Eagles bow out of Lower State baseball bracket 

By Justin Jarrett 

Beaufort High’s baseball team finally ran out of road on its phenomenal late-season surge, as the Eagles dropped their first two games in the double-elimination Class 4A Lower State tournament, losing road games at Hartsville and James Island. 

First-year coach Zach Jacobs’ team ripped through the district bracket with three hard-fought wins and had won eight of nine going into the Lower State tournament, but the Eagles met their match in a powerful Hartsville squad Thursday, falling 15-4. Beaufort couldn’t get the bats going in a 4-0 loss to James Island on Monday, as the Trojans handed the Eagles a third head-to-head loss this season and ended their year in the Lower State bracket for the second straight spring. 

The Red Foxes gave Beaufort a rude welcome in Hartsville on Thursday, scoring five runs in the first inning and six more in the second to blow it open early. The rough outing overshadowed a big night from Beaufort’s Logan Brutcher, who was 3-for-3 with a homer, a double, and two RBIs. Hunter Rast and Hudson Mullen each added a pair of hits for the Eagles, but Hartsville roped eight extra-base hits including a pair of home runs in the rout. 

PJ Daley gave the Eagles a strong outing in his swansong Monday against the Trojans, allowing just two hits and three earned runs in a six-inning complete game. He struck out five but walked five, and James Island took advantage of every opportunity. Meanwhile, Beaufort couldn’t muster any offense against a trio of Trojans pitchers who combined on a three-hit shutout. 

The Eagles finished with a 14-16 overall record in Jacobs’ first season at the helm and will return a number of key players next season, though they do lose their ace in Daley as well as everyday starters Hunter Rast and Tommy Winburn. Malcom Webb and Davis Woods will be back to lead the pitching staff along with offensive standouts Zack Talbert, Brutcher, and Mullen, among others. 

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