Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Noah LoCascio homered twice Wednesday to power Wando past Ashley Ridge, 9-2, in the Class AAAA District VIII title game at Warrior Field in Mount Pleasant.
The win sends the Warriors back into the Lower State tournament for the first time since 2011. Wando will host region rival and District VII champion West Ashley Saturday in the opening round.
“I’m proud of the way we’ve refocused in the playoffs,” Wando head coach Dirk Thomas said. “It’s good to have teams within our region in Lower State. We’re looking forward to hosting on Saturday.”
Senior right-hander Tyler Kimbrell earned the win for the Warriors, picking up the complete game with six hits, two walks and three strikeouts over seven innings.
But the night went to LoCascio as the junior slugger racked up six RBIs with a three-run bomb in the first inning and another three-run shot in the second.
With two strikes on him in the first, LoCascio powered a curveball over the left-field wall to score Tyler Ackard and Oliver Hill for a 3-0 Wando lead.
Owen Ravenel scored off a wild pitch in the second and Hill drove in Harrison Smith with a sacrifice RBI. With two outs, LoCascio went deep to left field again, this time with Trevor Pedersen and Ackard on base.
“I’m just happy that I could help my team and that we’re moving on to Lower State,” LoCascio said. “I went to the plate with the strict mentality to hit it if it’s there. He put it there for me and I just got good swings on them.”
Kimbrell worked himself out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the third with a fly out and ground out. He didn’t allow Ashley Ridge another hit until the sixth inning.
Rusty Grayson singled to left field to score Josh Litchfield two outs into the sixth. Nick Rowell followed with a single to score Aaron Miller before Kimbrell ended the inning with a swinging strikeout.
Carson Walls suffered the loss for the Ashley Ridge, allowing eight earned runs off six hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings.
LoCascio finished 2 for 4 with six RBIs and two runs scored, and Ackard 2 for 2 with two runs scored.
“We’ve always been underdogs this whole season,” LoCascio said. “Now we’re looking to come out and win it.”