Tristan Bonomo hit a grand slam and Gunnar Bonomo capped a solid day at the plate with a go-ahead bunt single in the top of the ninth to help Hilton Head Prep baseball secure a 9-8 road win over Pinewood Prep in its season opener after squandering a five-run lead in the bottom of the seventh.
The Panthers plated three runs in the fourth to break open a scoreless game, scoring three unearned runs against starter Steele Burd, and Pinewood’s Dalton Bisbano stymied the Dolphins for the first five frames, striking out four and walking two while allowing three hits.
HHP finally broke through when Bisbano’s day was done at 70 pitches, erupting for six runs in the sixth. Landon Schwartz led off with a single before Burd, Phoenix Betancourt, and Gunnar Bonomo drew consecutive walks to force home a run, then Tristan Bonomo blasted a 1-2 pitch out to center to flip the script. A two-out error allowed another run to score, making it 6-3 HHP.
HHP tacked on two more in the seventh, as both Bonomo brothers reached with one out and came around to score on an error and a squeeze play.
Payce Gartner gave the Dolphins two scoreless frames in relief to protect the lead, but he lost command in the seventh, issuing three walks and a single and hitting a batter before recording the second out of the inning to allow two runs to come across. Another crossed the plate on a grounder for the second out, and the Dolphins booted a TJ Hatchett grounder that would have ended the inning, allowing the two to score and tie it.
Schwartz came on to record a strikeout and send it to extras, then worked out of a two-out jam in the eighth, giving the Dolphins another chance at the plate. Burd led off the ninth and was hit by a 1-2 pitch to put the go-ahead runner aboard, and he moved up on Betancourt’s single to left. Gunnar Bonomo then pushed a bunt up the first base line and beat it out as the ball popped away into shallow right, allowing Burd to score from second with the go-ahead run.
Peyton Bullock then came on to retire the side in order in the bottom half and secure the save. Schwartz was credited with the win, allowing one unearned run, one hit, and one walk with two strikeouts in 1.2 innings of relief.
Tristin Bonomo was 2-for-5 with a grand slam, four RBIs, and two runs, while Gunnar Bonomo went 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs, and two RBIs, and Betancourt was 2-for-4.
The Dolphins (1-0) host Colleton Prep on Monday.
Local sports content that is not sponsored is now available only to LowcoSports.com’s Patreon supporters. Pledge your monthly support here for as little as $1 per month to ensure you have access to all of our grassroots LOCAL sports coverage!