Post 166 sweeps Hartsville in opening round
Goose Creek Post 166 reached the 20-win mark on the season after sweeping Hartsville in the opening round of the American Legion playoffs last week.
Post 166 wrapped up the series early by winning all of the first three games, finishing off Hartsville with a 10-6 victory on July 10 at Goose Creek High School. Post 166 was set to begin a five-game series with Murrell’s Inlet on Monday, July 15.
Murrell’s Inlet defeated Camden 3-1 in its opening playoff series.
“I was a little disappointed with all the walks we had,” Post 166 coach Dave Holt said. “We’ve got to get the ball over the plate a little better. They didn’t hit the ball that well against us. We made the games closer than they should have been.”
Post 166 (20-7) won Game 1, 5-3, and Game 2, 9-5. In the last game, rarely used hurler Taylor Morrison was clutch in relief of Zack Wimmer. He tossed four-plus innings, striking out three and walking two in allowing just one earned run.
He took over in a bases-loaded situation in the fourth inning and made it all the way through the eighth inning to earn the victory. Morrison had thrown less than three innings all season.
“He came in and threw strikes, and that’s what you need,” Holt said. “… If you make them swing it, that’s the way to play baseball.”
Chris Singleton then threw his first inning of the season in the top of the ninth.
“These kinds of series, it’s pretty taxing on our pitching,” Holt said. “With these nine-inning games we have to go to a lot of players… We’re going to have to go to guys that normally don’t throw a lot of innings and they’re going to have to help us out.”
A four-run seventh inning broke a 5-5 tie for Post 166. Singleton pushed a run across with a sacrifice fly and Wimmer followed with his team-high seventh homer, a two-run shot, to push Goose Creek’s lead to 8-5. Morrison capped the frame by racing in all the way from second on a wild pitch that bounced away from the catcher.
“We had a lot of well-hit balls out here,” Holt said. “We were able to get our running game going a little bit too and steal some bases too. Some of our speed kind of shined.”
Austin Timm doubled in a run in the bottom of the eighth.
Post 166 jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings, highlighted by Singleton’s two-run blast in the third inning. Singleton also had an RBI double in the first inning, followed by Tyler Rio’s RBI single.
Singleton was 2 for 4 with four RBIs and two runs. Timm was 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Cody Jones, Cody Smith, Wimmer, Sillanpaa, Morrison and Rio added one hit each. Sillanpaa scored three runs.
Wimmer tossed three-plus innings, striking out six and walking six before being lifted for Morrison. He only gave up one hit in surrendering four earned runs.
Hartsville came back to tie the game 5-5 in the sixth inning on a walk and two errors.
On Tuesday night, Post 166 won 9-5 to take a 2-0 series lead.
Morrison was 4 for 5 with two run and two RBIs, while Timm went 3 for 4 with a double and three runs scored. Wimmer added a long home run, a two-run shot in the eighth inning.
Smith was the winning pitcher, throwing five-plus innings, striking out eight batters and walking five. He gave up two hits and three earned runs. Chris Zurcher and Timm had relief appearances before Tyler Rio tossed the final three scoreless innings, striking out six and walking three. He allowed one hit.
Post 166 had a 5-0 lead after four innings before Hartsville closed to within 6-5 with a five-run surge in the bottom of the sixth.
Rio had to work through jams in the seventh and eighth innings – stranding five runners – before fanning the side in order in the ninth.