ROCK HILL — The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets junior varsity squad was a late replacement in the Wheels Invitational for Bayside (Va.), which had to cancel, but the junior Jackets held their own in the second game Thursday at Rock Hill High. After struggling through a tough 21-5 loss to Hidden Valley in game one, Fort Mill led the Rock Hill Bearcats until the deciding fifth inning as the Bearcats rallied for a 2-1, rain-shortened victory.
Thursdays games were played in the morning due to the coming rain, but most of game two was played in a light shower until a heavier downpour forced the umpires to pull the teams off the field.
Rock Hill had taken the lead and had the bases loaded with two outs when play was halted.
Josh Willaby walked to lead off the Bearcats fifth and Fort Mill starting pitcher Clay Helvey was switched with centerfielder Braxton Bishop. Willaby would score to tie the game at 1 when Chandler Hancock laced a single to centerfield with one out. Cody Edkins reached on a fielders choice at second, stole second, and then scored the eventual deciding run on Brandon Banks bloop hit over second base into shallow center that the diving Helvey could not hold onto. Helvey was only charged with one run on two hits in four innings of work. He worked out of a bases loaded, nobody out situation in the first inning by striking out two straight and getting the third out on a grounder to second.
The young Jackets came out swinging in the first inning as Josh Tamsey and Mason Jordan had back-to-back one-out base hits. Liam OBoyle would give Fort Mill the early lead with a base knock that brought in Tamsey. OBoyle was 2-for-2 for the Yellow Jackets, as was Bishop, who reached base all four times in the two games. Stephen Zajac started for Rock Hill and surrendered the one run in four innings. He gave up a leadoff ground-rule double deep into the right field corner to Bishop in the fifth, but Zach Carter came on to retire the next three batters in order and escape further damage. Carters work earned him the victory.
Fort Mills JVs will play Friday against St. Edwards at 1 at Rock Hill and the Bearcats will take on Hidden Valley at 7.
Rock Hill 2, Fort Mill JV 1 (5 innings, rain)
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Stephen Zajac and Zach Carter; Clay Helvey and Braxton Bishop. WP - Carter. LP - Bishop. 2B - Bishop (FM). Leading hitters - Rock Hill: Chandler Hancock 1-2, BB, RBI. Fort Mill: Liam OBoyle 2-2, RBI, Bishop 2-2, 2B.
Hidden Valley pounds Fort Mill JVs
The Hidden Valley Titans scored 11 runs on just four hits in the first inning and held on from there for a 21-5 win over the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets junior varsity squad Thursday morning in the Wheels Invitational at Rock Hill High School. The Fort Mill JVs were a last minute replacement for Bayside from Virginia, which had to cancel. The Titans from Roanoke, Va., came in with a 2-1 record, as did the Yellow Jackets. Braxton Bishop doubled, walked, and scored twice, Josh Tamsey had an RBI-base hit, and Clay Helvey had a stand-up triple for Fort Mill.
Hidden Valley 21, Fort Mill JV 5
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WP - Taylor Martin. LP - Clay Helvey. 2B - Braxton Bishop (FM). 3B - Clay Helvey (FM). Leading hitter - Fort Mill: Bishop 1-1, 2B, BB, 2 R. Records: Hidden Valley 3-1; Fort Mill 2-2.