Despite just 2 hits, T.L. Hanna forces Fort Mill to brink

mbanks@comporium.netMay 11, 2014 

— Two costly errors in the fifth inning hurt the seventh-ranked Fort Mill Yellow Jackets’ chances to win the Upper State baseball tournament as they fell 3-1 to the 12th ranked host T.L. Hanna Yellow Jackets Saturday.

Fort Mill will take on the loser of Rock Hill-Northwestern Tuesday in the double elimination tournament.

With the rain-delayed game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth, T.L. Hanna capitalized on Fort Mill’s mistakes. A double from T.L. Hanna shortstop Max McDougald scored a run to put the home team up 3-1, which would be all the runs they needed.

Fort Mill starter senior Avery Carter was pulled from the game after the double. Carter threw four and 2/3 innings, allowing just two hits and just one earned run.

T.L. Hanna got just two hits in the game, both doubles, but it was the Fort Mill bats that struggled to produce with runners in scoring position.

“Our hitting let us down,” said Fort Mill head coach Brad Mercer. “We didn’t pull it together. We got stuff to improve on.”

Fort Mill came out swinging to open the game as the rain started to fall steadily. Senior Jaden Savage singled, but was left on first to end the top half of the inning.

T.L. Hanna got going in its half of the first off with a double from leadoff hitter Tyler Miller. He made it to third on a Fort Mill error and then scored on a double play for the early the lead.

Fort Mill again left a base runner on in the second as Mason Jordan singled, but the rest of the order for the visiting Yellow Jackets couldn’t get anything started.

In the bottom of the second, the umpires cleared the field because of a rain delay that lasted 53 minutes.

The delay didn’t hurt Carter, who faced the minimum in the second inning when play resumed.

Offensively, Fort Mill still struggled at the plate as they went hitless in the top of the third inning.

Carter continued to keep Fort Mill in the game through the third inning as he again controlled the pace of play and held T.L. Hanna at bay. In the fourth, a leadoff singled by Savage was all Fort Mill could muster, despite hitting the ball hard, right at T.L. Hanna defenders.

Carter led the top of the fifth inning off with a single to left field. Ninth hitter Clay Helvey would single Liam O’Boyle, pinch running for Carter, over to third as Fort Mill threatened for the first time all game.

After the offensive outburst from Fort Mill, T.L. Hanna pulled starter John Kerley for Austin Copeland.

Fort Mill leadoff hitter Brett Netzer would single in O’Boyle to tie the game, but a base running error on the play would cost the Jackets as the out would stall Fort Mill’s momentum.

T.L .Hanna 3, Fort Mill 1

Fort Mill 000 010 0 – 1 6 3 TL Hanna 100 020 x – 3 2 0

Avery Carter, Garrett Leonard (5) and Justin Tepper (FM); John Kerley, Austin Copeland (5) and Chase Kinsey (TLH). W – Austin Copeland, L – Avery Carter. 2B – Tyler Miller (TLH), Max McDougald (TLH). LOB: Fort Mill 4, TL Hanna 5. Leading hitters: Fort Mill – Jaden Savage 2-3, Brett Netzer 1-3 RBI, Avery Carter 1-3, Mason Jordan 1-3, Clay Helvey 1-3. TL Hanna – Tyler Miller 1-2 2B, Max McDougald 1-3 2B RBI.

Records: Fort Mill 17-6, TL Hanna 20-9.

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