A perfect record and sole possession of first place in American Legion League 8 for Orangeburg Post 4 was “Shook” up Friday at Mirmow Field.
T.J. Shook’s tiebreaking, two-out RBI double in the top of the ninth allowed Irmo-Chapin Post 193 to defeat Orangeburg 6-5. It was the first loss of the season for Post 4 (4-1), which also saw its streak of three consecutive games won by one run come to an end.
Despite rallying three times to tie the game, Orangeburg could not overcome two lingering problems – fielding errors and stranded baserunners. A pair of miscues resulted in two runs scored for Irmo-Chapin and Post 4 hurt its comeback chances by leaving nine runners on base.
The game ended with Chris Sweatman, who was seeing his first action in a week, striking out with the bases loaded. Afterwards, a frustrated Post 4 head coach Frank Leysath promised “changes” in the lineup ahead of tonight’s game at Dalzell-Shaw.
“We’re not that good that we can make errors, leave people on base,” he said. “We left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. All we needed was a base hit. A base hit and we win the ballgame. But you know, we won the first game 7-1 and the following games all by 1-run. So tonight, we got beat by one run.”
Both teams posted a run in the first inning without the benefit of a hit. Irmo-Chapin capitalized off a throwing error by third baseman Kodi Jamison to jump on the board with an RBI fielder’s choice by Zach Ziesing.
Meanwhile, Orangeburg drew two walks and used a double steal to get Dakota Way across homeplate before Cameron Huddleston was tagged out.
Another Post 4 miscue in the top of the second enabled Post 193 to reclaim the lead. After giving up two hits and a walk to load the bases, starting pitcher Evan Graves uncorked a passed ball which allowed Gordon Ziesing to cross home plate safely and make it 2-1.
Post 4 had a similar rally in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game. With the bases loaded, Way drew a two-out walk to force in Zach Massengale from third base.
Post 193 reclaimed the lead again in the top of the third. After Justin Hawkins’ leadoff double, he moved to third on Ryan Stockmire’s single and scored on a fielder’s choice at second base.
A leadoff walk issued by Graves in the fourth ended his evening and he was replaced by Reese Blankenship. Irmo-Chapin had runners on second and third with one out when Jamison’s throwing error on a potential putout at home plate allowed Post 193 to extend its lead to 4-2.
Stockmire added an RBI single to put Orangeburg in its deepest hole of the season.
Orangeburg cut the deficit to one in the bottom of the fifth. A leadoff single by Way resulted in Irmo-Chapin replacing starter Zach Ziesing with Cole Morris, who promptly walked Will Gee.
As Way stole an uncovered third base, catcher Tyler Grubbs’ throw scattered into the outfield and allowed him to race home. With two outs, Michael Gartman’s groundball rolled under Shook’s glove at third base and allowed Gee to score.
Gee played a central role in tying the game a third time in the seventh. He hit a 1-out single off Morris, advanced to second and eventually scored on two passed balls.
The game remained tied until Shook made amends in the ninth when he belted a 0-2 pitch over Huddleston in leftfield to score Hawkins from second.
Now locked in a three-way tie with Dalzell-Shaw and West Columbia, Leysath said Orangeburg cannot continue to expect to overcome the same mistakes in each game.
“You can’t give up runs and expect to win,” he said.
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