HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Hartsville Red Foxes completed three victories in 36 hours as they took extra innings Wednesday night to defeat Robert E. Lee 4-3 in the second night of action at the Southeastern Baseball Classic at Jimmy White Park.
The Red Foxes began the ninth inning with one out before JD Pendergrass and Owen Taylor each singled. They collectively took third and second base on a wild pitch with A’Shani McFarland at the plate.
A consult by the Lee coaches resulted in McFarland getting a free pass to first base.
Conner Strickland came to the plate having hit the ball hard a couple of times in the game. He sent a fly ball to deep centerfield that scored Pendergrass easily. Taylor, however, had another idea in mind.
He tags up at second base and tests the throwing arm of the Lee centerfielder, who rocketed a one-hopper to third base just as Taylor was sliding headfirst to the bag.
The ball squirted away from the fielder and went to the sideline fence. Taylor eventually got to his feet and raced home for the winning run.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Hartsville coach Tony Gainey. “That’s just a great ball game.”
“I can’t remember that last time I was three-and-oh in the SBC,” he said.
Lee drew first blood in the opening inning when the leadoff batter reached first on an error, took second base on a SAC bunt and scored on a single.
Hartsville took the lead in the third with a single by DP Pendergrass and advanced to second and third on a bobble by the outfielder and a lackadaisical throw back into the infield.
JD Pendergrass singled in DP and later scored on a McFarland single for a Red Fox 2-1 lead.
Lee retook the lead in its half of the fourth inning with two singles and an RBI fly to left field to tie the game.
In the eighth inning, Lee had runners at first and second with two outs. JD Pendergrass made a diving catch on a sinking shot to centerfield to end the threat and the inning.
However, Lee took the lead in the ninth with a leadoff single number seven hitter, who later scored on a SAC to the right side of the infield.
The Red Foxes took advantage of having the top of the lineup coming to bat and took full advantage of that situation.
Offensively for the Red Foxes, Taylor went 3-for-5 on the night followed by McFarland’s 2-for-3 performance. JD Pendergrass went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI and DP Pendergrass went 1-for-5 with a run scored.
Mykal Mack started the game. He went seventh inning with six strikeout, four walks and a hit batter.
Harrison Moore, the submarining relief pitcher, came on to pitch the last two innings. He gave up one run, on one hit and hit two batters. It was his second relief appearance in two nights, both of which he picked up wins.
As of information shared Wednesday night, it is unlikely that any games will be played on Friday in the classic as storms are forecasted for most of the day.
Should Georgia Premier win Thursday’s game against Northwestern, then they would tie Hartsville for the championship. A tie-breaking system will be used but was not announced.
The state Class 4A playoffs begin Tuesday, April 23 and Hartsville will host Dreher at 6:30 at Jimmy White Park.