The fifth-ranked American Legion Post 43 baseball team remains undefeated on the season at 8-0 after winning three straight games, including a 4-3 comeback win over No. 4 Rock Hill.
Post 43 scored three-runs in the bottom of the ninth against Rock Hill to rally from 3-1 down as Tommy Miller hit a pinch-hit, walk-off single with the game tied at 3-3 to cap the rally. Miller’s blast scored Brandon Fite with the deciding run.
Fort Mill struggled the majority of the game against Rock Hill. Catcher Justin Tepper was the leading hitter in the game going 2-3 with an RBI. On the mound, Josh Jones pitched well, going seven innings and surrendering three runs on six hits while walking one and striking out five. Garrett Leonard replaced Jones in the eighth and pitched two scoreless innings, walking one and striking out three for the win.
“What a game against a very good and well coached Rock Hill team,” said head coach Tom Skula.
“Josh Jones threw seven great innings for us. Garrett Leonard kept us in the ball game in the final two innings and got the win on the mound. Tommy Miller had a great at bat for us to end the game. He worked the count and kept fighting off pitches against a very good pitcher before getting a base hit to left to win the game for us.”
Skula said even as Fort Mill faced its first loss of the year trailing in the team’s final chance at bat, they never gave up.
“We are a very resilient team and we battled all night,” he said.
“Besides beating Belton last year in the first round of the playoffs, this was the most exciting game I have been a part of in my five years coaching for Fort Mill. This may be the most talented group of players I have had on a team.”
Fort Mill also beat Lancaster 8-6 despite making six errors in the field. Tepper again led at the plate going 3-4 with four RBI, including a two-run home run, a double and a triple. Clay Hunt also went 3-4 with three doubles and knocked in two runs, including a key run in the bottom of the eight to give Post 43 a 7-6 lead.
Hunt also got the win on the mound, pitching the final three innings while allowing three hits and striking out three after the Fort Mill bullpen struggled in the previous two innings. Fort Mill’s mettle was tested in this games as well after Lancaster tied the game at 6-6.
Clay Helvey got the start for Fort Mill and was shaky at times, going five innings while allowing three hits and two runs. He also walked four, but struck out eight.
Against Clover, Fort Mill had its easiest game of the week, winning 12-0 after collecting 16 hits. Both Hunt and Fite went 4-4 at the plate. Hunt had five RBI and two doubles, and Fite had three doubles as well. Tepper went 3-4 with four RBI, including a double and two-run home run.
Jonathan Koletic got the win on the mound going six scoreless innings and allowing four hits while striking out five.
Fort Mill has four games next week – two at home and two on the road, and then three more the following week before playoffs are scheduled to begin.