The Bluffton Waves 12U baseball team went 3-1 to claim runner-up honors at a tournament at Shipyard Park in Mount Pleasant over the weekend, while Bluffton teams also picked up one silver bracket championship and two silver bracket runner-up finishes at the Next Level Prospects Fall Invitational in Ellabell, Ga.
Coach Danny Morgan’s 12U squad went 3-0 in pool play, pounding East Coast Bombers Smith 11-0 on Friday and beating S.C. Warhawks Britt (7-4) and Lexington Longhorns (5-2) on Saturday to earn a spot in Sunday’s championship game, where they ran into a strong S.C. Warhawks Schenk squad in the finals.
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Five Waves pitchers combined to no-hit East Coast Bombers in the opener, as Tucker Nelson, Logan Cotter, Ben Rush, Ethan Siatkowski, and Sellers Lynn each threw an inning and combined for five strikeouts and two walks. Eli Morgan had two hits and an RBI and scored twice, and Kollin Sanchez was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs.
The Waves kept rolling Saturday, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and building a 7-1 lead before the Warhawks (Britt) scored three in the fifth to make it competitive. Sanchez allowed one run over four innings with five strikeouts for the win and helped himself with two hits and an RBI. Chase Colella added two hits, and Lynn blasted a two-run homer.
The strong pitching continued against the Longhorns, as Eli Morgan went four innings and allowed one unearned run with three strikeouts and three walks, and Rush recorded the final two outs for the save. Nelson had a pair of doubles and scored twice, and Colella and Wyatt Latham each drove in a run.
The Waves’ strong pitching staff met its match against Warhawks (Schenk), which smacked 11 hits in four innings in the championship game. Cotter and Brody Mayles had the lone hits for Bluffton.
Next Level Prospects Invitational
The Bluffton Waves 10U Gray (Jackson) rebounded after going 0-2 in pool play to win the silver bracket championship, while the Waves 10U Blue (Carpenter) and Foundation Sports Knights 9U (Rodriguez) finished second in the silver bracket.
Waves Gray lost both its pool games Saturday, falling 19-1 to eventual gold bracket champion Line Drive Black and dropping a tough 8-5 decision to Line Drive White, before turning things around Sunday.
They avenged the loss to Line Drive White with a 13-4 win behind a four-inning complete game from Charlie Nelson, who allowed three earned runs and four hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Nelson also drove in three runs, while Caleb Malphrus had two hits, and Austin Broene, Russell Spencer, Landon Kyle, Ornaldas Siaulys, and Russell Cooler each added a hit and two RBIs.
Waves Gray earned the title with a 4-2 win over Waves Blue, as Broene allowed just two runs on two hits over three innings and Spencer struck out the side in the fourth to earn the save. Siaulys had an RBI triple, and Broene, and Aaron James Jackson added RBIs. Colt Harper and Noah Sepulveda had hits for Waves Blue.
Waves Blue went 1-1 in pool play, beating Chain (Kitchen) 6-5 and losing 10-6 to Line Drive Bilenski. Trevor Wolfe struck out 12 and allowed three earned runs and four hits in a complete game against Chain, while Nathan Fulton was 2-for-2 with a double and three RBIs, Finn Boyles added two hits and two runs, and Declan Mitchell drove in two. Wolfe had a double and three RBIs in the loss to Line Drive Bilenski.
Waves Blue reached the title game with a 6-5 win over Southern Tide, as Wolfe came on to strike out the final batter to strand the tying run at third in the fourth and earn the save. Sepulveda struck out seven and walked two over three hitless innings, allowing one run, and he added two hits and an RBI, while Boyles added two hits and two RBIs and scored twice.
In the 9U division, the Knights played to a 4-4 tie with Combat and lost 8-3 to Hilton Head Hurricanes in pool play. Ryker McClafin had a hit and two RBIs against Combat, and Nicholas D’Angelo and McLean Harrison each had two hits against the Hurricanes.
The Knights picked up their first win with a 3-1 victory over Line Drive Blue in the silver bracket semifinals, as five pitchers combined to strike out 13 and limit the opposition to one run and five hits. Harrison struck out five over two innings, and Michael Swofford notched five strikeouts over 2 1/3. Brendan Noble, McClafin, and Swofford each had a hit.
The Knights were in control of the championship game, leading Southern Tide 5-1 before allowing five runs in the bottom of the fourth to lose a heartbreaker. Noble was 2-for-3 with a triple, two runs, and two RBIs, Harrison had two hits and an RBI, and Ryker M. had a two-run triple.
The 11U and 9U Hilton Head Hurricanes both went 2-0 in pool play before falling in the gold bracket semifinals.