Even a steady rainfall couldn’t cool off some hot hitting by Fort Mill as they beat Rock Hill 12-2 in the 2014 Wheels Invitational baseball tournament.
The Yellow Jackets will now take on Faith Baptist in one of two semifinals at Northwestern High School Saturday at 3 p.m. The Jackets bounced back against the Bearcats after losing earlier in the day against Rocky River (N.C.) 7-3.
“We got off to a slow start in the first game,” said Fort Mill coach Brad Mercer. “But we always get up against Rock Hill. We came out hungry. It was a wake-up call in the first game that anybody can beat anybody.”
The Jackets banged out 15 hits in the game, led by senior Matt Navarro, who went 4 for 4 with four singles and two RBIs. Fort Mill was also aided by five Bearcat errors.
Fort Mill led off with back-to-back singles from shortstop Brett Netzer and Navarro as the Jackets quickly got to Bearcats‘ starter Will Reid with a steady drizzleto start the game.
A walk to catcher Justin Tepper loaded the bases for the Jackets as junior Jackson Massey ripped a single down the left-field line to score two runs. A Rock Hill error again loaded the bases as designated hitter Chase Beaudry doubled to right-center field scoring Tepper and Massey. The Jackets’ Mason Jordan would then score on a passed ball to give Fort Mill a 5-0 lead after a half inning.
Fort Mill starter Avery Carter cruised through the bottom of the first going three up, three down. Carter pitched all five innings for the Jackets allowing just two runs on three hits.
The Jackets’ bats cooled in the second inning as Reid continued to throw strikes. Navarro singled, but Reid didn’t get any help from his defense as a second error in as many innings put runners in scoring position for Fort Mill. Reid was able to bounce back as he got out of the inning without allowing a run.
In the bottom of the second, Rock Hill’s Zach Carter singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Brandon Banks, giving the Bearcats their first run of the game.
Fort Mill stayed hot at the plate, as Beaudry singled to right and made it to third on an error by the right fielder. That would allow pinch runner Jack Corkery to score. Beaudry followed, touching home on a wild pitch.
No. 9 hitter Clay Helvey and Netzer would hit back-to-back singles and Navarro would drive in Helvey with a single of his own.
Reid was pulled for Rock Hill after the third inning allowing eight runs on nine hits, four of them unearned, while walking two with two strikeouts.
In the fourth, Fort Mill two Bearcat errors and a single from Carter put runners on. Helvey would drive in Corkery, running for Carter, as the Jackets hit 10 runs.
Navarro would single in Helvey and Savage would double in Netzer, who walked earlier in the inning, as the rains begin to grow heavier.
Rock Hill’s Chase Watts led the bottom of the inning off with a double and relief pitcher Alberto Lopez singled him to third. Banks would get his second RBI of the game with his second sacrifice fly scoring Watts.
Avery Carter and Justin Tepper (FM); Will Reid, Alberto Lopez (4) and Brandon Banks (RH).
W – Avery Carter, L – Will Reid. 2B – Chase Beaudry (FM), Jaden Savage (FM), Chase Watts (RH). LOB: Fort Mill 9, Rock Hill 3. Leading hitters: Fort Mill – Matt Navarro 4-4 2RBI; Chase Beaudry 2-4 2B, 2RBI; Jackson Massey 2-4 2RBI; Clay Helvey 2-3 RBI. Rock Hill – Chase Watts 1-2 2B.
Records: Fort Mill 11-5, Rock Hill 12-8.
An RBI-double by Devryn Galloway scored leadoff hitter Deshawn Outing in the top of the first for Rocky River.
Fort Mill’s starter Wyatt Beachtold struggled in the third as Outing singled and then two walks loaded the bases with no outs. A third straight walk scored Rocky River’s second run.
In the fourth, the Ravens added a second run as designated hitter James Carter reached on an error and got to third before Justin Williams doubled to score Carter. Beachtold was replaced, but another RBI single and an error by Fort Mill scored two more runs for Rocky River.
Fort Mill finally got on the board in the fourth inning as a wild pitch allowed Jackson Massey to score after reaching on a walk. The Jackets got their first hit of the game in the fifth as Jaden Savage doubled down the left-field line.
The Jackets added another run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from Liam O’Boyle scoring Mason Jordan.
Rocky River starter Danny Dunning went six innings allowing two runs on two hits, while walking four and striking out seven.
In the bottom of the seventh, Fort Mill added a third run with the help of a hit from Savage, who later scored on a fielder’s choice.
Danny Dunning, Stewart Cole (7) and Smith Brundage (RR); Wyatt Beachtold, Jesse Horine (4) and Dalton Tassinari (FM). W – Danny Dunning, L – Wyatt Beachtold. 2B – Devryn Galloway (RR), Justin Williams (RR), Jaden Savage (FM). LOB: Rocky River 9, Fort Mill 11.
Leading hitters: Rocky River – Justin Williams 1-3 2B RBI, Devryn Galloway 2-3 2B RBI, Stewart Cole 2-4 2B RBI. Fort Mill – Jaden Savage 2-4 2B, Liam O’Boyle 1-2 RBI.
Records: Rocky River 5-10, Fort Mill 10-5.