FORT MILL — The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets baseball team nearly let a 5-0 lead slip away against South Pointe, but held off a late rally by the Stallions winning 5-4 and improving to 5-1 in Region III.
Led by four and two-thirds innings of solid pitching from junior Nick Matchunis, the Jackets were able to jump ahead early. Matchunis allowed two runs on two hits and had a no-hitter through four innings. He walked four and struck out 10.
“He pitched a whale of a game,” said Fort Mill coach Brad Mercer.
Mercer wasn’t happy with his offense however, despite Fort Mill scattering nine hits in the game, saying South Pointe always plays tough.
“We had a few bad at bats,” he said. “I still think we are behind (of where I would like.) We are coming together. This was a big region win.”
The Jackets were led at the plate by seniors Jaden Savage, who went 2-3 with a triple and two RBI; Justin Tepper, who went 3-4 with two doubles, and Jesse Horine, who went 2-3 with a double and two RBI.
Fort Mill opened the game in the bottom of the first by taking advantage of South Pointe’s miscues and scoring two runs. Senior Brett Netzer led off the game by reaching on an error and scored when Savage drove him in with an RBI single.
Tepper, who also singled in the inning, scored on a fielder’s choice from junior Mason Jordan.
Fort Mill threatened in the second, but scored two more in the third. Savage reached on another Stallions error and Horine drove him in along with junior Jackson Massey. The Jackets added a fifth run in the fourth inning as Tepper doubled to get things started and Savage drove him in with a triple.
In the fifth, things got wobbly for Fort Mill as Matchunis allowed a lead-off single and walked two of the next three batters before a Fort Mill error loaded the bases. South Pointe’s Wade Hopper hit a two-run single, scoring the Stallions’ first two runs of the game. Matchunis was replaced with Horine, who struck out the next batter to get out of the inning.
Fort Mill got three more hits in the game, but didn’t plate any runs as the team struggled defensively.
Horine cruised through the sixth, despite allowing a walk, but struggled in the seventh as he allowed two runs with the help of two walks, a hit batter and a second Fort Mill error. However, the Jackets’ defense pulled through to hold the potential game-tying run at third ending the game.
Fort Mill has games against Clover this week and at rival Nation Ford, which is scheduled for Friday depending on the weather.