Region 3-2A baseball and softball pennants and No. 1 state playoff seeds will at stake tonight at Mid-Carolina and Batesburg-Leesville.
Gilbert (16-4) and Mid-Carolina (16-2) finished the regular season with 9-1 region records. The teams split during the regular season – M-C scoring a 2-1 win on March 24 with Gilbert rebounding for a 3-1 win in the rematch last Friday night.
The Indians and Rebels kept pace by beating third-place Batesburg-Leesville this week. Gilbert topped the Panthers 6-5 in eight innings on Tuesday, one day after M-C dispatched B-L 8-4. The Rebels blasted three home runs against the Panthers – a three-run shot in the first inning by Jeffrey Hentz and solo shots in the second by Tevins Walker and Will Bedenbaugh.
Gilbert could send either David Padgett (5-2, 1.90 ERA) or Alex Davidson 7-0, 0.97 ERA) to the mound tonight, while Mid-Carolina can counter with either C.J. Edwards or Krishawn Holley. Padgett and Edwards squared off in the two previous contests, and were outstanding in both outings.
Tonight’s playloff game is set for 5 p.m. at Mid-Carolina.
Batesburg-Leesville will be the region No. 3 seed and Strom Thurmond is No. 4.
In softball, Batesburg-Leesville (11-6 overall) and Gilbert (9-7) both finished with 8-2 region record. Gilbert was a 2-0 winner in the first meeting of the teams on March 17, but B-L countered with a 6-1 success on April 15.
The Panthers clinched a first-place tie by closing the regular season with a 5-2 win over third-place Saluda last night. Ashleigh Padgett’s two-our RBI single in the fourth inning tied the score at 2-2, and her run-scoring single to plate Jessica Buzhardt in the sixth put B-L ahead for good. Winning pitcher Victoria Gunter gave herself a little insurance with a two-run single in the seventh. Gilbert kept pace with a 9-0 win over last-place Strom Thurmond on Thursday.
As usual, it will all come down to pitching and defense - the two key factors in both previous meetings of the teams. B-L will start Gunter, while Gilbert counters with Leigha Hite in the circle.
The pennant and No. 1 seed questions will be resolved tonight at Batesburg-Leesville, beginning at 6 p.m.