The American Legion’s state baseball tournaments are next on the agenda, and two teams from the region have come out for this prestigious event.
And they’re both from Fort Mill.
In the senior division, Fort Mill Post 43 is in the bottom of the eight-team squad, and in the junior division, Fort Mill won two second-round games to advance to the state tournament, which kicked off on Saturday at Riley Park. in Sumter.
Here’s what you need to know.
Senior Division Update: Fort Mill Advances, Rock Hill Falls
The senior Fort Mill team got there by sweeping Lancaster Post 31 in a best-of-three series last week.
They won the opener 2-0 on Tuesday night. Post 43 got a Connor Rasmussen RBI single in the first for a 1-0 lead. Patrick Matthews’ solo homerun in the third completed the game score.
Trevor Krupke took the victory. He distributed six innings, allowed four hits and struck out six strikes. Eric Yelton threw the seventh and got a save.
“Getting that first win was huge for us,” said Fort Mill head coach Tom Skula. “It gave us momentum. “
Fort Mill closed the series with a 15-8 decision the following night.
Lancaster was leading 3-2 after three innings on the books. Fort Mill rebilled. Matthews’ grand slam home run featured Fort Mill’s four runs in the fourth for a 6-3 lead, but Lancaster responded with two down the frame to bring it down to 6-5.
Fort Mill added just one run in the fifth and broke for five more in the sixth. Lancaster responded with three in the bottom of the sixth, before Post 43 closed the scoring with a rally of three in the top of the seventh.
Aaron Pendergast led Fort Mill with three hits and two RBIs. Nic Curtis and Matthews added two hits and four RBIs each on the offense.
“We had a great approach to home plate in Game 2,” he added. “We need this from our attack as we move forward. “
Fort Mill (16-4) will face Inman in the first round of the state tournament. The opener is on Monday in Inman at 7 p.m. The two teams separated a pair of games two weeks ago.
Rock Hill Post 34 was knocked out in the second round by Williamston who won the series 2-1. Williamston won both games they hosted, while Rock Hill won the game on their home turf.
Williamston won the opener 1-0 on Wednesday night. Peyton Nelson had the only point of the game with a sacrifice ball in the fifth. Landon Gaddis took the victory. He took out eight.
Rock Hill tied the series with a 12-8 victory on Thursday night. Post 34 made the most of eight hits and took advantage of five Williamston errors.
Post 34 scored four runs in the second to clear a 2-0 deficit. Williamston added single runs in the third and fourth to tie it, but Rock Hill got two runs in the half of the fifth for a 6-4 advantage. They added six more in the sixth for a 12-4 lead and withstood a rally from Williamston in the seventh to preserve the victory.
John Wimmer led Rock Hill with two hits and four RBIs. Will Dorrell added a pair of offensive hits. Britton Adams pitched five innings and took the win. He struck out six strikes and had a 6-4 lead when he left.
Williamston won the deciding game 2-1 on Friday night. Anderson Fulk gave Rock Hill a 1-0 lead with a single RBI in the sixth inning. Randy Jeffcoat’s single tied the score in the bottom of the seventh. Andrew Dent’s opposite field single produced the winning run in the home half of the eighth.
Post 34 finished the year with a 14-7 record.
Post 43 will continue to play in the double elimination tournament. They hope to qualify for the championship game, which is scheduled for Wednesday.
Junior division update
Fort Mill dominated Lexington twice earlier in the week to qualify for Sumter.
They won 6-2 in the best of three series opener last Tuesday.
Lexington led 2-1 after a frame, but Fort Mill fought back with two in the third for a 3-2 lead. They added two more in the fifth on a two-run double from Aiden Cattarin for a 5-2 cushion and closed the scoring with just one run in the sixth.
Lane Ross worked five innings and struck out eight for the win.
Fort Mill completed the sweep with a 6-3 win on Wednesday night.
Lexington was leading 2-0 after three innings, but Fort Mill came back. They tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth, but Lexington regained the lead with a run down the set.
Fort Mill rallied four points in the fifth to take a 6-3 lead. Post 43 started from there for the victory.
Chico Moreno led the offense with two hits and two RBIs. Deuce Hamchik added a hit and produced a pair of runs, while Carter Cox got a hit and hit in a run.
Cox, who was working in relief, took the victory.
Fort Mill entered the state tournament with a 16-0 record.
“We set a lot of goals and kept them all small,” said Fort Mill head coach Mike Lewis. “That way we can focus on the next goal, play baseball and not worry about our record.”
What Fort Mill has accomplished so far in its first year with a junior program is remarkable.
“I give the credit to the kids,” Lewis added. “Team chemistry is always the key. Ours was great.
The players come from different schools and most of them are playing together for the first time.
“A lot of our players have had to change roles in this team. They all accepted this challenge, ”he added. “We’ve done a really good job of keeping things in perspective all season. “