FLORENCE, S.C. – Florence provided its fans with a fireworks display following the final home game of the season on Friday at Sparrow Stadium.
Unfortunately for the RedWolves, they could have used some on the offensive side as Holly Springs was able to earn a 3-2 victory.
Florence fell to 21-29 overall and 11-13 in the second half while the Salamanders improved to 18-32 and 7-18.
The RedWolves finish the season tonight at Lexington County where they will be presented the I-20 Series trophy for winning the season series against the Blowfish.
"We hit the ball well, we just didn't get the timely hits," Florence coach Ryan Vruggink said. "I don't fault the effort. We hit a couple of balls hard tonight. Kenny (Piper) hit four balls hard tonight and I don't think he had a hit unfortunately.
"We just didn't get the ball to fall more than anything."
The first three innings belonged to the starting pitching duo of Parker and Parker – Parker White for the RedWolves and Parker Thode for the Salamanders.
White allowed just one baserunner between the first and third innings, and worked out a big jam in the second. A walk and two singles loaded the bases with one out for Holly Springs, but Parker struck out the final two batters of the inning to keep the game scoreless.
White was nearly as fortunate in the fourth inning. With two on and two down, Wil Hoyle tripled down the right field line to plate both runs, and then scored on a throwing error to make it 3-0 Salamanders.
Thode meanwhile was dealing. He allowed just two baserunners in the first three innings – one on a walk and one on an error – before finally running into trouble in the fourth.
A pair of walks set the stage for Mitch Barrow’s two-out RBI single to center field as the RedWolves cut the deficit to 3-1. That was all Florence could muster, however. Despite another single by Lex Tuten following Barrow’s hit, the runner was held at third and Thode left the bases loaded with a strikeout to end the inning.
But Thode departed after tossing more than 100 pitches and the RedWolves quickly took advantage of the Salamanders’ bullpen. Tyler Vogel allowed a walk, a single and a passed ball put runners on second and third and Lex Tuten beat out an infield single to cut the Holly Springs’ lead to 3-2.
White wound up pitching into the seventh for the RedWolves, throwing more than 115 pitches in his final start of the year. He went 6 1/3 innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits with five walks and five strikeouts.
"Parker is an awesome guy and I'm glad I had the chance to be around him this summer," Vruggink said. "Anytime he takes the mound, he gives us a chance to win."
He wound up the hard-luck loser though as Florence could not push across any more runs against the Holly Springs bullpen. The RedWolves wound up leaving 10 men on base and had no two-out RBI.
Barrow looked like he was going to change that in the bottom of the eighth inning with a long drive that was caught on the warning track in right center field.
"He crushed that ball, and the air was a little thicker tonight, so any other night I think that's a home run," Vruggink said.
Barrow finished with two hits to lead Florence along with Tuten.