After traveling over an hour to get to Fort Mill, on Tuesday night only to find the game was rained out, Inman Post 45 made Wednesday night’s trip count, beating Fort Mill Post 43 in American Legion baseball 13-7.
While the visitors brought 17 players, Fort Mill coach Tom Skula was left to lament a Post 43 roster suddenly decimated by players defecting to travel ball or simply not showing up at the ballpark.
“It’s kind of hard to win when we have nine players,” he said. “We’re short on pitching. We’re playing some kids that really didn’t play much in the regular season and they’ve been battling it out for us. Hopefully we can salvage a win tomorrow.”
Skula’s bunch has to win Thursday night in Inman, after dropping Monday night’s opener and are now trailing 2-0 in the second round playoff series. The series winner goes to the state tournament next week.
“We got on ’em early,” said Post 45 coach Steve Skinner. “The starting pitcher was having trouble and we got a big home run there by (Caleb) Bruce that kind of set the tone for the game and we were pretty much in control the whole game.”
Dallas Betsill, Hunter Lipscomb and Chris Stewart drew walks, around two outs, before Caleb Bruce stepped up and mashed a pitch over the left field fence for a 4-0 Inman lead. Landon Collins then got aboard with a single before advancing to third on an errant pick-off attempt to first base. Nic Stewart’s single scored Collins to make it 5-0 in the first inning as Inman batted around the order.
Inman, drawing from northwestern Spartanburg, added another run in the second when Lipscomb solo-homered to make it 6-0. In the sixth, Bruce doubled and Jonah Corn swapped spots with him on an RBI double to make it 9-0.
Fort Mill came alive, albeit briefly, in the bottom of the sixth. Grant Fry singled to lead off, then took second. Justin Tepper singled to score Fry, before Josh Jones singled in Tepper to make it 9-2. Cole Avery then reached on a centerfielder error to put runners on second and third, before Alex Endler delivered a two-run double to make it 9-4.
Inman got right back to its scoring ways in the eighth. Bruce walked, Corn singled and Nic Stewart brought in Bruce with a base-knock to make it 10-4. Each team added three more inconsequential runs, but Fort Mill was left to rue a slow start and a short bench.
Inman 13, Fort Mill 7
|Inman Post 45||511||011||013||-||13||13||2|
|Fort Mill Post 43||000||004||012||-||7||7||2|
Cole Avery (3), Jaden Savage. Bradley Gentry (8.6), Jordan Edney. WP- Gentry; LP- Avery. Hitting: Inman- Caleb Bruce 2-5, HR, BB, 2B, 4 RBI; Nic Stewart 3-4 3 RBI, 2B; Jonah Corn 3-5, 2B, BB. Fort Mill- Jaden Savage 3-5; Josh Jones 2-4, RBI, BB.
Records: Inman 21-5; Fort Mill 11-10.
Bret McCormick • 803-329-4032; Twitter: @BretJust1T