ROCK HILL — Orangeburg Post 4 scored nine runs in the top of the eighth inning to break open a close game and register a 15-5 win over Rock Hill Post 34 in the opening round of the American Legion Baseball State Playoffs Wednesday night at Rock Hill High School.
Orangeburg scored its nine runs in the inning on only three hits. They took advantage of four walks, a hit batsman, three wild pitches and a pair of Rock Hill errors.
Noah Cason and Tucker McGee had doubles in the inning for Post 4, while Aaron Crandall added a single. When Rock Hill was retired in order in the bottom of the eighth, the game was called by the 10-run rule, and Post 4 had a 2-1 lead in the series.
Orangeburg scored single runs in the second and third for a 2-0 lead. Hobie Dennis single plated Cameron Huddleston with the first run in the second inning. Huddleston drove in Cason, who walked to open the frame, in the third innng.
Post 34 tied the count with a pair of runs in the third. Caleb Hamilton and Jeremy Hyatt walked and Stuart Hodge moved both of them up with a sacrifice bunt. Jonathan Smiths double scored both runners.
Rock Hill took a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Hodge delivered a single to score Matt Hill, who had singled earlier in the frame.
Post 4 scored four times in the fifth to take a 6-3 lead. Michael Gartman and Dennis each had singles early in the rally. The key hit was a two-run single to right by Ryan Sandifer. That hit capped the outburst.
Rock Hill countered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh to cut the deficit to 6-5. Post 34 did the damage with only two hits. John Robinson and Hill had the singles in the rally, which featured two walks and was aided by a pair of Post 4 errors.
Evan Graves picked up the win for Orangeburg. He pitched six and two-thirds inings. He left in the bottom of the seventh with a 6-5 lead. McGee came on in relief to stop the rally before retiring the side in order in the eighth. He earned a save for his efforts.
Jeremy Hyatt took the loss for Rock Hill. He came on in the third and stopped the Orangeburg rally in that inning. He left in the top of the seventh with two outs.
Game four in the best-of-five series will be played Thursday night at Orangeburgs Mirmow Field. The first pitch is set for 7 p.m.
Evan Graves, Tucker McGee (7) and Dakota Way. Cody Edkins, Jeremy Hyatt (3), Stuart Hodge (7) and Matt Hill, John Robinson (6).
WP- McGee. LP- Hyatt. 2B - Will Gee, Cameron Huddleston, Noah Cason, Tucker McGee (O), Jonathan Smith (RH).
Leading hitters: Orangeburg - Ryan Sandifer 2-4, 2 RBI, Hobie Dennis 2-4, 2 RBI, Cameron Huddleston 2-5, 2 RBI; Rock Hill - Jonathan Smith 1-4, 2 RBI, Matt Hill 2-4, 1 RBI, John Robinson 2-4.