High School Sports

Dill helps Hilton Head High open baseball playoffs with win

Andrew Dill was nowhere to be found.

The Hilton Head Island High School pitcher was needed by his teammates Thursday night, who were trying to stave off a rally by North Myrtle Beach in the District VIII playoff opener. But coaches and players couldn't locate the veteran right-hander.

"I heard players yelling, 'Andrew, Andrew, Andrew, where are you at!?' " Dill recalled.

He was in the bathroom.

Once Seahawk teammates Matt Rozelle and Michael Perez finally found him, Dill rushed on to the diamond to put the clamps on the Chiefs' comeback. He fired two innings of shutout baseball to pick up his first save of the season, as Hilton Head High sent North Myrtle Beach to the loser's bracket with a 10-4 victory.

"Dill's been working hard," coach Chris Wells said. "He's really been grinding. He's our ace of the future and we've got a lot of confidence him."

His presence couldn't have come at a better time for the Seahawks (18-5), who watched as the Chiefs sliced what had been a 7-1 deficit into a three-run game going to the sixth. North Myrtle Beach sent eight hitters to the plate in the inning off Hilton Head High starter Jake Kizer (5-0) -- which included an RBI double to center field by Bill Seddinger -- before reliever T.J. Wilkie struck out the side in the bottom half of the frame.

"I felt like we had some momentum," Chiefs coach Tony Boyer said. "But they bounced back. I give Hilton Head credit for that. They bounced back and took the momentum back from us."

Dill -- who recorded three of his six outs via strikeout -- was obviously at the center of that momentum shift.

"That's huge for the whole team because they did have momentum," Kevin Hickey said. "Anything can happen. Baseball is a crazy game. For him to come out and shut them down is just huge for us."

Hickey brought home the Seahawks' first run of the evening on an RBI infield single, and then the shortstop added a run-scoring double in the fourth. Hilton Head High broke out with four runs in all to start the game, which also included run-scoring singles from Taylor Place and Charles Lively.

After the Chiefs trimmed the deficit to 7-4, the Seahawks responded with a three-run sixth to put the game away. Storm Grisham and Austin Krzeminski had a pair of RBI singles.

"The first one is always the important one," Haven said. "We just wanted to come out here, score early and hold them."

The Seahawks now travel to Murrells Inlet tonight to take on top-seeded St. James, which edged Bluffton in its playoff opener Thursday. The Sharks, who helped knock Hilton Head High out of Lower State in last year's postseason, will face Seahawks right-hander Cameron Stoltz.

"I know they're good," Place said. "Good pitcher, very good ace. I've heard they're good all around. ... I think when we go up there with our ace pitching, we've got a shot to win."

North Myrtle Beach 001 030 -- 4 7 4

Hilton Head High 410 203 X -- 10 12 6

WP: Jake Kizer 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.

LP: Billy Pippin 3 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 0 K.

Top Hitters: North Myrtle Beach -- Billy Ferguson 1 for 2, 2B, RBI; Bill Seddinger 1 for 2, 2B, 2 RBI; Brandon Miller 1 for 3, RBI. Hilton Head High -- Kevin Hickey 2 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI; Taylor Place 2 for 3, 2 RBI; Austin Krzeminski 2 for 3, BB, RBI.