The Farm Bureau Space Turtles avenged a previous doubleheader loss to the Ducks with back-to-back wins in last week’s York Majors baseball at Optimist Park.
Farm Bureau defeated the Ducks 8-7 in the first game June 26, with Bryson Stephenson picking up the win and Joe Gill delivering the winning hit.
The Space Turtles also prevailed 7-3 in the second game, with Charlie Jackson the winning pitcher.
“We had our regular players back,” said Farm Bureau head coach Todd Jackson. “We borrowed some players the previous day. It’s best to have your own players.”
Jackson said he was pleased with the team’s performance in Thursday’s sweep.
“We hit the ball well and played good defense,” he said. “We ended the season positive with a pair of wins.”
The Ducks had the upper hand the day before, defeating the Space Turtles 4-0 and 8-1 at Optimist Park. The Ducks grabbed the lead early in the first game and added an insurance run in the fifth inning when Cody Ledford singled home Hunter Horne.
The Ducks scored four runs in the first inning of the second game. An RBI single by Hunter Gibby got things started for the Ducks. Another big hit was Troy Baucom’s double, which padded the lead.
The Ducks stretched the lead to 7-0 in the second inning, highlighted by Horne’s single that plated two runs.
Farm Bureau scored its lone run in the fourth inning, when Kaiyon Schrouder tripled and scored on Tripp Blackwell’s ground ball.
The Ducks scored their final run in the third inning, when Ledford and Horne led off with back-to-back singles. Ledford eventually scored on Taylor Jeremy’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded.
Ducks head coach Chad Ledford singled out Troy Baucom, the winning pitcher in both games who allowed only one run in two appearances.
Though Baucom has pitched both games of a doubleheader before, he admitted endurance was an issue. “I thought my legs were gonna fall off in the fourth inning of the second game,” Baucom said. “But I was able to finish.”
Baucom said he mixes his pitches but relies mostly on a fastball with movement. “I felt comfortable on the mound in both games,” he said.
Chad Ledford’s younger brother, Cody Ledford, who pitches and roams center field, said, “We’ve hit the ball well this season, including today.
“I have confidence when I step to the plate. All of our players hit with confidence.”
Chad Ledford said he has a pretty good idea what makes the team click. “Our kids have fun,” said Ledford. “They play with heart.”
Ledford played Majors baseball and said he enjoys coaching the Ducks. “I wanted to give something back,” he said. “I enjoy coaching this group.”
Though the Space Turtles lost a doubleheader to the Ducks in the next-to-last day of the season, Jackson remained positive. “We’ve had our share of competitive games and wins,” he said.
Jackson said he believes Majors baseball has a lot to offer local players, especially those in their mid- to late teens.
“We have a great group of kids who are still playing baseball,” Jackson said. “It means a lot to the kids to compete in Majors action at Optimist Park.”
A York Majors All-Star team is competing against all-stars from Pageland this week in a best-of-three series in the district tournament format. Results will appear in next week’s Enqirer-Herald.