By: Karen Willdermood
It took only one inning, the first inning for the Combat’s 17U team to defeat the Carolina Reds 16U team Friday night 4-1. The first inning at Carolina Stadium was quite a statistical display, featuring four runs, three hits, a stolen base, a balk, a hit batter, a sac fly, and an error.
Chris Brown (Orangeburg Prep) led off the order with a grounder to left and then stole second. With Brown on second, Raleigh Forrest (Lumberton High School, NC) reached on a hit by pitch. A balk during Luke Higgs at bat advanced the runners to second and third. Higgs followed up with a shot to the gap, bringing in Brown for the first run. Cam Twitty (Gilbert High School) then singled to right, bringing in Forrest for run number two. With Marion Brown (Ridge View High School) up to bat, an attempt to pick off Twitty failed, sending Higgs home on the error to plate the third run. Marion Brown finished his plate appearance with a sac fly RBI to bring home Twitty, scoring the Combat’s fourth and final run of the evening.
The Reds caught their only break in the bottom of the second when a walk, hit by pitch and a mishandled bunt loaded the bases with nobody out. A fielder’s choice brought in the Reds’ single run of the game.
Due to the two hour time limit rule, the game ended after the sixth inning. The Combat finished as strong as they started, turning a double play and striking out the final batter. Raleigh Forrest recorded the save and Andrew Pratt (USC-Sumter) was credited with the win.
After the second day of pool play in the USC Wooden Bat Championship, the Combat 17U team is 2-1. The Combat will continue pool play through Saturday when they take on the Dutch Fork Titans at River Bluff High School. The game is scheduled to begin at 4:30 PM.