UNION — A win over Greenville secured the Union Post 22 baseball team’s spot in the South Carolina State Tournament.
Union’s American Legion Post 22 Senior baseball team defeated Greenville on Thursday in a score of 11-6.
Union took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Bryan Arnold hit a single, and Chad Lawson hit a double. Lawson scored on an RBI single from Michael Todd Harris.
Greenville answered with three runs in the 2nd inning and scored one run in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings. Union took the lead in the 7th inning, going up for good on a two-run triply by Graham Lawson. Union then scored two runs in the 8th and 9th innings.
Dustin West went three-for-three with three RBIs, getting a single in the 6th inning, a double in the 7th inning, and a home run in the 9th inning. Union’s pitcher David Dunleavy recorded the win, allowing three runs in four innings. Dunleavy delivered six strikeouts and two walks, giving up six hits.
Union’s win solidified their place in the South Carolina State Tournament. The only other Upstate team to secure a spot so far is Greenwood. Inman and Lancaster are tied 2-2 with the deciding game being played in Inman on Friday. Gaffney is down 2-1 to Fort Mill and will have to defeat them twice in order to advance to state. Three Lower State teams are set for the tournament — Florence, Sumter and Newberry/Chapin. Camden and Murrels Inlet are tied at two games each and will play the deciding game on Friday.
The South Carolina State Tournament bracket will be released when each of the teams has completed playoffs.
Coach Ernie West said the state tournament appearance is big for Union, which was “the team to beat” years ago.
“Post 22 baseball needs this type of recognition due to the lack of participation the past few years,” West said. “Going to state will allow young guys that are playing travel ball now — and having to pay to play — to see that they can get the same recognition without having to pay the outrageous fees some organizations are charging.”
West said the state tournament will produce numerous D-1 prospects and include players that are already committed to — or that have already played a season in — college.
West also said American Legion baseball could be preparation for the top spots in pro ball.
“American Legion plays by the same rules as Major League Baseball, and that is a youngsters dream alone — to be a Major League baseball player.”
Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-762-4128 or [email protected]