HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The host team Hartsville Red Foxes were red hot for the opening day of the 23rd annual Southeastern Baseball Classic with two wins over Northwestern (Rock Hill) and Queen’s Grant (Matthews, North Carolina) high schools.
The five-team tourney is truly a classic this year with each team playing four games through Friday.
Hartsville scored early in the first contest and often in the second.
According to head coach Tony Gainey, the Red Foxes showed up to play ball.
Hartsville defeated Northwestern High School, a class 5A team out of Rock Hill, 3-1 behind the pitching of Owen Taylor and aggressive base running by D.P. Pendergrass with four stolen bases and two runs scored.
Taylor went 5.2 innings with six strikeouts, two walks and a one hit batter. Harrison Moore came on in relief to retire the last four batters on just four pitches.
D.P. Pendergrass singled to start Hartsville, and three pitches later he was standing on third base with two stolen bases.
J.D. Pendergrass, who accounted for all three RBIs in the game, hit a SAC grounder to the right side of the infield to score his cousin D.P.
Hartsville unloaded in the largest margin of victory this season with a 15-0 pasting of Queen’s Grant High School out of Mathews, North Carolina.
The Red Foxes scored the bulk of their runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Taylor went 2 for 4 with two doubles and two runs scored. He was followed by J.D. Pendergrass at 1 for 3 with a stolen base and a run scored; A’Shanti McFarland at 1 for 4 with an RBI and three runs scored; Conner Strickland at 1 for 2 with three runs scored, and Tate Hawkins at 1 for 2 with three runs scored.
Tyler Lawhon went the distance for the victory with six strikeouts with three hits and a walk. The Stallions had at least one baserunner in each inning, but the Hartsville defense did not bend.
Hartsville will play Bishopvill’s Robert E. Lee Academy in the night cap at 6:15 at Jimmy White Park.