High School Sports

Rock Hill takes Game 2 from Walhalla

A player from Rock Hill Post 34 crosses the plate as Rock Hill pushes Walhalla to the brink of elimination with a 3-1 win in the second game of the playoffs.
A player from Rock Hill Post 34 crosses the plate as Rock Hill pushes Walhalla to the brink of elimination with a 3-1 win in the second game of the playoffs.

WALHALLA -- Playing on a field soggy and sloppy from two days of rain, it was Rock Hill Post 34 starting pitcher Cam Walters that kept Walhalla Post 124's bats mired down in a muck Wednesday as Rock Hill pushed Walhalla to the brink of elimination with a 3-1 win in Game 2 of their best-of-five state playoff series.

Walters pitched a complete game, allowing just four hits, striking out 12 and giving up one unearned run for the victory.

It was the second consecutive complete game for Rock Hill pitching against Post 124. Josh Salay gave up just five hits in Monday's 12-1 win.

"We got another good pitching performance tonight, the guys played good defense and we got some keys hits," Rock Hill coach Steve Knight said.

Walhalla starting pitcher Tim Fournier, was matching his counterpart inning for scoreless inning early on, giving up three hits through the first five frames and keeping the score 0-0.

"Tim kept us in the ballgame tonight and pitched a lot of pitches on a wet night like this," Walhalla coach Ed Taylor said.

Post 124 had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the third after Ben Sheriff led off the inning with a single off Walters' glove and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from shortstop Matt Crowe. Major Anderson, up next, reached base on an error by Walters, and Walhalla had runners on the corners with only one out.

But Walters came back to strike out leadoff man Shane Brown and got Fournier to fly out to right field to end the threat.

In the top of the sixth inning with game still scoreless, Rock Hill third baseman Salay led off the frame with a double down the left field line. Tyler Lehman followed that with a base hit, putting runners on the corners with no outs.

After catcher Taylor Wallace walked to load the bases with one out, right fielder Brent Oakes came through with a two-RBI single to right-center field that brought in Salay and Lehman.

Fournier was lifted after walking Walters two batters later, but left-hander Andy Smith retired Kyle Glass on a grounder to end the inning with Rock Hill leading 2-0.

"Andy came in and did a great job," Taylor said. "He came in, made some big pitches and got us out of that inning."

Walhalla had another big chance to get back in the game in the bottom of the sixth, as Walters walked Fournier to open the frame and catcher Chad Guinn followed with a single to right field. With two men on and no outs, cleanup hitter Justin Merck hit a ground ball to short that looked to be a sure double play -- but Glass' throw sailed wide into left field, bringing Fournier around from second and making the score 2-1.

Post 124 would get no more in the inning, though -- Walters fanned Adam Wood and struck Smith out looking to end the rally.

"We just couldn't come up with a hit when we needed it -- we had chances," Taylor said.

Rock Hill added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on an RBI single by Cook that scored Walters, who then retired the Walhalla side in order to end the ballgame.

"For a little while it didn't look like we were going to do it ... but we got them when we needed them and got three runs on the board," Knight said. "(Walhalla)'s a good ball club."

While Walhalla has lost its last three games, Taylor said his team hasn't played that poorly -- even in Monday's 12-1 loss.

"It wasn't that we played bad (Monday) night, they just hit the ball -- we didn't make any errors," Taylor said.

Walhalla will travel to Rock Hill for a 7:30 p.m. game today, needing a win to stave off elimination.

"It's not over -- last time I looked, we've still got a game to play," Taylor said. "If we do the things we're supposed to, maybe we will win."

Rock Hill 3, Walhalla 1

Leading hitters

Rock Hill -- Walters 2-3, SB, R; Cook 2-5, RBI, SB; Salay 2-5, 2B, R; Lehman 2-4, SB, R; Oakes 1-4, 2 RBI, SB

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