By: Karen Willdermood
After a tough 1-0 early morning loss, the Combat’s 17U team finished their first day of pool play in the USC Wooden Bat Tournament 1-1, closing the smoldering hot day with a 6-2 win over Lexington Baseball Club’s 15U team. Chandler Henderson took the tough luck early morning loss despite giving up no earned runs in a complete game effort. The early morning loss was the first loss for Combat 17u since June 1st when starting pitcher Andrew Pratt's no hitter was ended by a blister on his pitching hand.
The 99 degree temperature was brutal for the young Lexington squad which allowed the Combat to capitalize from their errant plays. The Combat fed off the miscues and by the fourth inning had taken a 4-0 lead.
Despite the heat, Kaazim Dharas (Blythewood High School) pitched a complete game gem, giving up only three hits and no earned runs through seven innings.
Lexington scored their only two runs in the top of the fifth off a walk, error and a single. After that, Dharas retired the next three batters in order to finish the sixth. He then turned a 1-3 double play in the seventh inning to end the game.
A pair of doubles by Marcus Weeks (Gilbert High School) and Luke Higgs (Hilton Head Christian) brought in the Combat’s final two runs in the fifth. Higgs went 3-for-3 with singles in the first and third innings.
Tonight the Carolina Combat’s 17U team will face the Carolina Reds 16U team at Carolina Stadium in day two of pool play. The game is scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m.