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P-31 juniors notch first playoff win

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Eric Rowell
For The Lancaster News
The Lancaster Post 31 junior squad won the opening game of the playoffs Monday night at Harvey Eggleton Field.
The Juniors took a 4-1 win over Spartanburg Post 28. Spartanburg (9-6), is the third-place team from Region 6, that includes region champion Inman and runner-up Greer.
Monday’s game, originally scheduled for Tuesday, June 9, was moved due to inclement weather across the state delaying finalizing of Legion senior team pairings.
The junior team was lead by a strong mound performance by Gage Hinson and a solid defensive effort to secure the win. Hinson pitched a complete game, going seven innings and striking out six Spartanburg batters and only giving up five hits in the win.
“Gage pitched a solid game tonight. He limited his walks and his location was good,” coach Gavin Flynn said.
Spartanburg scored first in the top of the fourth inning when Drew Pickens scored on a bases-loaded walk to go up 1-0.
Lancaster players wasted no time in their half of the fourth by scoring all four of their runs before the end of the inning.
Lancaster tied the game at 1 all, after Austin Pate scored on a Brady Horton single. Horton was 1 for 2 in the game with an RBI. Lancaster plated three unearned runs to end the inning in the  lead 4-1.
“We were able to get runners in scoring position and make things happen in that fourth inning,” Flynn said. “Our intensity level picked up and we had a solid game all around.”
Spartanburg’s Drew Pickens pitched a complete game of his own, striking out five Post 31 batters and only allowing four hits. Post 31’s Pate had two hits and scored a run. Austin Caskey scored a run and had one single.
Cameron Payne had two base on balls and scored a run for Post 31. Daniel Mackey added a run for the winning juniors.
“We have to remain focused and keep our intensity level up as we hit the road,” Flynn added.
Lancaster was scheduled to travel to Spartanburg to play the second game of the best two-out-of-three series, Tuesday, July 9. If a third game is needed, it will be played in Lancaster Thursday, July 11.
The Post 31 senior team is slated to play Dalzell Shaw at 7 p.m. today at home in the first game of the playoffs.
See upcoming editions of The Lancaster News for results of both games.