The wait proved to be worth it for Orangeburg Post 4.
After three straight postponements due to rainfall, Orangeburg Post 4 resumed its American Legion baseball playoff series against Rock Hill Post 34 on Monday. With a chance to wrap up the best-of-five matchup at Mirmow Field, Post 4 took full advantage with an 11-5 victory.
“It seems like it’s been an eternity,” Post 4 head coach Frank Leysath said. “It seems like last Thursday was two weeks ago. (But), I’m glad to get it behind us so we can get on to the second round and see what we can do.”
Post 4 advances to the next round to face Greenwood Post 20 on the road Wednesday.
On Monday, Post 4 (11-8) was led offensively by Dakota Way and Evan Graves. The Orangeburg Prep tandem combined for nine of the team’s 12 hits, with Way going 5-5 and Graves accounting for three runs driven in on four hits.
While committing four errors, Orangeburg capitalized on five errors by Rock Hill (7-8). On the mound, Post 4 starter Noah Cason provided eight innings of work in which he allowed eight hits, but only three runs and struck out four for the win.
With the persistent wet weather bypassing Mirmow Field for the first time in four nights, good fortune continued to shine on Post 4 in the top of the first. A potential RBI single by John Robins lined directly at Cason deflected off the pitcher’s glove and rolled toward Will Gee at shortstop, who made the throw to first baseman Devin Fogle for the third out.
An RBI fielder’s choice by Hobie Dennis scored Cameron Huddleston, who hit a leadoff double off Rock Hill starter Stuart Hodge, to put Orangeburg on the board in the second inning. A two-out RBI double by Graves scored Way in the bottom of the third to make it 2-0.
Rock Hill loaded the bases in the top of the fourth, but managed only one run on a single by third baseman Holden Reynolds. Thwarting the rally was a flyball by Fuller Wilson to Post 4 leftfielder Cameron Huddleston who threw it to third basemen Dennis, who then fired a throw to Way at homeplate in time to tag out Mat Hill.
Cason got Zac Thompson to ground out to end the threat.
The bottom half of the fourth saw Orangeburg capitalize off two errors by Rock Hill’s Reynolds to break the game open. Fogle reached on Reynolds’ first miscue to lead off and scored on a double steal.
Reynolds’ second error was followed by back-to-back run-scoring singles by Way and Graves and a RBI sacrifice fly by Huddleston that extended Orangeburg’s lead to 6-1.
Hodge was relieved in the inning by Jeremy Hyatt. After holding Orangeburg scoreless in the fifth, Hyatt surrendered three runs in the sixth.
The two teams exchanged two runs in the eighth. Hyatt and Reynolds each drove in a run in the top half of the inning, while Orangeburg picked up a pair on two Rock Hill errors.
Tucker McGee relieved Cason in the ninth, but Rock Hill did not go quietly. After giving up back-to-back leadoff singles to Thompson and Colton Pagoota, McGee uncorked two consecutive wild pitches to bring home a run and allowed an RBI single to Ethan Neely.
Rock Hill’s next three batters were retired on fielder’s choice groundouts to end the game. Afterward, Orangeburg celebrated by treating their head coach to a shaving cream pie in the face and a Gatorade shower.
“They’re a good group of young men,” Leysath said. “They play hard, they battle and do a good job. Sometimes we get a little lax, but I’m happy with what took place.”
Game Two is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Mirmow Field.
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