started pressing and probably did some things they shouldn't have."
And after jumping on Smith early, the Seahawks cooled at the plate against Eagles reliever Joel Fickes. In the sixth, with a comfortable cushion, Dixon went to Austin Willis-Green to get his junior some time on the mound.
The Seahawks got to Willis-Green for four runs, but he finished the inning. And Dixon said he was pleased with how his pitcher stayed composed. Now is the time to discover these things about a player, Dixon said.
"That's one of the things we wanted to do, was figure out our rotation," he said. "But it's still so early in the season."
Beaufort High 015 106 2 -- 15 15 1
Hilton Head High 200 104 0 -- 7 6 3
WP: Luke Smith (1-0) 2+ IP, 0 H, 7 BB, 2 K, 2 R, 2 ER
LP: Sean Bartlett (0-2) 4 IP, 7 H, 6 K, 7 R, 5 ER
Top hitters: Beaufort High-- Mark Jones 3 for 5, 2B, RBI; Alex Silon 2 for 4, 2 RBI, 2 R; Weber Pike 2 for 2, 2B, 2 BB, HBP. Hilton Head High --Adam Orischak 2 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB; Michael Haven 1 for 2, 2B, RBI, 2 BB.
Up next: West Ashley at Beaufort High, March 7, 6:30 p.m. Lake Marion at Hilton Head High, March 9, 6:30 p.m.