A stretch like the one Beaufort High School baseball has endured of late could have carried with it the normal red flags of a losing streak -- finger-pointing, short tempers and other signs of a team out of control.
But the Eagles who gathered in the home dugout Wednesday were in agreement their struggles weren't the result of poor effort. Not delivering timely hits has hurt, second baseman Mark Jones said. Senior Beau Brown said the small aspects have kept Beaufort High from winning, that the Eagles have been close during much of the downturn.
Summerville dealt the latest setback, winning 9-2 to hand the Eagles their sixth consecutive loss. Having tumbled in Region 8-AAAA, Beaufort High's season appears down to Friday's home finale and an invitational tournament at Hanahan.
"It's just disappointing," Beaufort High senior Macaulay Smith said. "We've worked hard all year and just have come up short in games."
Beaufort High (11-8 overall, 3-5 region) started the season 11-2 behind its hot bats, which have cooled lately. Summerville's Matt Chapman ensured there was no resurgence Wednesday, pitching all seven innings and striking out eight.
Chapman allowed only one baserunner through four innings. He balked in a run in the fifth, and in the sixth he hit Eagles leadoff man Kyle Dawson, who scored on Weber Pike's base hit. But those were Chapman's only troubles. He struck out the side in the seventh to cap the performance.
Beaufort High starter Brown was strong through four innings, but it was Chapman who delivered the first blow with a sacrifice fly. The Green Wave then chased Brown with none out during a six-run sixth. Brown allowed four runs and walked four.
"We were just trying to stay back and go the other way," Chapman said. "Beau Brown's a very good pitcher. We just tried to be patient and have a solid approach and hit his mistakes."
Chapman said the Green Wave, with only one region loss entering the game, expected Beaufort High's best and benefited from being prepared for a tough game. Brown also pitched during the teams' first meeting the previous week, when Summerville pulled out a 4-3 victory. The senior right-hander, who will play his final home game Friday, drew praise from Summerville coaches Wednesday as they left the field.
The Eagles' forgettable stretch began at Berkeley on March 29. Beaufort High faces Berkeley at home Friday for a chance to end the drought.
"Each loss has been a surprise for us," Smith said. "We got out there every time thinking we're going to win."
Summerville 9, Beaufort High 2
Summerville 000 016 2 -- 9 9 0
Beaufort High 000 011 0 -- 2 4 2
WP: Matt Chapman (4-2) 7 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 8 K.
LP: Beau Brown 5+ IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, K.
Top hitters: Summerville-- Matt Chapman 2 for 2, 2 RBIs; Brian Peagler 2 for 3, RBI, 2 R. Beaufort High-- Weber Pike 2 for 3, RBI.
Up next: Berkeley at Beaufort High, Friday, 6:30 p.m.