A four-run ninth inning comeback against Pineville Post 337 capped off the opening week in American Legion baseball for Fort Mill Post 43.
Post 43 swept Union Post 22 in a doubleheader on opening day before beating Pineville in a nine-inning game.
Fort Mill beat Pineville 11-10 after trailing the entire game and never leading until two outs in the ninth inning when Joey Tepper hit a walk-off two-run single for the game winner ending a 3-5 night with four RBI.
“We battled the whole game and had tremendous energy,” said Post 43 head coach Tom Skula. “To be down the whole game and keep competing showed us something as a coaching staff tonight. We need to carry on this momentum into a very important week for us against Rock Hill.”
Fort Mill struggled on the mound, using five different pitchers against Pineville with Isaac Beirne getting the win in just one inning of work as he walked one and struck out three without allowing a hit. As a team, Post 43 struck out 15, but also walked 13 in the game.
At the plate, Bartow Keller went 4-6 and Alex Stennett was 3-4 with three RBI and a double. Both James Mulvaney and Daniel Gueldner went 2-5.
In its doubleheader sweep of Union, Post 43 won game one 7-3 and the nightcap 11-0.
“With only two teams making the playoffs out of our league this year, it was very important for us to get off to a great start,” Skula said. “Noah Griffin and Logan Stone both gave us key quality starts to begin the season. You never know how your team is going to respond with such a long layoff from playing games. Most of our guys haven't played in a game in over a month. I was very happy how they responded offensively to score 18 runs.”
In game one, Stone went four innings and allowed just one run on three hits, while striking out five and walking three. At the plate, Stennett and Griffin Reddeck led the way for Post 43. Stennett went 2-3 with a double and Reddeck went 2-4 with a double. Both of them had RBIs. Tepper went 1-3 with a double as well.
In game two, Griffin pitched a complete game allowing six hits without allowing a walk in the game. He was helped offensively by Tepper, who went 2-3 and Greg Izzo, who went 2-4 with a double and a couple RBI. Reddeck also went 1-4 with a two-run home run to end game two in walk-off fashion.
Coming up for Fort Mill is a key three game series against Rock Hill Post 34 this week.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM