Patrick Briody listens to his grandmother's advice much of the time.
She tells him to be patient and look for base hits, not to try to slug everything. And the Hilton Head Prep first baseman has obliged.
But in some instances, Briody has overruled.
For instance, before the SCISAA Class 3-A baseball playoffs, doctors determined Briody's gallbladder was functioning at a low level and needed to be removed. His grandmother told him to go ahead and have the procedure, that he needed to recognize his priorities. Baseball is my priority, he told her. The surgery would wait until after the playoffs.
"As long as I watch my diet, I can still play," Briody said. "So I'm just drinking water and eating nothing."
On Tuesday, the Dolphins benefited from his decision. Briody, listening to his grandmother's advice and just trying to find something to hit, pulled a low fastball over the left-field fence to give Prep the go-ahead runs in the bottom of the sixth inning of its 12-9 victory over Heathwood Hall in the second game of Monday's doubleheader.
The Dolphins won the opener, 17-1, in a mercy-rule shortened affair and will travel to Pinewood Prep on Friday for the second round and another doubleheader.
For Briody, hitting in the cleanup spot, the home run was his first of the season. He had hit the ball hard throughout the season, teammates said, just without enough lift.
The scoring outburst in both games surprised Briody, who said the Dolphins had not often closed out teams in that fashion during the season. Dolphins coach Nathan Stevens told his players after Game 2 that Pinewood, which won both meetings between the teams during the regular season, had not seen Prep hit the ball like it did Monday.
The output gave Stevens confidence in bringing back ace pitcher Patrick Andrews to relieve Matt Layman in the top of the sixth inning in Game 2, with the score tied at 9. Andrews started Game 1, but threw fewer than 30 pitches during the rout.
He and Stevens agreed he was sharper during his second outing. Andrews held the Highlanders scoreless over the final two innings, getting a swinging strikeout to end the game.
Andrews said the Dolphins were fired up after giving the Highlanders life in Game 2 with an error-riddled third inning.
"It was just important for us to stay up, stay strong and keep on battling," he said. "And then Patrick came through in that last inning and gave us a big knock."
Hilton Head Prep 17, Heathwood Hall 1
Heathwood 001 xxx x -- 1 3 7
HHP 4 13 xxx x -- 17 17 2
WP: Patrick Andrews 2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K.
LP: Will Detwiler 1 IP, 8 R, 7 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 1 K.
Hitters: HHP-- Dylan Powell 2 for 2, HR, 2 RBIs; Andrews 2 for 2, HR.
Hilton Head Prep 12, Heathwood Hall 9
Heathwood 205 200 0 -- 9 9 0
HHP 360 003 X -- 12 13 5
WP: Patrick Andrews 2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K.
LP: Whit Hensley 6 IP, 12 R, 12 ER, 13 H, 2 BB, 3 K.
Hitters: HHP-- Patrick Briody 3 for 4, 2B, HR, 5 RBIs; Dylan Powell 3 for 3, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, BB. Heathwood-- Chris Barton 3 for 5, 2B, 3 RBIs.
Next: Hilton Head Prep at Pinewood Prep (DH), Friday, TBA.