Fort Mill Sports

Nation Ford advances to district title game; Greenwood knocks Jackets out of playoffs

Fort Mill senior Bartow Keller tags out Woodmont senior Sam Drummond at third Friday night.
Fort Mill senior Bartow Keller tags out Woodmont senior Sam Drummond at third Friday night. Stephanie Marks Martell

Nation Ford will take on Spartanburg today in the District I 5A title game. The two teams meet in round one with Nation Ford winning 9-8. Nation Ford needs to win only once to win the championship.

Fort Mill eliminated

A lack of hitting and base running errors were too much to overcome for the Fort Mill Jackets as they were knocked out of the 5A state playoffs by the Greenwood Eagles falling 4-0.

Fort Mill, which finished the season at 20-7, got just three hits in the game, the first of which didn’t come until the sixth inning.

The troubles for Fort Mill spoiled a decent outing by Jackets’ starter Mikey Tepper, who went six and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out 11 and walking just three. Greenwood countered that performance with an even better one from its starter, Walt Thomas, who pitched a complete game allowing just the three hits. He walked three Jackets and struck out just one, but came away with the win.

“We struggled the last three games,” said Fort Mill head coach Travis Collier. “We struggled in home games this season. We were better on the road for whatever reason. You got to give Greenwood credit. You have to tip your hat to them.”

Both Tepper and Thomas were strongest through the first three innings. In the fourth, Tepper made just one mistake that led to Greenwood scoring. Greenwood’s Zach Murray singled to get on with one out. Tepper fanned the next Eagles hitter for the second out before Jacob Fuller blasted a two-run home run to left field putting the Eagles up 2-0.

Fort Mill had base runners for each of the first two innings due to walks and Greenwood errors, but left those both stranded without scoring a run.

In the sixth inning, with the Eagles holding onto a 2-0 lead, the Jackets threatened for the first time in the game. Bartow Keller got a single for the first hit of the game, but was picked off almost immediately to get the first out for Greenwood. Later in the inning, with a runner on second for Fort Mill, Logan Stone flew out to the Greenwood right fielder, who doubled off the runner at second base to kill the momentum for the Jackets.

“Our base running was atrocious all year,” Collier said.

Greenwood would score two more runs in the top of the seventh getting to a tiring Tepper, who was pulled after the first two outs and with runners on first and second. Tepper finished the evening with 101 pitches.

Fort Mill got the leadoff hitter on in the bottom of the seventh with a single from Connor Manco, but more base running errors led to Dylan Helms getting caught stealing and eventually the Jackets’ inning and season would come to an end.

Earlier in the week, Fort Mill had been put in the situation of needing to win against Greenwood after losing to the EAgles 11-6 to open the double-elimination portion of the district playoffs.

The Jackets bounced back to beat Woodmont in an elimination game 7-2.In that game, Fort Mill got eight hits as Keller, Manco and JT Marr all got two apiece and Justin Kerosetz would drove in three runs. Isaac Beirne pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out three.

Mac Banks:, @MacBanksFM