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Offensive surge lifts Bearcats over Stallions

Rock Hill, ranked No. 4 in the state Class AAAA polls, has won games with pitching this season. The Bearcats have won with defense, too.

Tuesday night, Rock Hill's bats came alive in a 16-6 six-inning win over South Pointe.

Rock Hill (12-2, 5-1 Region 4-AAAA) banged out 16 hits in the win.

"It's good to swing the bats. I'll take 16 hits and 16 runs any night," first-year Rock Hill coach Chris Bates said.

The Bearcats got at least one hit from eight of their nine starters and scored in every inning.

Rock Hill will play at home again on Thursday in the first round of the Wheels Invitational. The Bearcats will take on Fort Mill at 5 p.m. and then St. Vincent Pallotti (Laurel, Md.).

South Pointe (3-8, 1-7 Region 4-AAAA) will also be in action at the Wheels tournament. The Stallions will host York at 8 p.m. Thursday.

South Pointe got a solo home run in the first inning from senior catcher Brad Zebedis. It was the only time they led in the game. The Stallions began the season with wins over Nation Ford and Lancaster but have dropped eight of their last nine games.

"We've lost a lot of close games," South Pointe coach Jason Terry said. "We have a lot of talent and a good JV team. Right now our young guys are a little overmatched."

Rock Hill responded with a six-run first inning. Lead off man Brantley Rumford worked through eight pitches from South Pointe starter Nick Caldwell before hitting a home run to left-centerfield. The Bearcats then strung together six consecutive one-out singles to take a big lead.

Zebedis and Rumford have both signed to play for Presbyterian College next year. They plan to room together.

"We've been sending text messages back and forth. We're excited about going there and helping build the program," Rumford said.

Rumford, a senior second baseman, went 3-for-5 and scored three runs. His second home run of the night ended the game. He crunched the first pitch off Stallions' reliever Logan Cribb to center field to give the Bearcats a 10-run advantage to bring about the mercy rule.

Rumford hit just one home run last season. Both the homers came off fastballs.

"My first at-bat I was just fighting off pitches trying to get mine," Rumford said. "I thought I hit a pop up but it kept carrying. The second one; I was pretty sure it was gone."

Bates was pleased with the way his team hit and he wasn't too surprised by his leadoff guy's power.

"He's got some pop. He hit a fly out to right field that was maybe hit better than the two that went out," Bates said.

South Pointe battled back with four runs in the third inning off Rock Hill starter Jesse Brewer. Zebedis had the big hit in the inning with a two-run double off the outfield fence that scored Caldwell and Jacob Midkiff.

Rock Hill scored four more runs off three hits, three walks and an error in the bottom of the third. They batted around the order for the second time in the game. Ross Lisee delivered a two-run single in the uprising.

Brewer pitched all six innings to earn the win. He scattered 11 hits and struck out 12. The left-hander hit 86 mph on the radar gun early in the game. He retired seven of the last eight batters he faced with a steady diet of curve balls.

At Rock Hill

ROCK HILL 16

SOUTH POINTE 6

South Pointe

104

100

--

6

11

3

Rock Hill

624

121

--

16

16

1

Nick Caldwell, Miles Broome (3), Kyle Lowder (6) and Brad Zebedis. Jesse Brewer and Ross Lisee. W --Brewer. L --Caldwell . 2B --Zebedis (SP), Brewer (RH). HR --Zebedis (SP), Rumford 2 (RH).

Leading hitters: South Pointe -- Zebedis 2-for-3, 4 RBIs; Jacob Midkiff 3-for-4; Broome 2-for-3. Rock Hill -- Rumford 3-for-5, 3 runs; Lisee 3-for-4, 2 RBIs; Zach Knight 3-for-4, 2 RBIs.

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