Legion baseball

Rain bests legion ball, again

bmccormick@heraldonline.comJune 27, 2013 

Instead of checking radar guns, folks at Rock Hill Post 34 American Legion baseball games this summer have been checking radars of another kind: Doppler.

Thursday night’s slated doubleheader with Clover Post 38 made it through the second inning of the first game before one... two... three drops of rain fell, early precursors of the diagonal downpour that followed shortly after. It was Rock Hill’s fourth rainout in 12 games this summer.

“Sadly for us, it’s been the latter half of the season that we’ve been getting rained out,” Rock Hill coach Mike Scott explained. “We weren’t playing as well early on; it should have rained us out then.”

All of the canceled games have left Post 34 with a backlog of games next week. They travel to Lancaster Monday for a doubleheader, then go to Fort Mill Tuesday before closing the regular season with a makeup doubleheader against Clover.

Rock Hill (3-4) and Clover (4-6) are both in the midst of a four-team battle for playoff positioning with first place Lancaster (6-2) and second place Fort Mill (4-4). All four teams make the postseason.

“We have an outside chance of tying for first,” said Scott, “but more than likely we’re gonna be playing for second or third.”

Folks that bought tickets to Thursday night’s Rock Hill-Clover American Legion baseball doubleheader will be able to use them next Wednesday when the same two teams try, again, to get in the two games.

Thursday night, Rock Hill led Post 38 2-0 in the top of the third inning when the skies started spewing rain sideways.

After Cameron Norwood got three groundball outs in the top of the first, host Rock Hill pushed two across in the bottom half. Jonathan Smith drew a leadoff walk and Zac Thompson reached after laying down a perfect bunt in the already soggy infield grass.

Clover starter Barrett Courtwright made way after those two batters having tweaked his elbow pitching to Thompson. Noah Lindsay hopped off the pine to replace Courtwright and duly walked Ethan Neely to load the bases with no outs. Norwood knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly ball to rightfield and Rock Hill had another two batters later when Clover got a force out at home but then threw a potential double play ball at first base into the outfield, allowing a second run to stroll home.

The delay of two more games leaves Post 34 – and the other three clubs – with plenty of work to do in the final days of the season.

“Big week, yeah,” said Scott. “We have a number of pitchers but with a nine-inning game and as hard as other teams play us, it’s gonna take a toll on our pitching. We might end up throwing some guys that haven’t thrown a lot of innings for us this week.”

Bret McCormick •  329-4032. Twitter: @BretJust1T

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