Fort Mill Sports

Fort Mill’s Post 43 sweeps York, rolls through Clover

Fort Mill's Jackson Massey slides safely into second as Fort Mill Post 43 defeated visiting Clover Post 38 in American Legion Baseball June 1. The team is now ranked No. 10 in the state.
Fort Mill's Jackson Massey slides safely into second as Fort Mill Post 43 defeated visiting Clover Post 38 in American Legion Baseball June 1. The team is now ranked No. 10 in the state. JEFF SOCHKO

The Fort Mill American Legion Post 43 team moved into the top 10 in the state rankings after starting the season 5-0.

Post 43 won three more games this week beating Clover 14-9 and sweeping York in a doubleheader 3-0 and 4-1 on the backs of strong pitching performances from Clay Helvey and Jonathan Koletic. The team is ranked No. 10 in the state in the Legion standings.

In the first game against York, Post 43 struggled with the bats, but Helvey was strong on the mound. He went five innings, allowing one hit while walking two and striking out eight.

Clay Hunt pitched in relief for two innings, allowing a hit and striking out five in the save opportunity. Hunt and Helvey also provided a majority of the offense as well.

Helvey scored the opening run of the game for Post 43 in the second inning on an RBI single from Justin Borland, who went 2-3 in the game. Leadoff hitter Brandon Fite drove in Borland on an RBI single in the second as well to put Fort Mill up 2-0.

In the fifth inning, Hunt delivered a solo home run to left center field to put Post 43 up 3-0.

In the second game, Fite singled and later scored on a York error in the top of the first inning to put Post 43 up 1-0. York came back in the bottom of the first to tie the game with a triple that was the team’s only run.

Koletic went five innings and allowed one hit while walking three and striking out six in the game. Wyatt Baechtold pitched one scoreless inning, striking out three of the four batters he faced and Josh Jones pitched a hitless seventh, striking out a batter to get the save in the 4-1 win.

In the second inning, Matt Navarro doubled to jump start the offense for Post 43. He moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a catcher’s error to make it 2-0. Navarro went 2-3 in the game.

Post 43 continued the fire power in the third as Fite led off with a double and then was doubled in by Hunt. Fite went 2-4 in the game and Hunt was 1-4, but stole three bases in the game. Hunt stole third base after his double and scored on a double-play ball to put Fort Mill up 4-1.

Against Clover, Fort Mill scattered 15 hits in the 14-9 win, but struggled on the mound. Garrett Leonard got the win, going five innings and giving up three runs. He walked six and struck out three. Hunt was 3-4 at the plate with three RBI and Tommy Miller went 2-5 with three RBI.

In the second inning, Mason Jordan hit a solo home run to start a five-run inning. His shot was followed by a single from Jones and a two-run single from Miller, who drove in both Jones and Jackson Massey, who walked earlier in the inning.

Outfielder Hunter Swanson singled in Fite, who reached after being hit by a pitch, and Post 43 went up 5-0. The score was 8-1 after the fourth inning with three more runs for Fort Mill.

Jones scored after getting on with a walk. Massey reached with a single and scored as well. Fite and Jordan drove in runs in the inning as Clover walked three in and gave up three hits.

Post 43 added three more in the fifth on a two-run double by Hunt and a sacrifice fly from Dalton Tassinari. Fort Mill added one in the sixth on an RBI single by Miller and two in the seventh on RBI singles from Justin Tepper and Helvey.

Fort Mill Post 43 has more than a week off before its next game. The team then has a stretch of seven games in 10 days, including home games June 16-18. Home games start at 7 p.m. and are played at Fort Mill High.