Two month ago, Camden ended a 51-year state championship drought in boys baseball. Saturday, Denny Beckley’s baseball Bulldogs moved closer to securing the school first diamond title since 1989 by whipping Socastee 13-4 on the road in the first round of the Class 3A Lower State championship tournament.
Camden (20-7) heads back to The Grand Strand again on Monday to face St. James – a 5-4 winner over defending champion Brookland-Cayce. Monday’s winner will be off until the LS finals on Friday. The loser will take on either B-C or Socastee in an elimination game on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs broke open a 4-2 game with a five spot in the fifth inning. Senior shortstop Bryant Salmond drew a one-out bases-loaded walk to increase Camden’s lead to 5-2, and Brandon Kersey followed with a three-run double to set the rout in motion. The final run of the burst came on a RBI single and Andrew Ansley.
Kris Nelson and Salmond were the Camden offensive headliners. Nelson went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and one RBI. Salmond went 3-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, two runs scored and two RBIs. Kersey, Ansley and Robert McKinney all had two hits. Kersey’s two doubles netted four RBIs. McKinney also had two doubles, scored twice and drove in two.
Tyler Pike went the distance to up his mound mark to 6-2. The senior left-hander allowed eight hits and three earned runs while striking out four.