Red Foxes prevail against Bluffton
By Don Gearhart
Daniel Parker came out on fire in the first inning of the May 5 District 5 4A playoffs striking out the side and allowing a base-on-balls.
Bluffton’s third inning was a repeat of the second inning, but the Red Foxes managed to replace one of the goose eggs on the scoreboard when Parker got aboard on an infield error and Roddi Morris laid down a sacrifice bunt to move him up. Treion McFarland hit a hard grounder to third that popped over the third baseman’s head for the RBI single and Hartsville led 1-0.
Bluffton only managed a lead off walk in the top of the fourth. Hartsville, though, did not rest with the slim lead. Moore led off with his second hit of the game and moved to second when Josh Jones worked a base-on-balls. Ryan Jordan sacrifice bunt turned into an infield single when no play could be made and the Red Foxes now had the bases full with nobody out. Ryan Thompson drove in one run with an infield hit in the hole between third and short. Parker drove in Jones on a hard hit off the diving third baseman’s glove. A nifty double play ended the inning but not before Hartsville was sitting on a 3-0 lead.
Bluffton was unable to generate any offense in the fifth. Moore led off the bottom of the fifth with a booming home run to right field after two outs had been recorded. Jones got hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch. Jordan then collected his second hit but Jones was cut down at the plate to end the inning with Hartsville now holding a 4-0 advantage.
In other local baseball playoffs, Lamar lost their first round match against Branchville 16-1 but have rebounded with wins against Charleston Math and Science 19-0 and Carvers Bay 22-8 to earn a rematch against Branchville on May 9.
Trinity Collegiate is still alive. After beating Porter-Gaud in the opening round, the Titans lost a heartbreaker to Hammond 1-0. They rebounded by defeating Hilton Head Prep 7-3 and now must defeat Hammond twice to move on.
Darlington lost their first round game 15-0 to James Island and were eliminated from the playoffs when they lost their next game to South Aiken by a 9-5 score.