They came into the postseason at 22-0, but the Hilton Head Prep Dolphins knew the SCISA 3A bracket wouldn’t be easy to navigate. On Tuesday night, they dug in on the road and earned a massive playoff-opening win.
Luke Foley delivered a clutch two-run double before closing it out on the mound to give HHP a 3-2 triumph over Laurence Manning.
The Swampcats found the scoreboard first with a Jackson Brown sacrifice fly in the second, but Reese Malon stayed composed on the mound to hold the damage to just one run. After a slow start at the plate, the Dolphins broke through in the fifth. Tommy Stauffer started the rally with a single, Jaiden Hrobar smashed a line-drive double to put two runners in scoring position with one out, and Foley drove both runners in with a rocket to right field before scoring on a passed ball to make it 3-1.
Laurence Manning fought back with a Bryce Acord RBI groundout in the home half to cut the deficit to one. The Swampcats continued to trail by one going into the bottom of the seventh and threatened right away with an Austin Geddings single to put the tying run on base, but Foley bounced back right away, picking up a strikeout and retiring another to bring Laurence Manning down to its last out. Courtesy runner Denzell Seigler stole second, but Acord flied out to give Hilton Head Prep the enormous playoff-opening road win.
Foley put together a standout performance, notching a go-ahead double to drive in a pair of runs while picking up the save in the seventh. Hrobar led the Dolphins at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double. Malon provided a strong four-inning start, allowing no earned runs while picking up two strikeouts.
Hilton Head Prep (23-0) advances in the winner’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament and will face Cardinal Newman on the road Friday.
By Wes Kerr