SPARTANBURG — Nation Ford turned momentum around with a five-run fourth inning and held on for an 8-6 victory over Dorman at Ronnie J. Sims Field Thursday night in the first round of the Class 4A high school baseball playoffs.
The Falcons (15-8) advance to play the winner of Easley and Hanna. The High School League schedule calls for the game to be played on Saturday, but Nation Ford coach Mike Matkovich said he’s hoping to play the game on Friday to avoid his school’s prom Saturday night.
Ian Kimbrell’s three-run opposite-field home run staked Dorman (10-13-1) to a 4-1 lead after an inning. That stood up until the Falcons used seven hits and an error to take a 6-4 lead with their fourth-inning outburst.
“We hit the ball real well in clutch situations,” Matkovich said. “Our senior leaders come through and even our underclassmen; they find a hit when they need a hit.”
In the seventh, Falcons center fielder Dalton Helms had the defensive play of the game, flagging down Stone Pelligrino’s fly ball just as he ran into the outfield fence for the second out of the inning.
“I haven’t seen many high school kids risk life and limb, but he did,” Matkovich said. “That was a heck of a play. That saved the game right there.”
Clay Hunt retired Kimbrell to end the game and save the victory for starter Josh Jones
Nation Ford had 13 hits – all singles – with Brandon Fite and Jacob Wright getting three apiece.