Struggles at the plate led to just three hits for the Catawba Ridge Copperheads baseball team as they fell to the Laurens Raiders at home in the District playoffs Thursday night.
Laurens won 5-2 and dropped Catawba Ridge to the consolation bracket in the double elimination tournament. The Copperheads will now play Westside Saturday. Westside eliminated Westwood Thursday night.
Catawba Ridge head coach Stas Swerdzewski said Laurens earned the win against his team.
“They played better than we did,” he said. “For us offensively, we didn’t get the job done.”
There was no panic in the Copperheads’ coach as he is confident his team will bounce back.
“Our pitching staff is battle tested,” he said.
Laurens struck first in the top of the second inning scoring two runs on two hits to grab an early lead over starter Harrison Wilson. The Raiders added to their score in the top of the third on a sacrifice to go up 3-0 over Catawba Ridge.
The Copperheads scored their only two runs in the third inning and stayed in the game. Lane Boutwell opened the inning up with a single and Wyatt Wilson was then hit by a pitch before Jake McCoy walked to load the bases. An error allowed Trevor Testerman to reach base and Boutwell and pinch runner Brock Williamson to score.
Catawba Ridge tried to keep it close as neither team could come up with any runs over the next three innings. However, in the seventh inning Laurens added two more insurance runs off reliever Jackson Mullen to take a 5-2 lead which the Copperheads couldn’t bounce back from.
The loss drops Catawba Ridge to 21-7 overall on the season.
In other games…
The Fort Mill baseball team beat Dorman 15-0 in five innings to punch their ticket to the District championship next Monday. The Jackets started off with six runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back. Fort Mill racked up 13 hits as Dylan Schaefer led the way going 3-4. Connor Rasmussen got the win on the mound for the Jackets allowing just five hits and striking out five in four and two-thirds innings of work. The win puts Fort Mill at 20-7 on the season.
The Nation Ford Falcons also won big in their District playoff game. Facing elimination, Nation Ford got a 13-3 win over Riverside to stay alive in the playoffs. Jacob Pettit, Luke Keller and Gabe Simmons all got three hits in the win. Rylee Ashworth and Miles Baker also had two hits as well. Seth Hanson pitched five strong innings allowing just three runs on three hits while striking out 10. Nation Ford will play again Saturday at Hillcrest. They are now 8-20 on the season.
The Catawba Ridge girls’ soccer team beat Travelers Rest on the road 3-0 to move on to the third round where they will play Eastside Saturday. Kyleen Bents scored two goals and Alexa Dubrow scored a goal as well for the Copperheads.
The Nation Ford girls’ soccer team fell to Wade Hampton on the road 1-0 in the second round of the 5A playoffs. The Falcons end their season at 13-9 overall.
The Fort Mill girls’ soccer team rallied against JL Mann on the road, but came up short losing 3-2 in the second round of the 5A playoffs. The Jackets end their season at 14-5-3 overall.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @fortprep