The battle between Nation Ford and Fort Mill on the diamond lived up to the hype.
Fort Mill got the edge on its crosstown rival in its first meeting on the diamond winning 11-5.
"As a community and school, there was a lot of hype on both ends," said Fort Mill head coach Brad Mercer. "We came out and didn't play our game. We did to much to start. Ultimately, we came together and it was a good team win."
The two teams started off to make the game look like a slugfest with each team scoring a run in the first inning. Nation Ford struck first on a double by sophomore Ben Boykin to score sophomore Spencer Yarnell. Fort Mill came right back in the bottom of the inning as senior Garrett Koster's double scored junior Tyler Miller.
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Neither team scored in the second inning, but both scored three runs in the third. The Falcons started things off with a double from Yarnell, who drove in freshman Shell McCain. Boykin then singled to score Yarnell and sophomore Mitchell Starnes double two batters later to score Boykin and give Nation Ford a 4-1 lead.
But Fort Mill came back slugging in the bottom of the inning. Miller single scored senior John Reid and a fielder's choice by junior Robbie Thompson scored Miller. Koster would later single in the inning and would score on an single from senior Kyle Hartley, who went 3-4 at the plate for the Jackets.
Nation Ford added a run in the top of the fourth to take a 5-4 lead on a fielder's choice from McCain scoring junior Kent Peterson. Fort Mill changed pitchers in the top of the inning with senior Charlie McCready coming in for Thompson.
Beside the little bump to start the inning, McCready sailed through the rest of the Falcon hitters, not allowing another run and only one more hit.
In the bottom of the fifth, Fort Mill got hot again and scored three runs to take a 7-5 lead. After back-to-back walks by Fort Mill, and a single by Harley to load the bases, Nation Ford made an error and then senior Shane Whitman single to score two runs to give them the lead.
In the sixth inning, Fort Mill added four and closed the game out. Reid started the inning with a single and then scored on a single by Hartley which drove in two runs.
Despite the loss, Nation Ford head coach Dell Corley, coaching against his former team, said he was proud of how his team battled.
"We are young, but we aren't going to use that as any excuse," he said. "When we get them down, we have to learn to finish the other team off. They had confidence coming in they could win, but Fort Mill took advantage or our mistakes."
McCready got the win for Fort Mill and improved to 3-0 on the year as Harkey got the loss.
Leading hitters for Nation Ford were Boykin, who had two doubles and two RBIs and Peterson, who had a double and a single with a run scored.
Besides Harley leading the way for Fort Mill, Koster went 2-2 with two RBIs and Miller went 2-3 with a double, a single and two runs scored. Junior Eli Windham also had two hits going 2-4.
Both Fort Mill and Nation Ford will go at it against in a couple of weeks at the Jackets travel over to Nation Ford to play on Thursday, March 27.