The Catawba Ridge Copperheads got a much needed 6-1 win over York Comprehensive to right the ship in Region 3-4A play Friday night.
Catawba Ridge needed the win to stay alive in the playoff hunt having dropped their first two games against York. The win put the Copperheads at 6-4 overall and 3-2 in the region.
“It was absolutely a huge win,” said Catawba Ridge head coach Stas Swerdzewski. “We are still learning to play varsity baseball. We are a young team.”
The Copperheads’ youth showed at times as they started a sophomore on the mound and two freshmen in the field.
“It is a talented squad, but there is a learning curve,” Swerdzewski said.
York threatened in the first two innings getting three men on base, but starting pitcher Tyler France was able to work his way out of a jam in the second inning.
In the bottom of the second, Catawba Ridge was able to score twice on a hit and heads-up base running. Harrison Wilson reached on an error after a lengthy nine-pitch battle at the plate, which helped to set up a double by Lane Boutwell. Greyson Wild then drove in Wilson on a sacrifice fly and an error throw would allow Boutwell to score later in the inning.
France gave up just two hits through the first three innings and found his comfort zone on the mound.
York tried to make something happen in the fourth after getting the leadoff hitter on the base. The baserunner tried stealing third, but was gunned down to end the inning by Copperheads’ catcher Brody
In the fifth inning, Catawba Ridge bats started heating up as they collected three hits with one out to plate some runs. Wild singled and a walk by Jake McCoy put two runners on base. Owen Noonan then doubled to drive in Wild and Mikey Bartkowski singled in McCoy to give the Copperheads a 4-0 lead before York pulled their starter. Noonan would score on another throwing error by York before the Cougars got out of the inning.
France continued to do well on the mound despite letting the leadoff batter on in both the fifth and sixth innings. He was aided by a diving catch to end the top half of the sixth inning from left fielder Trevor Testerman.
Catawba Ridge got an insurance run in the sixth inning after McCoy walked, stole second, reached third on a balk and then scored on a passed ball.
Wilson came in for the Copperheads in the seventh inning to relieve France. France went six innings allowing three hits and walked two, while striking out six batters. York finally was able to get things going scoring in the bottom of the seventh as the Cougars took advantage of a couple of walks to score to go along with Catawba Ridge’s second error of the game.
The Copperheads enter spring break with a road trip to Gilbert High to participate in the Sandlapper Spring Break tournament this weekend, playing four games over two days. They will play Midland Valley and Richland Northeast today and two more games Monday.
Both the Catawba Ridge girls’ and boys’ soccer teams beat York. The girls team beat York 10-0 to improve to 8-0 overall and 6-0 in Region 3-4A play. The boys beat York on the road 5-0 to improve to 14-0-2 overall and 6-0 in the region as well.
Nation Ford beat Clover 11-5 Friday night and moved to 9-3 overall and 5-0 in Region 3-5A play. Falcons have one more region game this season and will next play April 13 at Boiling Springs to end their region scheduled.
Fort Mill rallied to beat Clover 8-6 on the road in eight innings. Fort Mill trailed 4-2 in the sixth but took a 6-4 lead before Clover tied the game up in the seventh. The Jackets win the series and are now 6-4 overall and 2-1 in Region 3-5A.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @fortprep