Union County pitcher Dylan Rogers pitched a complete game, three-hitter as the Yellow Jackets rolled over Seneca 9-0 Friday in the second round of the 3A Upper State baseball playoffs at Timken Sports Complex.
Rogers struck out 10 Bobcat batters and cruised to his seventh win of the season and a six-run sixth inning propelled the Yellow Jackets to the District 3 championship game Wednesday at Timken Sports Complex. Union County will face the winner of Monday’s elimination game between Greer and Seneca.
It was all defense early on in Friday’s postseason match-up as Rogers retired Seneca’s first eight batters. The Yellow Jackets used a strong defensive performance to set the stage for a game-altering sixth inning that saw six Union County runners cross home plate.
UCHS (22-1) threatened in the first frame but stranded three runners on base ending the opening inning with a 0-0 tie.
Both teams had three-up, three-down second innings which set up the game’s first score in the bottom of the third frame. Union County’s Jake Walton led off with a single and then took second base, putting a runner in scoring position. Seniors Joe Beatty and Brett Duckett drew walks to load the bases with no outs and Adam Lawson’s RBI-single gave the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead.
The score remained 1-0 until Walton led off the bottom of the fifth inning with his second single of the game. Walton stole second and third bases and Duckett added to the Yellow Jackets’ advantage with an RBI-single to left-center field. Josh Simpson drove Duckett in three batters later and Union County took a 3-0 lead headed in to the sixth inning.
Rogers recorded three straight outs and maintained Union County’s momentum in the top of the sixth frame before the Yellow Jackets used an one-out rally to score six runs.
Ricky Rice got things started with an one-out single. Walton reached base on a fielder’s choice while Beatty loaded the bases on a walk. Duckett ricocheted an RBI-single off the pitcher’s leg to score Rice. Seneca’s first baseman fielded senior Taylon Wallace’s grounder but missed his target at home plate causing two more Union County runs to score. Things continued unraveling for the Bobcats as Lawson singled into a gap between Seneca’s shortstop and left fielder. Wallace scored as Seneca attempted to throw Lawson out as he stole second base but the ball sailed in to center field giving the Jackets a 9-0 lead.
Rogers (7-0) allowed the lead off batter in the seventh inning to reach but Union County’s Joe Beatty gunned the ball from center field throwing out the Bobcats runner. Rogers fought back retiring the next two out of three batters to seal the Yellow Jackets’ District 3 championship game.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
SEN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 4
UC 0 0 1 0 2 6 x 9 8 1
(WP): Dylan Rogers (7-0) 7 IP, 10Ks, BB, CG.
Union County’s leading hitters : Jake Walton 3-4; Brett Duckett 2-3, 2 RBIs; Adam Lawson 1-3, RBI; Josh Simpson 1-4; Ricky Rice - 1-3.