Charleston Post 166 needed two victories in the last week of its League 1 slate to lock up another league title this summer.
The American Legion club made it happen with its best games of the year offensively. After doubling up Orangeburg 12-6 on the road Monday, Post 166 drilled Hampton 15-6 at Cane Bay High School on Tuesday to improve to 9-2 against League 1 foes. Thursday’s road game at Manning is formality.
“That’s 27 runs in two games,” Post 166 coach David Horton said. “That’s pretty good. They knew we were closing in on those back-to-back league championships. Both days they got out here early and worked on some things in the cage.”
For Post 166, it’s the second straight league title and sixth since 2011. Charleston earns a first-round bye for the American Legion playoffs, which begin on July 8. Post 166 opens postseason play in the second round with a best-of-5 series on July 15.
Horton said Post 166 plans to make up a pair of rainouts with Sumter July 8-9, a home and home between the two teams to stay active for the playoffs.
Against Hampton Post 108, Travis Lott’s grand slam highlighted a six-run second inning as Post 166 took complete control with a 9-1 lead. The Citadel signee also scored four times and drove in a fifth run in the fourth inning.
“That was a big blow right there,” Horton said. “You’re down 3-1 and then he hits a grand slam on you, that’s a lot of runs to make up. You’re having to look at the scoreboard and chase a lot of runs.”
Blake Marrs collected three hits and knocked in three runs. Jackson Price added three hits for Post 166, which had 13 hits for the game.
Post 166 increased its lead to 11-2 in the third and made it 14-2 in the fourth inning on Lott’s RBI double and Marrs’s two-run single.
Hampton avoided a mercy rule loss with four runs in the fifth inning.
Josh Davis was the winning pitcher, giving up four hits and two runs while striking out four batters. Leadoff hitter Will McGuire and Noah Panezich scored three times apiece.
Hampton entered the league’s final week with a chance to catch Post 166 in the league standings but needed to win all three of its games while Charleston lost at least once more. To catch Post 166 in run differential, though, Post 108 would have had to win by at least 11 runs on Tuesday.
Charleston scored three runs in the first and erupted for six more to all but take a Hampton blowout off the table.
Against Orangeburg, Post 166 pounded out 16 hits and designated hitter Jake Chapman was 4 for 5 with three RBIs.
In his first start, pitcher Dalton Godin scattered nine hits and allowed six runs in earning the win on the mound. He walked two and struck out two.
At the plate for Post 166, Lott had three hits, including two doubles, and two RBIs with two runs scored. McGuire, Panezich, Davis and Alex Dial had two hits each. McGuire scored three runs and Davis knocked in a pair.