Sometimes playing on the road is better than being at home.
In what was supposed to be a home game for the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets ended up being a road game against Rock Hill for the Jackets after its field was deemed unplayable and underwater due to recent rains.
Fort Mill exploded for six runs in the top of the seventh inning, turning a close game into an 11-4 blowout.
Jackets head coach Brad Mercer said his players play so much baseball throughout the year it didn’t matter if the game was moved.
“It was more of an adjustment for us (the coaches) than these guys,” he said.
After a two-out double in the top of the sixth inning by senior Logan Pizzuto, a third Rock Hill error of the game allowed Pizzuto to score for the Jackets giving them a 5-4 lead.
Fort Mill added six more runs in the seventh inning as senior Kevin Woods scored on a single by junior Justin Tepper. Tepper scored after a bases-loaded walk issued to Pizzuto.
Jackets leadoff hitter Brett Netzer then hit a bases-clearing double to add to Fort Mill’s run total.
“We hung around and stuck with it,” Mercer said. “(Rock Hill is) a scrappy club. We battled and finally got our timing down late.”
The Bearcats tied it up as sophomore Isaac Rodgers singled in Edkins to tie the game at 1. Caleb Hamilton singled Rogers over to third but was stranded there.
A single by Fort Mill junior Matt Navarro and a bunt single by Pizzuto put the two leadoff men on for the Jackets in the top of the third.
A sacrifice bunt by Netzer put men on second and third before senior Jake Windham sacrificed in Navarro in a close play at the plate. Pizzuto would score after Kevin Woods popped up back to the pitcher’s mound. The ball bounced off the mound after confusion between the Bearcats’ pitcher and third baseman on who was supposed to catch it.
The Bearcats didn’t drop their heads, and with one out in the bottom of the third, Rock Hill junior Chase Watts singled to move over senior Josh Willaby, who doubled early in the inning.
Watts scored on a double steal by Rock Hill to close the gap again for the Bearcats. After a walk to designated hitter Will Reid, Fort Mill starter Collin Quinn was replaced by junior Jesse Horine. Quinn went two and a third innings allowing four runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Edkins singled to put Rock Hill ahead as both Watts and Reid scored to put the Bearcats up, 4-3.
Rock Hill starter Chandler Hancock shut down Fort Mill in the top of the fourth, stranding a runner as the Jackets failed to score.
Horine came back and did the same to Rock Hill. Despite allowing some base runners, the Bearcats didn’t score.
Back-to-back errors by Rock Hill put men at second and third before the Jackets’ Kevin Woods was walked to load the bases with no outs.
A double play by the Bearcats conceded the run to tie the game as Netzer scored for the Jackets.
However, despite the leading run 90 feet away, Fort Mill couldn’t get him across the plate and stranded two to end the inning.
Hancock was replaced after five innings, allowing four runs on five hits, while striking out three and walking three. He was replaced by Edkins, who was charged with the loss as he went two innings allowing seven runs on five hits and three walks.
Fort Mill 11, Rock Hill 4
Collin Quinn, Jesse Horine (3), Brett Netzer (7) and Justin Tepper (FM), Chandler Hancock, Cody Edkins (6) and Brandon Banks (RH). W – Horine, L – Edkins. 2B – Cody Edkins (RH), Josh Willaby (RH), Logan Pizzuto (FM), Brett Netzer (FM). LOB: Rock Hill 4, Fort Mill 6.
Leading hitters: Rock Hill – Cody Edkins 2-3 2B 2 RBI, Isaac Rogers 2-3, Caleb Hamilton 2-3.
Fort Mill – Brett Netzer 1-3 2B 3RBI, Logan Pizzuto 2-2 2B RBI, Kevin Woods 2-3 RBI, Justin Tepper 2-4 RBI.
Records: Fort Mill 4-2, 2-0 Region III-AAAA; Rock Hill 4-4, 1-1 Region III-AAAA.