A heartbreaking late game rally by Chapin/Newberry Post 193/24 ended Fort Mill Post 43’s season as the team lost 10-9 due to a walk-off single at the 2017 American Legion state tournament.
Fort Mill, which was appearing in the state tournament for the first time since 2001, was up 8-3 heading into the eighth inning. However their bullpen allowed seven runs on nine hits in the final two innings. Fort Mill went through four pitchers in an effort to stop the opponents from scoring.
However, Fort Mill, which won a 3-0 game over Greenville Post 3 to get into the tournament earlier in the week, made history. Post 43 had the toughest draw of the eight teams in the tournament. The team opened against defending state champion Florence Post 1, which entered the game 33-1. Fort Mill lost the first game 11-8 in the double elimination tournament.
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“It was a very good experience,” said head coach Tom Skula. “Just for us, coming here and getting here was an accomplishment in itself. Now our goal is to get back here and win a game. That is our goal moving forward.”
Fort Mill starter Noah Griffin pitched seven strong innings. He allowed three runs on six hits, while striking out four. Post 43 scored five runs in the top of the first inning, batting around with the help of two hits and three Chapin/Newberry errors.
Post 43 would add another run in the third inning off an RBI single from Justin Kerosetz and a solo run in the seventh inning to go up 8-3 with the help of an RBI single from Nick Hoffman scoring Joey Tepper, who doubled to lead things off in the inning.
Chapin/Newberry started chipping away at the lead by batting around in the eighth inning. The team scored five runs on seven hits off three Post 43 pitchers.
“We got the draw against the two biggest names in the tournament besides Sumter,” Skula said. “That’s not an excuse. Seeing the name on the jersey is great, but we can’t use that as an excuse.”
Fort Mill started hot and had early leads in the games against Florence and Chapin/Newberry. In the two games for Post 43, Fort Mill had 23 hits, but one bad inning shifted the momentum.
Post 43 was led by Tepper at the plate going 3-6 with two doubles and an RBI. Logan Miller, Zach Evans and Hoffman also collected two hits each in the game against Chapin/Newberry.
Fort Mill finished their season at 14-8. Chapin/Newberry improved to 20-7 on the year.
Chapin/Newberry 10, Fort Mill 9
Fort Mill 5;0;1; 0;0;0; ;1;1;1;-;9;12;2
Chapin/Newberry 0;0;2; 0;0;0; 1;5;2;-;10;15;4
Leading hitters: Fort Mill – Joey Tepper 3-6 two doubles, RBI; Nick Hoffman 2-5 RBI; Zach Evans 2-5 RBI, Logan Miller 2-6 RBI
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM