Fortunate enough to have home field advantage through the Upper State bracket, the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets fell 9-5 Saturday night in the opening game of the double elimination tournament to the Westside Rams.
The game, which started Thursday, was called in the top of the fifth inning because of rain, and was finished Saturday night.
In the first part of the game before it was halted because of rain, Westside hit three home runs and led 7-5 through four innings. The Jackets’ Kyle Arrage got the start and went two innings, but the Rams got to him in the second inning when Chase Bryant hit a two-run home run to tie the game at 2-2.
In the third inning, Westside continued its onslaught as Jordan Gilbert hit a two-run homer to make it 4-2.
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Fort Mill (21-9) did have a big fourth inning after Westside took a five-run lead. The Jackets batted around, led by Kobie MacKinnon, who doubled to start the inning. Logan Miller would then drive in MacKinnon on a single and both JT Marr and Justin Kerosetz had RBI singles in the inning to make the score 7-5 heading into the top of the fifth where the game was stopped.
Jackets’ head coach Travis Collier said it is hard to play in a game like this that is separated in half with so much time in between.
“It is a tough situation,” Collier said. “The kids handled it well. We just didn’t do our job.”
In the District I series, Fort Mill dropped the first game and had to battle back to win and advance, so they are accustomed to the pressure they are facing.
“Our kids are ready,” Collier said.
The Rams extended their lead in the fourth inning as Gilbert hit his second home run of the game a three-run shot this time to put Westside up 7-2 at that point. This happened with two outs as the Rams build a lead they never had to look back from.
Fort Mill struggled with its pitching allowing 11 Westside hits and giving up the long ball on three occasions. They also allowed four walks as a team.
Fort Mill was led by MacKinnon at the plate as he went 3-4 with a double and a couple stolen bases. Kerosetz also went 2-3 with an RBI for the Jackets.
The Jackets now host Boiling Springs Monday evening at 7 p.m. If they lose again, they are eliminated from the playoffs. If they win, it sets up potentially four games in three days over next week with them needing to win all of them to advance to the state championship series.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM
Westside 9, Fort Mill 5
West Florence 0;2;2; 3;1;0; 1;-;9
Fort Mill 2;0;0; 3;0;0; ;0- 5
Fort Mill – Kobie MacKinnon 3-4 double, Joey Tepper 1-4 double, Justin Kerosetz 2-3