FLORENCE, S.C. – Florence coach Derick Urquhart tried time and time again to assemble the batting order that would electrify his team. In Thursday’s Game 3 against Camden, everything fit perfectly.
So much so, Post 1 rallied from a 3-2 deficit with four runs in the third inning and four more in the fourth to give Urquhart’s team a 10-5 victory.
More important, that gave Florence a 2-1 lead in this best-of-five series. Game 4 is 7 p.m. today at Camden.
“We just had some good at-bats,” said Urquhart, whose team lost 6-0 Wednesday to Camden in Game 2. “We were aggressive on the bases, stole some bases. We just did everything right. It was just one of those games. Last night, everything we hit went their way. And tonight, it was kind of the opposite. Everything we hit found a hole.”
After Camden’s Khyree Miller hit a three-run homer to erase Florence’s 2-0 lead in the top of the third, Post 1 did more than use its lineup.
It stayed composed and leaned on the experience from playing national powers like Excelsior, Minn.
Then, all Florence did was get back into the game. That happened after Post 1 first baseman Will Hardee, with one out in the top of that third inning, made a sliding catch with the bases loaded then threw to third to complete the frame-ending double play.
In the bottom of the third, Hardee and Jameson Purvis were hit by pitches, and Austin Moore singled to load the bases. A Gage Weatherford RBI single tied the game, and Korique Rainey followed with a two-run single to give Florence the lead for good at 5-3. After McIver Wallace hit a sacrifice fly in the third, Post 1 held Camden in check to distance itself even further in the fourth.
After D.P. Pendergrass singled to start the fourth, Post 1 appeared to execute hit-and-run, during which Hardee lined the ball off the first baseman’s glove and reached third for an RBI triple.
Run-scoring singles by Weatherford and Owen Taylor made it 9-3, and Wallace hit into a fielder’s choice to account for the final score.
Not only did Florence respond at the plate, Post 1 also stepped up at the mound. After starting pitcher Garrett Gainey was chased shortly in the third after Miller’s three-run homer, Timmy Felder took to the mound and did not allow a run and became the winning pitcher.
Camden did get two runs off Austin Moore in the top of the seventh, but Post 17 would get no closer.
Meanwhile, Post 1 is one victory from yet another trip to the state tournament’s main bracket.
And according to Urquhart, Thursday was an amazing showcase by Florence’s fans.
“What an incredible crowd,” Urquhart said. “The fans came out and showed a lot of support tonight. That was the largest crowd I’ve seen here since the state tournament here in 2008 when we hosted it. I just want to thank the fans for picking us up. Our players fed off of it.”