Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Style points matter far less than the bottom line in postseason baseball.
The mantra is simply to survive and advance.
Top-seeded Goose Creek Post 166 took a tiny step toward the next round on Monday night, fending off fourth-seeded Hartsville, 5-3, in the opening contest of a five-game series.
Tuesday’s game was to be in Hartsville and Wednesday’s third game was to be back in Goose Creek. Thursday was set for Hartsville and Friday in Goose Creek if necessary.
Post 166 (18-7) had just four hits and trailed 3-0 before coming back in the middle innings.
“It was kind of a grinder really,” Post 166 coach Dave Holt said. “It was one of those games where I thought we could have had a few more runs.
“We hit some balls really well that didn’t fall in and they ran down some balls on us.”
Goose Creek scored its first run in the bottom of the fourth inning, collecting two of its hits. Cody Smith led off with a single and raced home on Chris Singleton’s RBI double. Smith was the only Post 166 player with multiple hits, going 2 for 3 with a pair of runs scored.
Post 166 tied it in the bottom of the fifth on a bases loaded walk and sacrifice fly by Singleton. In the process, Goose Creek chased Hartsville starter Jalen Durant, who threw four-plus innings in a no-decision.
Post 166 scored its decisive runs in the bottom of the sixth off Hartsville reliever Dontavious Wilson.
Christian Sillanpaa led off with a walk, moved to third on a throwing error and scored on Austin Timm’s sacrifice fly. Later, a groundout by Zach Lavery pushed in the other run to make it 5-3.
From there, Austin Timm tossed two innings of relief followed by Zurcher as the closer.
Lavery (3-1) was the winning pitcher, tossing the first six innings. He gave up four hits, struck out 10 batters and issued five free passes. Of the three runs he allowed, two were earned.
Timm surrendered two hits and fanned two. Zurcher worked a perfect ninth for his second save of the season.