A hot-hitting Boiling Springs Bulldogs team ended a would be rebuilding year for Fort Mill baseball knocking the Yellow Jackets out of the 5A state playoffs with a 10-2 win.
Fort Mill was supposed to be rebuilding this year under first year head coach Travis Collier, but exceeded many expectations to finish the season 11 games over .500 and making it to the Upper State playoff bracket.
“I am very proud of them and this town should be proud of them,” Collier said.
The No. 1 team in the state in 5A, Boiling Springs used three big innings to do all of its damage in the second, sixth and seventh innings. The Bulldogs scored three runs in the second inning off of three hits to take a 3-0 lead. Fort Mill struggled offensively as the Jackets posted just five hits in the game compared to 11 hits for Boiling Springs.
The Jackets did have one breakout inning in the fifth as Logan Miller singled to start things and then was driven in by Hunter Helms, who had the only extra base hit of the game for Fort Mill. Jacob Wood drove in Helms two batters later with an RBI single. He scored the only two runs of the game for the Jackets.
“We got a little life in the fifth,” Collier said. “We just ran out of gas. A tip of the cap to Boiling Springs, they hit the baseball. It was exciting all the way around. It’s not the way we wanted to finish, but our guys competed all year.”
Boiling Springs, which already had a four-run lead, added four more runs in the top of the seventh inning to make sure that Fort Mill wasn’t going to come back. The Bulldogs scored those four runs on three hits as Boiling Springs’ Michael Bollinger drove in two runs on his third double of the game as he went 4-4 on the evening.
After Fort Mill scored two runs in the fifth inning to make it 3-2 and knocking on the door of a rally against the Bulldogs, Boiling Springs then raised things to another level scoring three runs in the sixth inning on three hit and a walk. The sixth inning was crucial for the Bulldogs as it gave them some insurance to help hold off Fort Mill in the later innings.
Fort Mill’s Joey Tepper went 2-3 with two singles and Helms went 1-2 with a RBI double and a walk. Wood went 1-2 with a RBI as well.
The Jackets finish the season at 21-10. Collier was named Region Coach of the Year in his first year at the helm of the Fort Mill program.
Boiling Springs 10, Fort Mill 2
Boiling Springs 0;3;0;0;0;3; 4;-;10
Fort Mill 0;0;0; 0;2;0; 0;-;2
Leading hitters: Joey Tepper 2-3; Hunter Helms 1-2 double, RBI; Jacob Wood 1-3 RBI