Sports

Fort Mill’s Post 43 closing in on baseball league title after week’s success

Fort Mill’s #9 Carson Jones avoids the tag at home plate to add to the Fort Mill lead as Fort Mill Post 43 demolishes Lancaster Post 31 14-0 in American Legion baseball action Monday night, 6-17-2019.
Fort Mill’s #9 Carson Jones avoids the tag at home plate to add to the Fort Mill lead as Fort Mill Post 43 demolishes Lancaster Post 31 14-0 in American Legion baseball action Monday night, 6-17-2019. Special to the Fort Mill Times

With its most crucial week to date, Fort Mill Post 43 came into the week ranked second in the state and possibly left ranked No 1.

Fort Mill won all three games during the week, two of them critical for locking up the League IV title. They beat Chapin/Newberry 6-4 and Rock Hill 8-1.

Post 43 still needs to have a good week coming up to secure the league title but are in a good position heading into three games this week. They are currently 9-1 overall on the season and 7-1 in league play.

“I am very proud of our guys,” said head coach Tom Skula. “Everyone is contributing from the top of the roster on down. We were a little short-handed this week with a couple players missing, but I was excited to see other players step up and show the coaching staff what they are capable of doing.

“Jeff Maidhof, Derek Sivec and Isaac Beirne went deep for us in their starts this week, which was huge. Hayden Mobbs came into a pressure situation down at Newberry College and slammed the door on them.”

Post 43 beat Rock Hill 8-1 to win the season series against their rivals. Beirne nearly pitched a complete game as he went six and two-thirds innings allowing four hits and striking out nine Rock Hill batters.

Fort Mill hit its first home run of the season with a solo shot from Cameron Greene in the fourth inning to give them a 2-1 lead against Rock Hill and then scored six runs on three hits in the sixth inning.

Greene and Andrew Pappalardo, both of which went 2-3 in the game, had two RBI. JT Marr also drove in two runs as well during the game.

Post 43 got a late start against Chapin/Newberry and had to claw their way back for a win. Fort Mill scored all six of their runs in the fourth inning or later as Xavier Cumbee led Post 43 offensively going 2-3 with a double and RBI.

Alan Stevens went 1-4 with two RBI as well, as Sivec battled on the mound allowing just one run in five innings of work. He struck out six hitters and walked three.

Chapin/Newberry rallied with three runs in the sixth inning, but Mobbs was able to go an inning and a third to get the save allowing just one base runner in that time.

Fort Mill easily took care of Lancaster earlier in the week winning 14-0 as Maidhof allowed just one hit through four innings of work. Post 43 scattered 17 hits in the game as Greene, Marr and Daniel Gueldner each got three hits in the game. Greene drove in three runs, as Marr and Gueldner both drove in two against Lancaster.

“I thought our approach at the plate was good all week,” Skula said. “We continue to grind at bats and put pressure on the teams defensively. We need to continue to have the right mindset at the plate and attack. I really like the action we had on the bases this week.

“Credit goes to coach (Travis) Collier as he has made it a point to hit and run and steal when we get runners on. We have really put ourselves in a great position in the standings sweeping this week. But we have to continue to work hard every game and better ourselves as a team.”

Post 43 has a home and away game against Lancaster this week and will also host Chapin/Newberry. Fort Mill can wrap up the league title this week with two wins.

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