The dugout for the Post 22 Union Junior American Legion team was as dismal as the looming storm clouds overhead last night as Rock Hill put the pressure on to warrant a third game in the best of three series.
Union jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the second inning brought trouble as the Rock Hill Post 34 team got the bats going and went on a six-run, three-hit streak that Union would not recover from.
Stopped after five innings due to the 10-run rule, Union Post 22 was defeated 12-2.
Union’s pitching battery of Brandon Parker, Phillip King, Jimmy Johnson, and Gage Eaves allowed seven hits, with nine walks and two strike-outs.
Coach Donnie Vinson said, “We just were not ready to play. Emotions were running rampant, and you can’t play baseball with emotion like that.” Vinson also said that his ace, Recus Hughes, will have four innings left to pitch in the tournament and that he plans to start him on the mound tonight, adding, “We appreciate the fan support we’ve had so far and hope we’ll have a good turn-out tonight. We’re going to show up focused and ready to put this thing away.”
Parker took the loss for Union, while Rock Hill’s Jake Rentz picked up a win, hurling a five-hitter. For Union, Eaves was 1-2 with a RBI, Parker went 1-2 with a run scored, Juwaun Rice was 1-2, Grayland Fowler was 1-3 with a RBI, and Hughes was 1-3 with a run scored.
The two teams will meet again tonight at the Union County Stadium for one final game to decide which will advance to the State Championship in Florence.