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Bearcats, Trojans start on road to state championship

The city of Rock Hill has a 50-50 chance of getting a team to the state championship and no, it's not football season.

The Northwestern Trojans and Rock Hill Bearcats make up half the teams that will take the baseball field in the four-team, Class AAAA double elimination Upper State championship tournament. The others are Byrnes and Blythewood.

The two local teams got to Saturday's opening round the hard way. Northwestern had the advantage, was undefeated in its district tournament and could punch its ticket with a quick win over Easley. The Trojans lost Wednesday's first game 11-4, but held on to win the second 3-2.

Rock Hill was coming out of the loser's bracket and had go to Simpsonville and beat Hillcrest twice. The Bearcats flexed their pitching muscles and won the first game 2-1, the second 4-2.

The brackets for Saturday's tournament was preset, with two district champs in each. Rock Hill is home at 7 p.m. against Blythewood, which finished behind the Bearcats in the Region 4-AAAA standings. Northwestern has a drive up I-85 to Duncan, where the Trojans will play Byrnes at 3 p.m.

The winners play on Monday, as do the first-round losers, which will whittle the field to three teams. The loser from the undefeated teams game and the winner of the losers' game play Wednesday. That winner must beat the undefeated team twice on Friday to earn a berth in the state championship series against the Lower State champ.

Winning a District III title in Class A was no sweat for Lewisville, which breezed through its opponents. Landrum needed to win twice last Wednesday night, but it didn't even come close. The Lions sent the Cardinals home with a 15-3 loss.

Lewisville hosts Fox Creek at 7 p.m. on Saturday.