A.C. Flora opened the Class 3A Lower State baseball tournament with a 3-1 win at Berkeley on Saturday, and the top-ranked Falcons can earn a spot in the championship round with a semifinal road win on Monday against defending state champion St. James.
The Sharks from Murrells Inlet beat ACF in the Lower State title round last season on the way to a state championship series win over Union County.
Senior left-hander Player Loving was in command on the hill for Flora in the Lower State opener, limiting the host Stags to just five hits while striking outs seven in the complete-game win.
The Falcons didnt exactly light up two Berkeley pitchers, but did enough to get the job done. Donald Gillespie tied the game at 1-1 with a two-out, RBI single, and the game-winning run came in the sixth inning on a passed ball. Schroeder Carltons legs added an insurance tally in the seventh. Carlton stole third base and raced home on the errant throw by the Berkeley catcher.