Defending state champion Brookland-Cayce and Camden are both just one win away from advancing to the Class 3A Lower State baseball championship tournament.
The Bearcats are 2-0 in District V action after beating Lakewood 8-6 in the first round and Marlboro County 5-2 on Saturday. James Hall was the winning pitcher with relief help from Michael Gilroy and the USC-bound senior also had two hits and two RBIs vs. MC. Jeremy Brazzell was the winning pitcher, but he too needed aid from Gilroy who came on to get the final two outs.
Camden rallied to nip Airport 7-6 in District VI first-round play, and advanced to the final by way of a 6-2 second-round win over Dreher on Saturday. Alvonta’ Jenkins has been the Bulldogs’ hitting star in the playoffs – ripping a walk-off, two-run double with the bases load vs. scrappy Airport, and going 3-for-3 with a two-run home run against Dreher. Kris Nelson, who came in to get the last out in the top of the seventh inning after Airport scored two run to go ahead 6-5, got the first game win in relief of starter Tyler Pike. Andrew Ansley went the distance to pick up the decision against Dreher, scattering six Blue Devils hits. Ansley also had three RBIs, via a two-run single and a sacrifice fly. Bulldogs center fielder Trey Brazell was the key defensive man - recording seven put outs, including three excellent running catches to take away extra-base bids.
Lugoff-Elgin, Chapin, A.C. Flora and Dreher are all facing elimination on Monday. Chapin travels to Lugoff tonight (6:30 p.m.) in the one all-Midlands elimination bout on the slate. L-E swept the Eagles (8-2 and 13-4) during the Region 4-3A campaign.
Lugoff-Elgin, which moved up to No. 1 in the final coaches poll, has managed just one run and four hits in two District IV outings to date. After topping Blue Ridge 1-0 in the first round, the Demons were blanked 2-0 by Greer junior Daniel Palka. The dominated left-hander limited L-E to one hit and fanned 15. Forrest Koumas has done excellent work in the playoffs for the Demons. He delivered the game-winning single in the bottom of the sixth inning in the opener, and picked up the win with a 2.2 inning stint in relief of Will Graham. Koumas was summoned to the mound with two outs, the bases loaded and two strikes on a BR batter to quell a Fighting Tigers rally in the top of the fifth. He came back to start on two days rest on Saturday and went six innings, allowing three hits with 11 strikeouts.
Chapin stayed alive with a 2-1 win on Saturday after dropping a 5-4 heatbreaker in the first round to Greer.
After opening the District III playoffs with a 5-4 win over Union County, A.C. Flora was crushed 11-0 by old playoff rival Riverside on Saturday. The Falcons trailed 4-2 going into the bottom of the seventh inning vs. UC, but rallied to win thanks to RBI hits by Alex Mitchell, James Newman and Roy Faulks. Joseph O’Steen was the winning pitcher in relief of Evan Brown.