Mid-Carolina, Gilbert and Pelion face different challenges in Class 2A district playoff finales tonight.
Mid-Carolina is in the best position to advance to the Elite Eight. The Rebels, 19-3 and riding a 15-game winning streak, host Emerald in the District 3 finals tonight needing just one win to advance to the Elite Eight under first-year coach Hu Mills. M-C, a state finalist in 2007, has advanced to the Upper State tournament for the fourth time since 2003.
The Rebels opened the playoffs with a 12-1 win over Eau Claire. Nathan Smith was the winning pitcher. He allowed allowing two hits in five innings, struck out five and walked one. Krishawn Holley’s two-run home run was the offensive highlight.
M-C needed runs in the sixth and seventh innings to escape with a 7-5 semifinal win over Broome. Holley was the winner in relief of C.J. Edwards, who fanned six of the first nine Broome batters but grew tired in the heat late in the game. Matrez Gallman accounted for the final two Rebels runs – dropping down a perfect squeeze bunt and delivering a RBI single after Tevins Walker tripled.
Gilbert (20-6) earned another crack at defending Upper State champion Chesnee by dumping Abbeville 11-1 on Tuesday. The Indians must win two games tonight at Chesnee to win the District 2 title and advance to the Elite Eight.
Dylan Skinner set the tone offensively, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored and one RBI. Nathan Price and Matt Stegall both had two hits and three RBIs. Mike Morrison dominated on the hill, allowing no earned runs and just six hits while fanning 12.
Pelion advanced to the District 7 championship game by beating Ashley Ridge on Monday. The Panthers must win two games at Hanahan to keep their season alive.