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.
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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.