HS BSB: JPII hangs on in wild game vs. HHCA

John Paul II baseball held off an incredible Hilton Head Christian Academy rally and escaped with a 15-14 home win over the Eagles in region play Thursday in Hardeeville.

The Golden Warriors held on despite issuing 22 walks and hitting a batter, while the Eagles walked 13 and hit three. But the slugfest turned into a pitching duel down the stretch. 

After HHCA had cut a 15-6 lead down to one with a seven-run sixth inning, freshman Walker Mikkelson delivered a desperately needed shutdown inning to give the Eagles a chance. After walking the first batter and hitting the next, Mikkelson induced a pair of infield popups sandwiched around a strikeout to get out of the jam.

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Then it was Tripp Currier’s turn. The JPII senior got himself into trouble when he walked Jace Blackshear to lead off the inning, and the three-sport star used his wheels to get to third with one out. 

After a second straight strikeout, Currier walked Blaine McClure to put runners at the corners, and McClure swiped second to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. 

After 39 free passes, Currier wasn’t about to offer another one. He pumped four straight strikes, one of which was fouled off, and induced a popup to preserve a one-run win.

JPII ace Hayden Jennings didn’t have his best stuff, walking nine and allowing four runs (three earned), but he struck out six and battled through 3 2-3 innings before giving way to the young bullpen.

Jennings also had a monster night at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and five RBIs, while Nate McDonough was 3-for-4 with an RBI and scored three times, and Rance Jennings was 2-for-2 with an inside-the-park homer and four RBIs. Peter Hughes added two hits out of the leadoff spot and scored twice.

HHCA freshman Jesse Hall was 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs, and three RBIs, and McClure reached base five times, going 1-for-2 with two runs and four walks. Kyle Scannell was 1-for-2 with three walks and two RBIs for the Eagles.

JPII (2-2) plays at Pinewood Prep on Friday.

HHCA (0-6) looks for its first win Friday at Memorial Day in Savannah.

By Justin Jarrett

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