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The Lancaster American Legion Post 31 junior baseball team earned a measure of revenge and a berth in the state tournament’s final four Friday afternoon.
Lancaster, 15-9, rallied for a 6-2 win over regular-season League V champion Gaffney to stay alive in the double-elimination state field at Lake City High School.
P-31’s four-run comeback win advanced it to an elimination game with top-seeded Sumter on Saturday afternoon.
During regular-season play, Lancaster dropped two of three League V games to Gaffney, including a doubleheader split at Eggleton Field on July 1.
Gaffney, on the strength of a Nicholas Smiley two-run home run, held a 2-1 edge on Lancaster, but P-31 ignited for a crucial five-run sixth inning to take a 6-2 lead.
Joseph Threatt smashed a two-run home run and Kendall Adams, who had two hits, scored twice and drove in a run, also cracked a double in the Lancaster fifth.
“Our guys never quit and battled back,” P-31 junior coach Michael Anderson said. “I was proud of them and the heart they showed.”
P-31 right-hander Eric Mojica gave P-31 a complete game, hurling seven innings and scattering six hits. He walked three, allowed two runs and hit a batter. Mojica fanned four.
“Eric pitched well and gave us a big lift with a complete game,” Anderson said.
Andrew Smyre and Will Gaston each had two hits. Smyre also had a RBI.
Threatt’s effort included his two-run shot, three RBIs, a sacrifice fly and he scored a run.
Trai Sanders, Adam Eubanks and Zack Rollings each had a hit and scored a run.
In addition to Lancaster as of Friday night, Florence, Sumter and Marion were still alive in the double-elimination tournament. Florence stayed unbeaten in the tournament with a 12-4 win over Sumter.
Marion eliminated Conway, which defeated Lancaster 8-5 in the opening round.
Marion, which has one loss, met Florence on Saturday night at 7:30 following the Lancaster vs. Sumter game at 5 p.m.
P-31 downs Lake City
The Lancaster Post 31 junior team bounced back in a big way Thursday.
The P-31 juniors, facing elimination, ousted tournament host Lake City 13-3 to stay alive in the S.C. American Legion junior state tournament at Lake City High School.
Lancaster opened play Wednesday, dropping an 8-5 loss to Conway, which rallied from a 5-0 deficit to take the three-run comeback win.
Lancaster spotted Lake City a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the P-31 juniors rallied for eight unanswered runs in its next two at-bats to forge an 8-1 edge.
Lancaster starter Adam Eubanks worked five innings and allowed three runs, four hits, two walks and hit a batter. He notched eight strikeouts in posting the win.
Eubanks backed his cause with a hit and scored a run.
Dillon Hydrick worked a scoreless inning in relief, fanning one and allowing a walk.
Andrew Smyre sparked a 14-hit Lancaster attack with three hits, including two doubles. He scored three runs and drove in two runs.
Will Gaston generated two hits, including a solo home run. He scored twice and drove in two runs.
Hydrick had a pair of hits, scored a run and drove in two runs. Trai Sanders chipped in two hits and scored twice.
Ricky Lewis drilled a double and drove in three runs. Zack Rollings had a hit, scored two runs and drove in a run. Trey Cauthen drilled a hit and scored a run, while Joseph Threatt added a hit and a RBI.
Kendall Adams also scored a run for the winners.
Contact sports editor Robert Howey at 283-1157