Mid-Carolina’s strange journey in the first phase of the Class 2A state baseball playoffs came to a somewhat happy conclusion on Saturday with a 16-14 win over visiting Palmetto that wrapped up the District II championship for the 20-2 Rebels.
It took 10 days for M-C to win two games and advance to the Upper State championship tournament. The Rebels open the Elite Eight on Monday at home against District IV champion Central.
The winner has a date on Tuesday with Chesnee and Eagles ace left-hander Brandon Henderson (8-1), who dominated Gilbert in district play in two sensational outings. Henderson fired a 12-strikeout, two-gem in a 3-0 second-round win, then clinched the District II championship by turning in a three-hitter with 14 strikeouts in a 9-1 win after the Indians forced a second game with a 9-6 in the first game last Wednesday.
Chesnee present long-time coach Dean Jones with his 700th career win in the district finale. The Eagles scored a 3-1 first-round win over Walhalla on Saturday as Dustin Sherbert spun a neat two-hitter.
The Rebels sudden pitching woes are a major concern at this point. In two playoff games, the crack M-C staff has been touched for a stunning total of 21 runs after allowing only 41 in 19 regular-season games.