A six-run fifth inning and too many errors doomed host Easley Post 52 as Rock Hill Post 34 pounded out an 11-5 win in the second game of the American Legion state tournament at Alice Field Tuesday night.
Post 34’s Trent Autry hit a two-run homer and pitched seven-and-a-third scoreless innings.
Rock Hill Post 34 head coach Mike Scott said that Autry’s performance combined with a bevy of runs in the fifth made his job easy.
"We made a few mistakes early on and they capitalized on it," Scott said. "Next thing you know, we had our big inning and had a really good pitching outing by Trent. I never felt like he was in trouble and then when their better hitters came up, he was able to spit a little extra out of it. It was an easy coaching job for me today."
A single by John Robbins and two errors plated Rock Hill’s first run of fifth before Autry launched a ball over the left field fence for two more runs. Singles by Garett Rast and Colton Pagoota and a double by Chance Montgomery gave Post 34 the 8-2 cushion it needed in Tuesday night’s game.
Easley struck first with solo home run by Mason Covey in the second inning to give Post 52 a 1-0 lead.
A single, an error and a fielder’s choice put runners on second a third with two outs and Colton Pagoota laced a single to center that gave Rock Hill a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning.
Rock Hill plated another run in the sixth on a bases loaded walk. However, Eeasley would score two runs to make it an 8-4 game after two wild pitches by Autry with runners on first a second.
Rock Hill added two more runs in the eights for a 10-4 advantage. Al Simmons scored Easley Post 52’s final with a double in the gap in the bottom of the frame.
Easley faces an elimination game at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Rock Hill and Post 52 head coach Donny Lockaby said that his team has a lot of mental errors that they need to clean up if they are to see a game four.
"Things were going pretty well until the fifth inning and then we had a defensive collapse," Lockaby said. "We had five or six errors in a row that they ended up beating us by, ultimately. We’ve just got some stuff that we have to clean up if we’re going to stay in this thing."