The 2018 baseball season provided yet another run to the State Championship for River Bluff, a feat not necessarily expected for this year’s young squad. Battling through adversity became commonplace throughout much of the season as these Gators demonstrated perseverance, battling their way through a top-level baseball region. Different players would step up, game after game, making contributions when most needed – validating coach Mark Bonnette and staff’s philosophy of a true team concept.
As a result, for the second straight year, the Gators earned the Lower State Champions title and found themselves in the SCHSL AAAAA Baseball State Championship against a loaded Dorman Cavalier team. In a bridesmaid revisited scenario, though, River Bluff won the first game in the championship series only to drop the next two – like last year’s contest against Northwestern.
In the final game, Dorman jumped out to what resulted in an insurmountable 8-1 lead after only 2 innings. The Cavaliers found their hot bats in game 2 and continued their amazing hitting spree through the deciding game. River Bluff came alive in the 5th inning, cutting the lead in half, making it 8-4 heading into the top of the 6th. Dorman, however, added 2 more runs in the 6th and 4 more in the 7th to make the final score 14-4.
While the outcome is certainly disappointing for the team, the season can be viewed as nothing but incredibly successful. River Bluff has definitely let it be known that the baseball program will be a perennial force to be reckoned with, helping to set the Gold Standard that the athletic department hopes to measure itself by in all sports and activities.
Click here for Coach Bonnette’s The State interview after the final game.
Click here for the Lexington County Chronicle write-up of the final game.