LITTLE RIVER – Now it is down to one game.
The Catawba Ridge Copperheads baseball won game two 4-1 over North Myrtle Beach to even the 4A state championship series Wednesday night at 1-1 in the best of three series.
Game three of the series will be at 6 p.m. Friday, May 26 in Hartsville.
“We are in a position that every team in the state wants to be in,” said Catawba Ridge head coach Stas Swerdzewski. “We have got to play well. I like our chances after today. I feel like we have some momentum. We have got to play with confidence on Friday.”
Catawba Ridge scored on a bases loaded walk in the top of the first scoring Jake McCoy. North Myrtle Beach bounced back to tie it at 1-1 with a double in the bottom of the inning.
Jackson Mullen led the top of the third inning off for Catawba Ridge with a single and then reach third on a double by Sam Schwamb. Britton Nash drove in Mullen to give the Copperheads the lead. Jonathan Barschow doubled to score Schwamb and Ben Wilson. Barschow led the Copperheads at the plate going 1-4 with two RBIs as Catawba Ridge managed six hits in the game.
Catawba Ridge starter Peyton Dhein was strong on the mound keeping Chiefs’ hitters guessing for most of the game.
In the fourth inning, Dhein struggled some putting two runners on with just one out both on walks.
However, the Copperheads defense was able to get him out of the jam without allowing a run.
North Myrtle Beach advanced a runner to third in the fifth inning and then got a runner on after he got hit by a pitch, but again Catawba Ridge found a way out of the jam.
The Copperheads threatened in the top of the seventh getting two runners on base, but they struggled to score as the Chiefs came up for their last at-bat.
Dhein went five innings allowing just the one run on five hits, while striking out four and walking three.
“I feel like Peyton Dhein is the unsung hero of the staff,” Swerdzewski said. “Down the stretch, Dhein has pitched as well as any pitcher in the state. He commands the strike zone. He did a great job of pitching with a lead.”
Caden Glauber came in for relief for the Copperheads in the bottom of the sixth inning and went two innings to finish the game. He allowed a walk and one hit, while striking out two to get another save for Catawba Ridge.
“Glauber has been huge for us,” Swerdzewski said. “It is such a luxury to have a guy like that who can come in and shut the door for the last two innings.”
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @fortprep