Camden maintained a share of first place in the Region 6-3A baseball pennant race on Tuesday by thumping Darlington 12-1 in a five-inning laugher. The verdict left the Bulldogs tied with Lakewood atop the region standings at 6-2, while Darlington dropped down to third place at 6-3.
Camden travels to Bennettsville on Friday to face fourth-place Marlboro County, which stunned the Bulldogs 10-3 in the first-half meeting, and then hosts Lakewood on Saturday at 1 p.m. in what figures to be a pennant showdown.
The Bulldogs made quick work of the Falcons, who beat Camden 7-6 the first time around, scoring five runs in the first inning.
“We played our worst game of the season against Darlington, and I was scared to death coming into this one,” said Camden coach Denny Beckley. “Scoring five runs right off the bat helped us all relax a little bit.”
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The Bulldogs banged out 11 hits and got a solid outing from junior left-hander Andrew Ansley on the mound. Ansley, the No. 3 starter in the rotation, improved to 4-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to 1.70 with a two-hit gem.
Robert McKinney led the attack, going 2-for-4, including a two-run home run. Brandon Kersey and Bryant Salmond also had big days at the plate. Kersey was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and three RBIs, while Salmond went 2-for-3 with a double, two runs and one RBI. Kris Nelson chipped in two hits and Jack LaForge and Tyler Pike scored two runs apiece.