Hilton Head avenged an earlier loss and handed Bluffton American a pair of defeats to claim the Dixie Youth Baseball District 8 Minors (9-10) championship Tuesday at Burton Wells Park in Beaufort.
Hilton Head jumped out to an early lead in an 8-2 win to force the second game, then took the lead in the top of the sixth and held on for a 2-1 victory to clinch the district title.
Bluffton American entered the championship round as the only undefeated team remaining in the double-elimination tournament, but Hilton Head set the tone early with five runs in the first inning. Jackson Richardson and Jackson Reilley each had RBI doubles in the big inning, and Ben Eikenberry and Alan Wolf III added RBI singles.
Bluffton cut into the lead when Colin Budrow stole home on a double steal in the second, but that was all they managed against winning pitcher Grady Cherrington-Dunton, who allowed one run and one hit over 3 1/3 innings, and Hilton Head tacked on three more runs in the third. Three Hilton Head pitchers combined to limit Bluffton to three hits.
In the second game, Bluffton took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth when Budrow again swiped home on a double steal, but Hilton Head pushed across an unearned run in the top of the fifth to tie it.
Back-to-back doubles from Sammy Middleton and Jackson Reilley leading off the sixth broke the tie, and Reilley retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning to seal the win.
Hilton Head advances to the state tournament July 12-18 in Anderson.
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