FORT MILL --
With five games in as many days, the Nation Ford Falcons baseball team opened the 2013 season by winning the Chester County Natural Gas tournament, starting the season 5-0.
Led by junior Dalton Helms and senior Will Visbeck, Nation Ford was able to beat Rock Hill 2-0 in the championship game of the tournament Saturday. Visbeck was named tournament MVP.
Visbeck walked twice and scored the only two runs of the game, including scoring on a sac fly from second. Helms and junior Connor Green had the only two hits for the Falcons.
Helms also recorded the win on the mound, throwing a three-hit shutout to improve to 2-0 on the season. Senior Josh Corley recorded the save, his second of the tourney.
“Our pitching is pretty good right now,” said the Falcons’ first-year head coach, Michael Matkovich.
In the five wins, Nation Ford had five shutouts. Many of the Falcons’ players are fresh off the basketball court and haven’t really had any time to adjust from playing hoops to hitting or fielding baseballs.
“I’m surprised we were able to score as many runs as we are now,” Matkovich said.
To make it to the championship game, Nation Ford beat Clover 10-5. Green paced the Falcons with two hits while Visbeck, Helms, Corley, Justin Johnson, Hunter Hice and Riley Hilton all had hits for Nation Ford.
Senior Tyler Borland got the win on the mound and improved to 2-0 for the season.
Against Lewisville, Nation Ford won 14-2 as Green and Visbeck each had two hits and scored three runs each to pace the Falcons offense. Hilton added a hit and three RBI. Senior Cole Avery got the win on the mound.
Helms pitched another shutout earlier in the week against Cardinal Newman in a 5-0 win. Visbeck, Hice, Corley, Green and Brandon Fite each had a hit in the game.
Ironically, Nation Ford opened the season against Rock Hill in the first game of the tournament winning 11-0. The Bearcats were able to rebound from that loss to claw their way back to the championship game.
Corley, Visbeck, Helms and sophomore Clay Hunt all had two hits apiece and the Falcons scattered 13 hits in the game.
Borland got the win going three strong innings and surrendering just two hits. He also helped his own cause by getting a hit and scoring a run. Junior Chris Cash pitched the last two innings for the Falcons and struck out two, while allowing just one hit.
Nation Ford waste no time opening Region III-AAAA play this week going against Lancaster at home and Rock Hill Friday on the road.