– Two costly errors in the fifth inning hurt the seventh-ranked Fort Mill chances to win in the Upper State baseball tournament Saturday, losing 3-1 to 12th-ranked TL Hanna.
In the bottom of the fifth, with the game tied at 1-1, TL Hanna capitalized on Fort Mill’s mistakes. TL Hanna shortstop Max McDougald capped the inning with an RBI double, giving TL Hanna the 3-1 lead.
Avery Carter, Fort Mill’s starter, was pulled from the game after McDougald’s double. Carter threw four and two-third innings, allowed two hits and one earned run.
TL Hanna had two hits in the game, both doubles.
Yet it was Fort Mill that struggled with runners in scoring position.
“Our hitting let us down,” said Fort Mill head coach Brad Mercer. “We didn’t pull it together. We got stuff to improve on.”
Fort Mill will next play Tuesday in the loser’s bracket of the double elimination tournament. Fort Mill will face the loser of Rock Hill-Northwestern game which was originally scheduled for Saturday, but delayed by rain to Monday.
Fort Mill had its chances, including the first inning when Jaden Savage singled, but was stranded on base.
Leadoff hitter Tyler Miller banged a double for TL Hanna in its half of the first inning. He made it to third base on a Fort Mill error and scored on a double play for a 1-0 lead.
Fort Mill again left a base runner on in the second inning when Mason Jordan singled, but following batters struggled.
In the bottom of the second, the umpires cleared the field because of rain. The game was delayed 53 minutes.
In the fourth, a lead-off singled by Savage was all Fort Mill could muster. Despite hitting the ball hard, the hits were right at TL Hanna defenders.
In the top of the fifth inning, Carter singled to left field. Clay Helvey, the ninth hitter in the order, singled, sending Liam O’Boyle, who was pinch running for Carter, to third base as Fort Mill threatened for the first time.
TL Hanna then pulled starter John Kerley for Austin Copeland.
Fort Mill lead-off hitter Brett Netzer singled, scoring O’Boyle to tie the game, but a base-running error on the play would cost Fort Mill.
TL Hanna 3, Fort Mill 1
Fort Mill 000 010 0 – 1 6 3
TL Hanna 100 020 x – 3 2 0
Avery Carter, Garrett Leonard (5) and Justin Tepper (FM); John Kerley, Austin Copeland (5) and Chase Kinsey (TLH). W – Austin Copeland, L – Avery Carter. 2B – Tyler Miller (TLH), Max McDougald (TLH). LOB: Fort Mill 4, TL Hanna 5.
Leading hitters: Fort Mill – Jaden Savage 2-3, Brett Netzer 1-3 RBI, Avery Carter 1-3, Mason Jordan 1-3, Clay Helvey 1-3. TL Hanna – Tyler Miller 1-2 2B, Max McDougald 1-3 2B RBI.
Records: Fort Mill 17-6, TL Hanna 20-9.