CHESTER -- Jeff Kerr, the Chester Post 27 coach, said that his team did not take the field to settle for a moral victory in the fourth game of the American Legion Upstate playoff opener against Greenwood.
But following the 11-3 series and season-ending loss, Chester found plenty of reasons to hold their heads high, particularly with only 11 players on the playoff roster.
Post 27 staved off elimination with a 5-4 road victory the previous night, but ran out of gas against Greenwood Post 20 at the Chester Baseball Stadium.
"Last night, we played about as good as we could play and came out victorious," Kerr said. "We do not like to make excuses, but we were good enough with what we had to compete with."
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Chester rode the momentum of the Game 3 victory to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, only to see Greenwood seize control with four in the top of the third.
"Baseball is such a mental game," Kerr added. "The physical part is there for us, but mentally, you can get yourself in trouble and that is what happened to us.
"One thing about baseball, you should never get yourself too down when you are down by a couple of runs, and you should never get yourself too high," with a lead.
With Emerald High School ace and USC signee Brandon Miller on the mound, Greenwood contained the Chester offense to the lone second-inning run, while offensively, adding three more in the top of the sixth for a commanding 7-1 lead.
Chester saw their deficit increase to 9-1 in the top of the eighth, and was never again able to rally back into contention.
"Their coach spoke to our team after the game and he told us that he was aware of our situation and that we was impressed with how hard we played," Kerr said. "He is a classy coach who has been with their team for about 13 years, and he was very complimentary of our kids.
"That was just about good as winning."
Chester, who finished 13-11 overall, was led by Matt Ammons with three hits, followed by Maverick Farley with two hits and a triple. Ben Roberts got the start, but was relieved by Jason Guidry in the fifth.
Greenwood improves to 17-2 overall and advances to the next round of the Upstate playoffs.