Juniors look to rebound after first-round loss

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By Robert Howey

The Lancaster American Legion Post 31 junior baseball team will have to battle back to stay alive in the state tournament at Lake City.Lancaster, the fifth-seeded team in the eight-team field, dropped an 8-5 loss to fourth-seeded Conway on Wednesday afternoon in the opening round at Lake City High School.Lancaster, 13-9, held an early 5-0 lead on Conway, but couldn’t hold on in dropping the loss.Will Gaston, the third of three Post 31 hurlers in the game, took the loss. He worked three frames and allowed three runs, four hits and no walks. He fanned two.Eric Mojica worked the opening three frames and yielded three runs, two hits and two walks. Mojica struck out two batters.Zack Rollings also saw mound action, surrendering two walks and two runs.Lancaster snapped a scoreless draw in the top of the second when Joseph Threatt drilled a two-run double for a 2-0 lead.An inning later, Adam Eubanks, who had two hits, slammed a three-run home run to give Lancaster a 5-0 spread.Conway rallied for three runs in the bottom of the third inning and added four more in the fourth frame to take a 7-5 lead.Conway tallied a run in the sixth inning to cap the scoring.“We were looking good in the early going, but just couldn’t hold the lead,” Lancaster coach Michael Anderson said. “It was a tough loss after holding a five-run lead in the early innings.”Rollings along with Eubanks led the offense. Rollings had two hits and scored a run.Threatt had a double and two RBIs, while Kendall Adams had a double. Andrew Smyre and Dillon Hydrick each had a hit and scored a run.Gaston and Ricky Lewis each added a single. Trai Sanders drew a walk and scored a run for P-31.Lancaster rebounded from its first-round loss to eliminate host Lake City 13-3 on Thursday night.Lake City, seeded eighth, dropped a 3-1 first-round loss to top-seeded Sumter.

The Lancaster juniors qualified for the state tournament, winning a best-of-three series over Rock Hill Post 34 last week.