Playing with limited resources when it mattered most, the Fort Mill Post 43’s run through the postseason ended Friday as Inman Post 45 won the best of five series 3-1.
Fort Mill fell hard in game four, losing 20-1 as the team’s pitching woes finally caught up with them. Post 43 allowed 18 hits and used four pitchers.
Inman scored four in the third inning and three in the fourth , but then scored 11 in the sixth inning to blow things wide open.
Post 43’s lone run came in the fourth, as catcher Justin Tepper led the inning off with a solo home run to left field.
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Fort Mill had been piecing its squad together throughout the playoffs using the minimum nine players, as half of its team was either on vacation or playing travel baseball. The team finished the season with a 12-11 record.
“It’s hard to win a series when you only have nine out of your 18 players,” said head coach Tom Skula. “It makes it even tougher when we are missing three players that were hitting over .400 for the season. It gave the younger guys a chance to step up and everyone did throughout this series.”
Skula said he was pleased with the team’s progress.
“We showed so much determination throughout the season. One of our major goals as a team was to win a first-round playoff series and we accomplished that. I am already looking forward to next year. We have 13 out of our 18 players able to return next year. Plus there are some big time players that are going to be seniors that will come out to play.”
There were bright spots for Post 43 in the series, coming as they beat Inman on the road winning 10-8 in game three.
Led by seven solid innings from starter Josh Jones, Post 43 put together a 15-hit game with Corley going 3-5 with two RBI and shortstop Alex Endler going 2-5 with three RBI.
Second baseman Grant Fry and first baseman Cole Avery also had two RBI and two hits in the win.
Fort Mill went up early 3-0 on a bases clearing triple from Endler. They then battled back and forth until the fifth inning when both Fry and Corley had RBI singles to give Post 43 a 6-5 lead.
They then tacked on four more runs on four hits in the sixth inning as Avery had a two-run double, while Fry and Corley again had RBI singles in the inning scoring both Avery and Scott Richi, who drove in a run earlier in the game on a sacrifice.
Once Fort Mill got the lead, Corley came in and shut the door against Inman by pitching two scoreless innings to close the game and get his fourth save of the season.