Post 43’s Keith Feeley laces a hit during Fort Mill’s game at Inman Thursday evening.

INMAN- The Fort Mill Post 43 Senior team finished the regular season with an 8-3 victory on the road over Inman Post 45.

Post 43 scattered out 11 hits and was led by Patrick Matthews, who went 3-5 in the game, including a key three-run home run in the fourth inning to give Fort Mill a commanding lead.

The win puts Post 43 at 14-4 overall on the season as they had a first-round bye in the Senior Legion playoffs this week. Fort Mill will open the second-round of the playoffs on Monday hosting Lancaster Post 31 at Fort Mill High.

“With the first-round bye it was crucial for us to schedule these three non-conference games instead of not playing for 11 days,” said Post 43 Seniors head coach Tom Skula. “Our goal this week was to continue to improve as a team, stay healthy, and stay in rhythm entering the second round of the playoffs. We were short-handed all week and mostly played with 10-11 guys each night. A lot of guys got experience playing out of position and getting reps as well. I think this week really showed the depth we have at every position when we have our full 18-man roster together.”  

On Thursday night, Post 43 made the trip to Jim Everhart Field in Inman as Trevor Krupke got the start for Fort Mill. Krupke threw five innings to get the win and struck out seven batters in the process.

Fort Mill split the season series with them as Inman Post 45 got the 4-2 win Wednesday night at Fort Mill.

Inman will also open the playoffs next week against Spartanburg Post 28. Both Inman and Fort Mill could see each other again if they both make it to the state tournament in a couple of weeks.

Fort Mill was lead at the plate by Matthews and Harrison Wilson, who went 3-4 in the game with an RBI as well.

Both teams scored a run in the second inning as Dusty Sanderlin drove in Aaron Pendergast, who got hit to get on base in the top half of the inning.

Inman took a 2-1 lead in the third, but it was the fourth inning that really propelled Post 43 as they put up five runs on four hits, including the Matthews’ home run. Chase Dougherty led the inning off with a single and would be driven in by Nic Curtis. Pendergast would single and Brayden Franse would walk, before Keith Feeley, who went 1-4, got a clutch hit to put two runners on setting up Matthews’ home run.

Leading 6-2 at that point, Krupke had all the insurance he needed as he went five innings and allowed two runs on five hits, while walking just one. Brayden Kurtz would pitch two innings of relief allowing one run on four hits while striking out four.

“Our pitching all week was outstanding I thought,” Skula said. “The five guys that threw this week really had all their pitches working and command of the strike zone.” 

Post 43 added some insurance runs in both the sixth and seventh inning to give them some breathing room. In the sixth inning, Wilson drove in Franse, who reached on a walk, and Franse would get an RBI himself with a bases loaded walk again to drive in Curtis, who had walked earlier in the inning.

“I didn’t think we were mentally prepared or locked in from the first pitch against Inman in game one of the home and home” Skula said. “We left way too many runners in scoring position and we didn’t execute in crucial situations throughout the ballgame. I have to do a better job of making sure we refocus, win or lose the night before and come ready to play. We had a whole different vibe entering game two at Inman. I thought we worked a lot of great at bats and were able to get clutch hits that we were not able to get the night before. I look for this win and momentum to propel us into next week’s second round matchup.”    

Mac Banks:, @fortprep

Trevor Krupke pitched five innings for Fort Mill Post 43 against Inman Thursday night and got the win on the mound.