Two straight losses ended the Nation Ford baseball team’s playoff hopes.
The Falcons opened the playoffs losing to Byrnes 5-2 and then to Mauldin 7-3 in a must-win game Saturday in the double elimination District I playoff bracket.
Against Mauldin, Nation Ford struck first, scoring a run in the bottom of the first off a RBI single from Jacob Wright knocking in Brandon Fite. That lead was short lived as Mauldin rallied to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the second off of a sacrifice.
Mauldin added a second run to break the tie in the fourth inning. A triple by Griffin Templeton with two outs put a runner 90 feet from home. Shortstop Chris Metcalf drove in Templeton to give the Mavericks a 2-1 lead.
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Nation Ford left nine men on base, including six through the first two innings.
“The effort was there, we just didn’t execute,” said Nation Ford head coach Mike Matkovich.
“It is what it is. Their pitcher through well, our bats just went silent. Good luck to Mauldin.”
Nation Ford senior Josh Jones got the start and pitched well early on, but had one bad inning in the fifth when Mauldin scored three runs on four hits. The Falcons eased the bleeding in the bottom of the inning as Wright again singled to start things off and Jones singled to put runners at first and second before catcher Nick Hoffman doubled them both in to make it 5-3.
However, in the sixth, the Falcons went with Tristan Broome, who allowed two more runs on a hit and two Nation Ford errors, and Mauldin cemented the game.
In the Falcons’ playoff opener, Nation Ford fell to Byrnes 5-2 on the road. Nation Ford struggled at the plate with just four hits. Senior Clay Hunt went 2-3 with a double and a home run as one of the only bright spots in the game.
Hunt also got the loss on the mound allowing five runs and seven hits over six innings of work. Byrnes had a big second inning when outfielder Alex Vazquez hit a three-run home run to put the score at 3-1.