"This really says a lot about our guys," said head coach David Byrd. "I'm really proud of the guys for hanging in there and getting the win."
The Braves Trey Allison halted the Eagles offense, retiring the side in the sixth. Allison's tough pitching set the tone for the Braves offense and in dramatic fashion, the Braves took the lead. Senior Rhett Stafford went to the plate with two runners on base and two outs and belted a three-run homerun, giving the Braves the 9-8 advantage going into the bottom of the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Byrd put pitcher Brandon Chapman back on the hill to earn the save. Chapman, who started the game, sat the Eagle batters down and Cheraw earned the win.
The previous night, the Braves were in a similar situation with a familiar foe. The Braves faced their rival, the Chesterfield Rams for the second time this season. Their first meeting was a defensive struggle, and the Rams walked away with a 1-0 win. Though the teams are not playing for region standings, the are playing for the right to say they beat their rival, and the importance of the game is still evident.
"No matter who you're playing, you play to win," said Byrd. "Because it's not a region game, you don't put your number one or two guy in your rotation out there, and then it comes down to who wants to get the win. It's still an important game for us to win" The Braves were determined to win the second game in front of their home crowd and stay unbeaten at home. The Rams jumped out to an early 7-1 lead. The Braves bats then came to life, taking a 9-7 lead heading to the fourth. The Rams came back, scoring another run and taking a 10-9 lead. The Braves were focused and determined to come back, and they did. The Braves scored five funs in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead and never looked back. The Rams game the Braves a scare in the fifth and seventh innings, scoring two runs in the fifth and one in the seventh but the Braves would not be denied. Byrd sent Chapman out to sit the Ram batters down and Chapman did so with only four pitches, giving the Braves a 14-13 win.
"This game taught us that we are never out of it," said Byrd. "I think this game helped us in the Central game. "
The Braves end the regular season at a tournament held at Dillon High School During Spring Break. Capturing the Region 8-2A title gives the Braves a home playoff game in the first round of the playoffs.
Written by staff writer Jeff Watson. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org