Ashley Ridge won the Hanahan Invitational Tournament JV championship Thursday with a 7-4 win over West Ashley.
Grant Melton pitched the first four innings for the Swamp Foxes and De’ondre Smith closed the game out on the hill. Cleanup batter Justin Peterson had a homerun for Ashley Ridge and had a 3-run homer in the fifth negated because he didn’t touch second base on his way around the base path.
The JV tournament included 16 teams that are primarily from South Carolina. Ashley Ridge defeated the Summerville B-team (10-5), Berkeley (2-1) and Northern Virginia Academy (16-0) on its way to the championship game. Ashley Ridge coach Adam Christopher says after his team struggled early in the year it is nice to see them finish so strong.
“Starting the first of the week we were able to put some things together,” Christopher said. “We made all the routine plays. We got some hits and we threw strikes. Putting all that together is what we struggled with the entire season.”
West Ashley did put up a good fight.
“We made some mistakes late in the game, but we played well enough early in the game and pitched well enough to stay in it. Grant kept the game close, which is what we needed him to do, and De’ondre came in the last two innings and threw strikes to allow us to get out of it.”
After Peterson found out his second homerun and the runs it drove in didn’t count, the Swamp Foxes took a 6-3 lead into the sixth inning. West Ashley scored a run the next inning, but Ashley Ridge got it back in the bottom of the frame with an RBI-double from Jared Reeves. The Swamp Fox defense then held in the seventh.
“I’m proud of our guys for overcoming that adversity and sticking with it to finish the game,” Christopher said. “This is big for us. There are no JV playoffs so this is like a state championship to us.”
Ashley Ridge finishes the season with a 10-10 record.
The Swamp Foxes have advanced to the semi-finals of the JV HIT the last four years and won the championship two of the past four years.