Hartsville baseball destroys Darlington
By Don Gearhart
The rivalry game between Hartsville and Darlington had an innocent enough start. Although the Red Foxes would strike in the first inning, it wasn’t like their scoring was imposing. With one out, Andrew Askins got aboard when his routine grounder to short was thrown in the dirt. Dawson Mckimmey laid down a sacrifice bunt but was safe when the throw from third sailed over the first baseman’s head into right field. Mckendrie Douglas then hit the first hard-hit ball of the inning when his line single scored Askins. Grayson Weekley showed he had some pop in his bat when he doubled home two more runs with a blast to the center field wall.
In the Darlington half of the first, Shemar Simes beat out an infield hit for what turned out to be the only hit for the Falcons. Gage McKenzie hit a line drive to left that looked like a base hit but the fielder was perfectly placed to snare the liner.
Both squads went three up, three down in the second inning. Hartsville would send fourteen batters to the plate in a 10-run third inning to open up the game. The inning started with a double from Askins. He scored on a base hit off the bat of Mckimmey. Douglas doubled for an RBI. Weekley’s hard grounder to third was misplayed allowing Douglas to cross the plate. After a walk to Brandon Anderson, Junior Barnes hit a missile that cleared the left field wall in a hurry for a three-run homer. Jace Atkinson walked and Jackson Moore hit a grounder up the middle for a hit. After Askins was retired for the second out on a ground ball to second, Mckimmey doubled home two runs with a standup double. Douglas promptly drove him home with a triple and scored the final run of the inning on Weekley’s base hit.
The Red Foxes added two more runs in the fourth. Anderson doubled and consecutive walks to Barnes and Atkinson loaded the bases with nobody out. A third walk to Moore resulted in the first run and when Askins got hit by a pitch, the second run scored. At this point, Bryson Britt was inserted as the pitcher and struck out the side against the heart of the Hartsville lineup. Darlington only earned two baserunners in four innings of play. Aside from Simes base hit in the first, Britt worked a base-on-balls in the third.
The game ended after four innings due to the 15-run rule as the Red Foxes claimed the 15-0 win. Mckimmey and Douglas garnered three hits apiece while Weekley stroked two hits. Anderson was the winning pitcher going all four innings and limiting the Falcons to one hit while striking out three and walking one batter.
McKenzie was the losing pitcher for Darlington who used four different pitchers in the game.
Hartsville was averaging just over five runs per game before the fifteen-run explosion against the Falcons.