An offense that keeps the pressure on and strong pitching behind a sharp defense were two of the qualities Zach Jacobs said he wanted his Beaufort High baseball team to take on in his first season as a head coach. He had to appreciate the first impression.
PJ Daley turned in a stellar outing on the mound, and Hunter Rast led an opportunistic Eagles offense in a 2-0 win over Stratford on Thursday in the PBR Showdown at Shipyard Park in Mount Pleasant.
Daley struck out five over 5.2 innings, scattering three hits and two walks, and Zach Talbert recorded the final four outs in order with two strikeouts to finish off a season-opening shutout, but it didn’t start so smoothly.
Daley walked the tightrope in the top of the first, as Thomas Purcell led off the game with a single and moved to second on a groundout, but he had to hold up to make sure Brett Marrs’ bloop double to right got down, preventing him from scoring. Carter Bowersox snared a Harry Wiggins line drive at first, and Daley got a grounder to end the threat.
It was mostly smooth sailing from there, and it didn’t take the Eagles long to give him a cushion. Logan Brutcher drew a leadoff walk and moved into scoring position on Zach Talbert’s sacrifice bunt, and Rast came through with a single up the middle to put Beaufort on the board.
The Eagles added an insurance run in the fifth, when Talbert started the inning with a walk, Rast singled, and Daley moved both into scoring position with a sacrifice. Chase McKelvey’s grounder to second did the job with one out, bringing home Talbert for a 2-0 lead.
Talbert relieved Daley after a two-out walk in the sixth and ended the inning with a strikeout, then retired the Knights in order in the seventh.
Rast was 3-for-3 with an RBI, and Hudson Mullen went 1-for-2 with a walk for the Eagles.
Beaufort (1-0) faces Wando at 4 p.m. Friday at Shipyard Park.
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