Fort Mill advances to third round of legion baseball playoffs


Two League V teams competed in the second round of the American Legion playoffs this past week, and Fort Mill moved to the third round of action, which begins on Monday, while Rock Hill was eliminated.

Fort Mill sweeps Inman

For the most part, Fort Mill Post 43 breezed through the second round of the playoffs with a three-game sweep of Inman Post 45.

Fort Mill outscored Inman 29-8 in the series after winning the first two games due to the 10-run rule. Game three in the series was a lot closer as Post 45 was able to find a way to get to Post 43’s relief pitchers making things competitive. However, Fort Mill held on for the 8-7 win in game three to complete the sweep.

Post 43 will now face Gaffney in the third round of the playoffs. The opening game in the best-of-five series is on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Nation Ford High School. The winner of that series will head to the four-team state tournament in Columbia July 31 through Aug. 2. Fort Mill is currently ranked third in the state, falling from the top spot after losing to Aiken Post 26 a couple of weeks ago.

“This team is really special and committed,” said Fort Mill head coach Tom Skula. “I am excited to get the (third round) series started next week.”

Game one of the series against Inman saw Post 43 win in five innings 11-1 as Jeff Maidhof pitched a complete game with Fort Mill scattering 11 hits in the game. Five Post 43 hitters got two hits each and they used a five-run first inning and a five-run fourth inning to pull away from Inman.

“We really hit the ball well all week,” Skula said. “To be able to 10-run rule Inman in game one and game two really saved our pitching going into game three.”

Fort Mill’s only road game of the series came in game two in Spartanburg County. Post 43 was able to put together another strong performance on the mound as Isaac Beirne pitched a two-hitter with Fort Mill winning 10-0.

“Coming into this series, we knew Inman was a great hitting team,” Skula said. “In order for us to beat them, we needed our pitchers on their A game. Our starting pitchers were huge for us this week. All three did a great job giving us quality starts.”

Post 43 was able to produce offensively again getting 10 hits in game two as they were led by J. T. Marr at the plate. Marr went 2-4 with two doubles and three RBI in the game.

Game three was a lot tougher for Post 43 as they were without their normal third starter Derek Sivec, who is dealing with an arm injury. Pitcher Magdiel Cotto took his place on the mound and was able to go four innings allowing a couple hits and a just one run. Cotto didn’t get the decision on the mound, as Inman’s hitters got to Fort Mill’s relievers.

Post 43 carried a 4-1 lead into the fifth inning, but Inman was able to score three runs in the fifth inning to tie the game with the help of a three-run home run. Fort Mill found their way offensively in the sixth inning as they scored four runs on three hits, with the help of a grand slam by Cameron Greene, who went 2-4 in the game with two home runs and six RBI.

That allowed Fort Mill some breathing room entering the seventh inning. The four-run lead was much needed as Inman scored three runs on a hit and two Post 43 errors in the seventh to rally and make a game of it. However, Fort Mill would be able to pitch their way out of the jam and get the series sweeping win.

Greenwood edges Rock Hill in five games

Rock Hill Post 34 and Greenwood Post 20 battled for five games before Greenwood earned a trip to the next round of the playoffs.

Rock Hill won the opening game on Monday night in Greenwood by a score of 5-1.

Post 34 erased a 1-0 deficit with four runs in the third inning to take a 4-1 lead. They completed the scoring with a single run in the seventh.

Jackson Timmons led Rock Hill with two hits and two RBI. Joel Haney added a pair of hits, while Ty Good got one hit and knocked in one run.

Good worked into the fifth frame and got the win. He struck out eight.

Greenwood rebounded with a 3-2 victory in the second game in Rock Hill on Tuesday night.

Greenwood took a 3-0 lead after three innings, and stopped a Rock Hill rally in the sixth to claim the win. Post 34 managed only three hits in the contest.

Haney led Rock Hill with one hit and one RBI.

Post 20 kept the momentum when the third game unfolded in Greenwood by winning 3-2.

Rock Hill took a 2-0 lead after two innings, but Greenwood rallied for three runs in the fifth and held on for the win.

Rock Hill managed only three hits in the game. Allen Coye and Willie Lumpkin led Post 34 with one hit each.

Post 34 evened the series on Thursday night in Rock Hill with an 8-0 decision.

Rock Hill took a quick lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. They added four more in the fourth for a 6-0 advantage, and closed out the scoring with two more in the sixth.

Lumpkin was outstanding on the mound for Post 34. He pitched a complete game. He allowed only four hits, struck out seven, and was in complete command from the opening pitch.

Rock Hill managed only seven hits, but they were timely. Timmons drove in two runs for Rock Hill, while Max Necklen and Lumpkin knocked in one run each.

The fifth and deciding game in the series was in Greenwood, and it was a classic pitchers battle. Post 20 scored in the bottom of the eighth inning to nip Rock Hill 2-1.

Greenwood opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first, and it stayed that way until the top of the seventh. Hunter Parks’ base hit drove in Rock Hill’s only run and knotted the count at 1-1.

Rock Hill managed only two hits in the game, while Greenwood got only four.