FORT MILL — The Nation Ford Falcons baseball team picked up its first home 4A playoff victory 10-0 over the Wade Hampton Generals to open the 2013 baseball playoffs on a cold Thursday night.
Falcons’ junior starter Dalton Helms cruised through the first inning striking out two of the batters and was dominant the whole time he was on the mound. Helms struck out five in five innings while allowing just three hits and one walk.
“You couldn’t have asked Dalton to do anything else,” said Nation Ford head coach Mike Matkovich.
Nation Ford will now host another home playoff game Saturday against Spartanburg at 1 p.m.
“All the kids really hit well,” Matkovich said. “Everybody contributed. We played great defense and everybody did what they needed to do to get the win.”
Helms gave up one hit in the second along with a walk, but Wade Hampton left those two players stranded on the base paths.
Nation Ford picked up their first hit of the game in the second inning as senior Tyler Borland led the inning off with a single. Sophomore Clay Hunt would also single and senior Josh Corley would walk to load the bases. Senior Will Visbeck would reach on an error to plate the Falcons’ first run and sophomore Brandon Fite would keep things going as he would hit a two-run single putting up Nation Ford up 3-0.
Just like in the second inning, Borland led the third off with a single and was knocked in by Helms, who doubled down the left field line to give Nation Ford another run.
Helms continued to be strong on the mound until the fifth inning, when he hit his only hiccup giving up a leadoff double to the Generals’ Barry Pyle. However, Helms would punch his way out of the inning as he would eventually throw Pyle out at home to end the inning after backing up an errant throw to third from the outfield.
In fact, Pyle was the majority of the offense for Wade Hampton as he had two of their three hits and the only extra base hit for the Generals.
After a pitching change in the top of the fifth, which saw Pyle get the ball, Wade Hampton gave up two straight walks to senior Justin Johnson and junior Connor Green. Johnson would get thrown out on a fielder’s choice for Borland and then Hunt would hit a two-run double scoring Green and Borland.
Helms was replaced in the top of the sixth inning by Corley, who struck out two of the three batters he faced.
Nation Ford apparently didn’t want to play the seventh inning because they finished things up early in the sixth.
In the bottom of the inning, Visbeck doubled in junior Spencer Pecarro, who was pinch running for Corley, who reached on a single.
Johnson would then drive in Visbeck with a single to center two batters later. And then Borland would close things out with a two-run triple scoring Johnson and Green, who singled earlier, forcing the 10-run rule to go into effect.
Nation Ford 10, Wade Hampton 0
Wade Hampton 000 000 0 – 0 3 2
Nation Ford 031 024 x – 10 11 0
Jon Bradley, Barry Pyle (5), Brandon Gibson (6) and Joseph Strange (WH). Dalton Helms, Josh Corley (6) and Justin Johnson. W – Helms (8-0), L – Bradley. 2B – Barry Pyle (WH), Dalton Helms (NF), Clay Hunt (NF), Will Visbeck (NF). 3B – Tyler Borland (NF). LOB – Wade Hampton 3, Nation Ford 4.
Leading Hitters – Wade Hampton: Barry Pyle 2-2 2B. Nation Ford: Tyler Borland 3-4 3B, 2 RBI; Clay Hunt 2-3 2B, 2 RBI; Brandon Fite 1-4 2RBI; Dalton Helms 1-3 2B, RBI.
Records: Wade Hampton 10-10, Nation Ford 19-6.