Summerville defeated a tenacious Aiken team in extra innings Monday to stay alive in the Class AAAA playoffs.
Johnston McCurry hit a walkoff double in the bottom of the ninth to drive in two runs and give the Green Wave a 7-6 victory. Summerville (19-5) advances to face Sumter on the road Wednesday in the District VI championship series. The Wave has to defeat Sumter, the No. 1 team in the state, twice in order to advance.
“I’m proud of the kids,” Summerville coach Alan Bridges said. “It’s been a while since we’ve been here and I don’t know if we will go any further or not but now we know they know how to win a playoff game and that is a step in the right direction for these young kids. We only have three seniors who play a significant amount so this group showed me something tonight by throwing two out at home from the outfield and just making good defensive plays. That’s what it takes.”
Charlie Fessler pitched five-plus innings and surrendered four hits, four walks and five runs. He struck out two batters. Johnston McCurry relieved him with the game tied and pitched three-plus innings. He yielded four hits and only one walk and one run while striking out three.
TJ Hopkins was 3 for 5 at the plate for Summerville with a solo homerun. He also scored two other times. Zach Mosay was 3 for 4 at the plate with two RBIs and a run scored. Fessler and Billy Peatross both had two hits.
“My hat goes off to Aiken,” Bridges said. “They are probably the scrappiest team we have played all year. I thought Charlie did a good job on the mound and Johnston came in and also did a great job. We feel confident in our pitchers so we stick to our rotation. Now Zach will have the full rest he needs Wednesday so we will pitch him the first game and then hopefully make a decision about who to throw in the second game.”
On Thursday, the Green Wave broke a four-game losing streak in the playoffs by earning a 2-0 victory over Lugoff-Elgin. The evening marked the first playoff victory the Summerville baseball team had earned since the 2011 season.
After winning the Region 8-AAAA championship last season, Summerville was eliminated in the first round with consecutive losses to Conway and Richland Northeast. In 2012, Summerville opened the playoffs with consecutive losses to White Knoll and Wando.
Mosay went the distance on the mound to pick up the pitching win for the Wave.
Early in the game, Summerville loaded the bases off a fielder’s choice, a hit by Fessler and a Lugoff-Elgin error. Matty Powell then walked to push McCurry across the plate for the game-winning run.
The games only other run came in the bottom of the fifth inning. Hopkins reached on an error and stole second. McCurry then drove him in with a single. With two outs, Lugoff-Elgin intentionally walked Peatross and Mosay followed with a single. However, McCurry was sent home on the play and Lugoff-Elgin got the tag at the plate to end the inning.
In the sixth, Summerville loaded the bases with hits from Powell and Sawyer Bridges and a walk. However, the Wave failed to capitalize.
On Saturday, Summerville fell 11-1 to Sumter. The Wave managed three hits off the Gamecocks’ ace early in the game, but struggled at the plate after the good start. Summerville’s defense also struggled.