The Greenville Red Raiders scored five, fifth-inning runs and took advantage of five more Rock Hill errors to defeat the Bearcats 10-4 Wednesday night in the District III championship at Rock Hill. The loss ends Rock Hill's Region 3-4A championship season at 20-8.
It was the fifth inning in both games that bit the Bearcats Wednesday. In the first game, the Red Raiders took the lead with four in the fifth. The second game was tied at four in the fifth after Rock Hill scored one in the top half. The Bearcats did however, leave the bases loaded in their half of the fifth. Three of the fifth-inning runs for Greenville were unearned as Rock Hill threw away two bunts.
"It kind of takes the wind out of you but I don't think our guys ever quit,” said Rock Hill coach Dell Corley. “I know in the back of my mind, I've seen us swing it very well this year at times. I thought there was a chance. I still thought we had a shot."
But the big hit was a three-run home run to left-center by Ben Peden that broke the tie. It was his second in the two games and the team's fifth. Wes Bostic was 2-for-4 for the Bearcats with a home run and two RBI, and Isaac Rodgers reached base all four at-bats.
Game Two scoring
Greenville 10 Rock Hill 4
RH;011;100;1; - ;4;8;5
GV;301;051;x; - ;10;8;2
Chayce Torres, Brooks Lucas, and Lucas Coan. Isaac Rodgers and Caleb Hamilton. WP - Lucas. LP - Rodgers. 2B - Justin Bailey (GV). 3B - Jared Firmstone (GV). HR - Firmstone, Ben Peden (GV). Wes Bostic (RH). Leading hitters: Rock Hill - Bostic 2-4, HR, 2 RBI; Rodgers 2-2, BB, R. Bryon Foust 2 BB, Collins Bennett 1-1. Record: Rock Hill 20-8.
Greenville forced Game Two with 16-5 win
The Greenville Red Raiders got 10 extra-base hits, including three home runs, and 13 unanswered runs to defeat the Rock Hill Bearcats 16-5 and force a deciding game for the District III championship Wednesday night at Rock Hill.
The Bearcats also committed four errors. They led 5-3 in the fifth inning with two out and nobody on when the bottom fell out. The Red Raiders scored four runs with two outs and added five in the sixth and four more in the seventh as the Bearcats emptied their bullpen to prepare for the looming second game. The winner moves on and the loser is finished for the year. The final game is necessary because Rock Hill defeated Greenville 5-1 Saturday to drop them to the loser's bracket.
Will Reid was robbed of a home run in the first inning as Greenville left-fielder Justin Bailey flipped almost completely over the fence while catching the ball. Two batters later, Isaac Rodgers' two-out line drive base hit to left scored Zach Carter and Wes Bostic, who had singled and walked respectively.
The Red Raiders evened things up in the second. Jake Dill's triple to the corner in right plated Carson Spiers all the way from first, and Noah Smith followed with a sacrifice fly to center to tie the score.
Bailey led off the Greenville third with a hustling double to left-center. Reid then got Clemson signee Grant Cox to dribble one back to him and he had Bailey dead to rights, but third baseman Daniel Oates couldn't handle the throw from Reid and the run scored to put the Red Raiders in front.
The Bearcats got some good fortune in their half of the third. Rodgers hit a long fly ball to right that would have been caught, but the right-fielder fell down as he settled under the ball. The two-out triple brought in Reid, who had singled. Rodgers' third two-out RBI evened things up at three.
Greenville was generous again in the fourth. With one out, Stephen Buss reached on catcher's interference for the second consecutive at-bat. After Carter walked and Caleb Hamilton popped out, Reid grounded one to the shortstop, and his throw to second went wide and into right field, allowing two runs to score and making it 5-3.
The Red Raiders re-took the lead for good in the fifth with four two-out runs. Spiers had an RBI-triple and Dill doubled to the fence in left to plate Spiers and tie it at 5. Buss got to the ball but could not hold on as he collided with the fence. Smith then hit a two-run homer over the right field fence to give Greenville a 7-5 lead.
Rock Hill wasted a chance to tie in the fifth. Rodgers singled and Brandon Banks doubled to left to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. With one out, Grant Willson grounded down the third base line over the runner Rodgers head. The third baseman appeared to reach into foul territory to field the ball but no call was made and Rodgers was nailed at the plate trying to score. A strikeout then ended the inning.
The Red Raiders batted around and added five more runs in the sixth, including another two-run homer.
Greenville 16 Rock Hill 5
GV;021;045;4; - ;16;19;1
RH;201;200;0; - 5;8;4
Mike McNamara and Brooks Lucas. Will Reid, Jackson Timmons, Grant Willson, Collins Bennett, and Bryon Foust. WP - McNamara. LP - Reid.