The Patriot baseball team has experienced adversity lately but it got out to a 1-0 start in this year’s Hanahan Invitational Tournament.
Fort Dorchester lost two close games last week, falling 1-0 to Beaufort and 8-6 to Colleton County. However, the Patriots improved to 9-7 on the season Monday with a 5-4 win over Academic Magnet to gain some momentum.
The Fort is still in contention to make the playoffs. After this week’s HIT, the Patriots will play region games against Summerville and Bluffton.
Depending on the outcome of those games and how Colleton County finishes its region schedule, the Fort could make the cut.
Freshman Drew Yniesta earned the pitching win Monday, throwing four innings and yielding two runs. He struck out six batters. Senior Josh Murray relieved him in the top of the fifth and fanned five batters while earning the save.
Left fielder Eurndraus Bryant had two RBI doubles in the game and second baseman Kyle Long was also 2 for 4 at the plate. One of his hits was a double and he scored a run.
Myles Snype opened the bottom of the first inning with a base on balls and scored on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Corey Rawlings to tie the game at 1.
The Patriots took the lead in the second. Malik Grant was hit by a pitch, moved over on a sacrifice bunt by Yniesta and scored on a single by Ryan Thomas. A bunt single by Mike Maiorelle and a Raptor error led to another run later in the inning.
In the fifth, Bryant doubled to drive in Rawlings for a 4-2 Patriot lead. Bryant doubled again in the sixth to plate Long for a 5-2 lead.
Academic Magnet drove in two runs on a pair of doubles, a single and a ground out, but couldn’t get the run they needed to tie the game.
Patriot coach Jack Radcliffe is hoping his team will get back on track this week during the rest of the tournament.
“We can’t seem to string our hits together,” Radcliffe said. “We’ve been in every game but we just aren’t quite there. At the beginning of the season I thought we were going to be a great hitting team but here lately we’ve struggled getting any kind of momentum. Our starting pitching is doing extremely well but we are still dropping games.”
Rawlings has four pitching wins and a save for the Patriots. Bryant is leading the team at the plate.