Green Sea Floyds’ bid to repeat as 1A lower state champions came up short Wednesday as Lake View defeated the Trojans 10-2 in the second and deciding game of the series.
“We had a good season,” head coach Bradley Strickland said. “Anytime you can be playing this late in the year, some things have gone right for you.”
Despite the result Wednesday, Strickland remained proud of his “scrappy bunch.“ Strickland said Lake View “was the better ball club” and the Wild Gators “deserve it.”
“It sucks for us being on the other side of it, but I wish them the very best,” Strickland said.
Lake View jumped out to an early 5-0 lead by the start of the third inning and it was an uphill battle from there.
The Gators scoring runs combined with the Trojans leaving at least a dozen men on base did not make for a successful evening.
“You give a team that many runners, it’s tough,” Strickland said. “We didn’t hit the ball great first game or second game.”
Strickland‘s game plan of playing “small ball“ didn’t work out.
“I like being able to bunt the ball," the coach said. "I like being able to move runners and do things of that nature and tonight we weren’t able to do that."
The Trojans had an excellent chance in the top of the third inning with the bases loaded, but once again, for the second time in the series, all runners were left stranded. The Gators made Green Sea Floyds pay over the next two innings, extending to lead to 7-0 by the end of the fourth.
Green Sea Floyds was able to plate two runs in the fifth but again stranded multiple runners and then gave up three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
The Gators would take care of business in the top of the seventh and stamp their spot in the state championship series next week.
Following the game, several Trojans were overcome with emotion as some of them had played their final game of baseball.
“It was incredible,” senior Jaquan Dixon said, reflecting on the season that they had. “I got moments to share with some great kids that I grew up with and we just had fun this season.”
Strickland felt for his seniors.
“It sucks. It hurts. There’s no way to describe that feeling other than disappointment and knowing that it’s finally over with,” he said.
The Trojans finish the season with a 19-6 record. They went undefeated in the region and were crowned district champs through an incredible comeback series against East Clarendon.
The second-year head coach has hope for the future of Green Sea Floyds baseball. In the last two seasons, the Trojans have made it to lower state, reaching the state title series in 2019.
“It tells about how hard the kids work,” Strickland said. “They work hard, they get after it and they enjoyed playing. We work hard. Coaches, we work hard but at the end of the day, I’m going to get the losses. The kids are going to get the wins. And they’re scrappy. They work and they don’t take it for granted.”
Horry County's last softball team in the playoffs also lost Wednesday.
The Aynor Blue Jackets saw their season end in a 6-2 loss to Dillon in the second game of the 3A lower state title series.
Aynor will lose star seniors Kennedy Ellis and Peyton Rabon to graduation.