Fort Mill Times

Tega Cay Fort Mill Little Leaguers make semis

Josh Corley struck out 14 batters in his team's opening win.
Josh Corley struck out 14 batters in his team's opening win.

The Tega Cay Fort Mill Yellow Jackets are moving closer to a berth in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

The team of all-stars representing Tega Cay and Fort Mill won its first two games in the Southeast Regional Tournament in St. Petersburg through Monday. Two more wins will earn them a trip to the Keystone State.

The Yellow Jackets recently won the state tournament to represent South Carolina. The Southeast Regional is composed of teams from eight states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia).

The team left Fort Mill last Thursday morning in a caravan of cars, vans and SUVs after being fed by the folks at the Chick-fil-A restaurant on Highway 160 West. The players had endless energy. Parents wore expressions on their faces that read, "what have we forgotten?"

Coach Jeff Helms was confident.

TCFM won Saturday, 5-0, over Tuckahoe American, a team out of Richmond, Va. Josh Corley allowed just four hits and struck out 14 batters in 5.2 innings. Wayne Norman finished up in relief. The team scored five runs off just three hits.

TCFM used Sunday's day off to attend a Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field. The Rays beat the Detroit Tigers, 6-5, in extra innings. All eight teams participating in the tournament were recognized in a pre-game ceremony.

The Yellow Jackets won again Monday afternoon. They beat North Carolina (Wilmington), 8-4, in the second round.

With a 2-0 record in the tournament, TCFM was scheduled to face Alabama (2-0) at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Win or lose, the team was to advance to Wednesday's semifinals. They are scheduled to play at 5 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.