Getting an early 9 a.m. start Thursday to beat the bad weather, the Fort Mill baseball team had strong pitching and even stronger bats to beat the Rocky River Ravens 12-2 in the second day of the 2013 Wheels Invitational tournament at South Pointe High.
The Jackets’ rode the commanding arm of junior Avery Carter, who pitched a complete game allowing just four hits and striking out three. Carter also helped his cause by going 3-4 at the plate with a double, a two-run home run and four RBIs.
“A little vacation did us good,” said Jackets coach Brad Mercer, referring to the time the team had off since their last game in late March. “We came back aggressive and hungry. We have still got to stay aggressive.”
The win put Fort Mill at 7-7 overall this year with the second half of its Region 3-AAAA schedule still to play starting next week.
Fort Mill struck hard and heavy in the first two innings getting eight runs on seven hits and an error off the Mint Hill, N.C., school.
Senior Kevin Woods led off the game with a double and scored on an error by the Rocky River leftfielder.
Carter hit a double that scored senior Josh Turner, who had reached on a walk. Carter was driven in two batters later by a single from senior Austin Hackney to put Fort Mill up 4-0.
The Jackets added four runs in the second as Woods singled and stole second before Turner tripled to knock in Woods and junior Jaden Savage, who had reached on a walk.
Carter launched a rocket shot over the left-center wall for a two-run home run and an 8-0 Fort Mill lead.
On the hill, Carter walked the first batter, but then cruised through the next five before giving up a single in the bottom of the second. He allowed another single in the third before getting into a little trouble in the bottom of the fifth inning.
In the fifth, Fort Mill scored four more runs on four hits to put the game away.
Woods drew a walk and senior Jake Windham singled, before a walk to Savage loaded the bases for Turner. Turner came through by delivering a two-run single, and Carter followed with an RBI single.
Hackney closed out the scoring as he drove in Turner.
Fort Mill was able to get the game in through periods of rain. The Jackets had started their second game of the day and were trailing the Covenant Day Lions of Matthews, N.C., 2-1 through four innings, when heavy rain caused the game to be postponed until 11:30 a.m. Friday.
The Jackets are scheduled to play the remaining three innings of that game and then take on host South Pointe at 7 Friday night.
Fort Mill 12, Rocky River 2
Avery Carter and Justin Tepper (FM), Danny Dunning, Bobby Mahlan (4) and Matt Ritch (RR). W – Carter, L – Dunning. 2B – Kevin Woods (FM), Avery Carter (FM), 3B – Josh Turner (FM),
HR – Avery Carter (FM). LOB – Fort Mill 7, Rocky River 6.
Leading hitters – Fort Mill: Avery Carter 3-4 2B, HR, 4 RBI; Kevin Woods 3-3 2B; Josh Turner 2-3 3B 4 RBI, Matt Navarro 2-3. Rocky River: Jalen Best 1-2 RBI.
Records: Fort Mill 7-7; Rocky River 1-10.