FLORENCE, S.C. – Last week’s losses against South Florence were a “gut-check” for the Hartsville High baseball team, assistant coach Michael Chapman said.
And Tuesday’s matchup against an improved Wilson squad wasn’t going to be any easier, he added.
But the Red Foxes were able to pick up their first Region 6-4A victory of the year, 13-7, thanks in large part to a seven-run third inning helped by a couple key Tiger miscues.
“It was a battle for us,” said Chapman, who was filling in for an under-the-weather Tony Gainey. “We told our guys coming over here (that) they want to win, we want to win. We’re all 0-2 (in region play).
“Luckily we had a good second inning. We were able to bunt the ball a little bit and do a little small stuff tonight. Big for us.”
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Hartsville plated nine runs across the second and third innings – aided greatly by a combined four Wilson errors. The Red Foxes sent 11 men to the plate in the third, with Andrew Askins and Cole Winburn each coming through with RBI doubles as HHS took a 9-1 lead.
It proved to be too much of a hill to climb for the Tigers, despite the fact that they were able stay within striking distance until the very end.
“I think besides that (bad) inning, we played a pretty good ball game,” Wilson coach Chipper Smith said. “…I think we scored most of our runs with two outs, which is an improvement for our guys from last week to this week. We just need to keep getting better, keep getting better.”
Chapman was also pleased to see his squad continue to add on runs as the Tigers chipped away at the Red Foxes’ advantage throughout the evening.
“I was a little worried after we scored seven and they went two and two and kind of cut the lead,” he said. “I asked the guys to give me an answer and they did.”
Hartsville added three more runs in the fifth, highlighted by Grayson Weekley’s two-run triple, and another run in the seventh to keep Wilson at bay.
Winburn wound up the victor on the mound after going 3 2/3 innings and striking out seven. Dawson Lloyd pitched three innings of relief and Askins got the final out.
Meanwhile the Red Foxes got offensive contributions up and down the lineup. Jackson Moore had two hits including a double while Weekley added a pair of hits. Jaden Atkinson, McKendrie Douglas and Askins all drove in two runs for Hartsville, who improved to 5-5 overall and 1-2 in region play.
Wilson was led by Troy Jones who had two hits and drove in three runs. He had a two-out double in the third that plated a run and added another two-bagger in the seventh.
Dawson Young had two hits and scored twice for the Tigers, who fell to 0-3 in region play, and Rondell Law and Pharrell Williams each drove in a run.
H 027 030 1 – 13 11 2
W 102 200 2 – 7 8 4
WP – Cole Winburn (3 2/3 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 H, 7 K, 3 BB, HBP). LP – Pharrell Williams (3 IP, 9 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 K, BB, HBP).
LEADING HITTERS – H: Jackson Moore 2-3, 2B, 2 R; Grayson Weekley 2-4, 3B, 2 RBI, R; Jaden Atkinson 2-4, 2 RBI; Dawson McKimmey 2-5, 2 R; McKendrie Douglas 1-4, 2 RBI, R; Andrew Askins 1-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R; Cole Winburn 1-3, 2B, RBI; W: Dawson Young 2-3, 2 R; Troy Jones 2-3, 2 2B, 3 RBI; Rondell Law 1-4, RBI; Pharrell Williams 1-4, RBI.
RECORDS: H 5-5, 1-2 Region 6-4A. W 0-3 Region 6-4A.