In a wild three inning game, the Carolina Combat 17u took care of the Dutch Fork Titans 14-2 Saturday afternoon. What looked like a rocky start for the Combat proved otherwise.
The Titans, who entered the final game leading their pool 3-0, started fast. They took a two run lead in the top of the first. Back to back doubles plated the first run. A walk and a misjudged fly ball in the outfield scored the second.
But the Combat refused to let the undefeated team rattle them, replying with six runs in the bottom of the first to start their domination over Dutch Fork. Justin Lang-Spittler (Blythewood High School) started the early rally with an impressive triple to right field which brought in Marcus Weeks (Gilbert High School) who had reached on a single. Luke Higgs (Hilton Head Christian) followed with a high pop up that was headed foul but dropped in for a hit to bring in the tying run. Four more runs followed, changing the games momentum.
Luke Higgs highlighted the bottom of the second with a two-run blast to left field.
The Combat plated six more runs off six hits in the bottom of the third to effect the 12 run advantage rule. Marion Brown's (Ridge View High School) triple highlighted the inning when he sent one deep into left-center to score two runs.
Having defeated the Titans by such a big margin, the 17U Combat moved into first place in their pool, playing the ECBA Bombers Red in the first playoff game late Saturday night.
Coming off the late afternoon victory and having to wait for word for seeding purposes, the fatigued Combat team hustled to get to Lexington High School but fell 10-2 to the Bombers in a game that started after 9pm. ECBA scored four runs in the first inning thanks to walks, errors, and a bizzare play in the field in which both teams (and umpires) seemed to lose track of the number of outs after a strikeout. Without a recording a hit, ECBA took the lead and they never relinquished. The Combat put up two in the bottom of the third. An unfortunate six-run fifth inning cost the Combat the game, ending their playoff run and paving the way for ECBA Bombers 17u Red to win the USC Wood Bat Championship. Overall, the Carolina Combat 17U team finished the tournament in the top 5 of 30 teams at the USC Wood Bat Championship. The 16u Combat also won their pool, making Carolina Combat the only program with two teams winning pool play.