ORANGEBURG — After three straight postponements because of rainfall, Orangeburg Post 4 finally resumed its American Legion baseball playoff series Monday night against Rock Hill Post 34. With a chance to wrap up the best-of-5 matchup at Mirmow Field, Post 4 took full advantage with a 11-5 victory.
“It seems like it’s been an eternity,” Orangeburg coach Frank Leysath said. “It seems like last Thursday was two weeks ago. (But), I’m glad to get it behind us so we can get on the second round and see what we can do.”
In advancing to the next round to face Greenwood Post 20 starting Wednesday on the road, Post 4 (11-8) was led offensively by Dakota Way and Evan Graves. The Orangeburg Prep tandem combined for nine of the team’s 12 hits, with Way going 5-for-5 and Graves accounting for three runs driven in on four hits.
While committing four errors, Orangeburg also capitalized off five by Rock Hill (7-8). On the mound, Post 4 starter Noah Cason allowed eight hits, but only three runs and struck out four over eight innings of work for the win.
With the persistent wet weather bypassing Mirmow Field for the first time in four nights, good fortune continued to shine on Post 4 in the top of the first. A potential RBI single by John Robins lined directly at Cason instead deflected off the pitcher’s glove and rolled toward shortstop Will Gee, who made the throw to first baseman Devin Fogle for the third out.
An fielder’s choice by Hobie Dennis scored Cameron Huddleston, who hit a leadoff double off of Rock Hill starter Stuart Hodge, to put Orangeburg on the board in the second. A two-out RBI double by Graves scored Way in the third to make it 2-0.
Rock Hill loaded the bases in the fourth but managed only one run on a single by Holden Reynolds. Thwarting the rally was a fly ball hit by Fuller Wilson to left fielder Cameron Huddleston, who got the ball to third basemen Dennis, who then fired a throw to Way at the plate in time to tag out Mat Hill.
Cason got Zac Thompson to ground out to end the threat.
The bottom half of the fourth saw Orangeburg capitalize off two errors by Rock Hill’s Reynolds to break the game open. Devin Fogle reached on Reynolds’ first miscue to lead off and scored on a double steal.
Reynolds’ second error was followed by back-to-back run-scoring singles by Way and Graves and a sacrifice fly by Huddleston that extended Orangeburg’s lead to 6-1.
Hodge was replaced in the inning by Jeremy Hyatt. After holding Orangeburg scoreless in the fifth, Hyatt surrendered three runs in the sixth.
The teams exchanged two runs in the eight. Hyatt and Reynolds each drove in a run in the top half of the inning before Orangeburg picked up a pair on two Rock Hill errors.
Tucker McGee replaced Cason in the ninth, but Rock Hill did not go quietly. After giving up back-to-back leadoff singles to Thompson and Colton Pagoota, McGee uncorked two consecutive wild pitches to bring home a run and allowed an RBI single to Ethan Neely.
Rock Hill’s next three batters were retired on fielder’s choice groundouts to end the game.
WP – Cason; LP – Hodge
Leading Hitters: Orangeburg – Dakota Way 5-5 RBI, Evan Graves 4-5 3 RBI; Rock Hill – Holden Reynolds 2-4, 2 RBI, Colton Pagoota 2-5