Hartsville baseball edges West Florence
By Don Gearhart
The Hartsville Red Foxes won a key Region game against West Florence by displaying plate patience mixed with opportunity.
Ryan Jordan led off the game by drawing a base-on-balls and was promptly sacrificed to second by Jackson Moore. A walk to Cam Cannarella was followed by an RBI single by Treion McFarland scoring Jordan. A throwing error on the play enabled Cannarella to advance to third and McFarland to scamper into second. Two pitches later, Cannarella sprinted home on a passed ball and the Red Foxes carried a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the first inning.
With ace pitcher and Clemson signee, Cannarella, on the mound things looked bright for Hartsville despite clouds and occasional light rain.
The Knights could not respond to the early deficit even after Josh Williams led off with a base hit. Brody Cook then blasted a gap shot to right center but Roddi Morris made a fine sliding catch to record the first out and keep Williams from possibly scoring. Cannarella struck out the next batter and then ended the threat on a lineout to Moore.
After a scoreless second inning, Hartsville went back to work. Coleman Kelly retired Moore’s soft liner behind first base. Cannarella walked and promptly stole second. McFarland followed with a base-on-balls.
Garrett Parker struck out but advanced when the catcher’s throw to first sailed past the bag allowing Cannarella to score. McFarland advanced to third and Parker to second on the errant throw. McFarland crossed the plate a few pitches later on a wild pitch to double the Hartsville lead at 4-0.
Williams led off the bottom of the third with his second hit and Cook cut the lead in half with a long homer to left.
In the fifth inning, Cannarella grounded to second but the throw to first pulled Kelly off the bag. There was a hush when Cannarella tripped over the base and lay on the ground for quite a while. He was obviously limping when a courtesy runner replaced him.
After McFarland was retired on strikers, Parker was hit by a pitch. Morris flied out to center, then, a base hit by McKendire Douglas loaded the bases. The inning ended when Brayden Mays was caught looking for strike three.
Cannarella took the mound for the bottom of the fifth despite the injury and with the Knight’s top of the order coming to bat. After striking out Cook on a high fastball, Cannarella walked the next two batters. He settled down and struck out the next two batters with called third strikes.
The sixth inning was scoreless. Hartsville doubled their hit count in the seventh inning but were held off the scoreboard on two fine defensive plays from Cooper Kelly from his third base position.
Andrew Askins had retired the Knights in the sixth in relief of Cannarella but ran into trouble in the bottom of the seventh. Enter Quez Hadley who induced a ground ball out then earned the save when he struck out Peyton Rogers to end the game.
Hartsville managed their four runs on only four hits but were aided by eight walks and one hit-by-pitch. Douglass collected half of those hits and McFarland had the only RBI. Williams had two of the West Florence hits and Cook’s homer was the only extra base hit of the night.
Cannarella was the winning pitcher for the Red Foxes and Bryson Graves took the loss.