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Vols earn title game bid

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AJ faced Central in Comporium tournament

By Robert Howey

 

   

KERSHAW – Andrew Jackson, living up to its early-season billing, capped a 3-0 run to earn a title game berth in the third annual Comporium Preseason Baseball Invitational on Friday, March 1.

The Vols, ranked No. 3 in the S.C. Baseball Coaches Association Class AA state preseason poll, wrapped up their division title for a tournament championship berth with a 6-3 win over county and region rival Indian Land on Friday night at the AJ field.

Senior right-hander Chandler Neal, who went five innings, hurled the Vols to the three-run win. Neal whiffed two and allowed two hits, a walk and hit two IL batters.

Neal, the Region IV-AA Player of the Year as a junior, aided the AJ attack with two hits and scored twice in the Vols’ six-hit offensive.

Dustin Eddins aided the AJ offense with a double, single and two RBIs and a run scored. Tripp Rollings drilled a double and drove home a run and scored twice.

Chandler Neal supplied two hits and scored twice. Freshman Gunnar Lucas, AJ’s winning hurler in the tourney opener, had a hit and a sac fly RBI. Sydney Watson also drove in a run for the winners.

Indian Land was led by Doug Troyan who had a hit and scored twice. Ryan Lawson added a hit for the Warriors.

The win put AJ in the championship round on Saturday when the Vols faced region rival Central High of Pageland at 6:30 p.m. at Buford Park.

Central compiled a 3-0 mark in the tourney, 3-2 over host BHS, 10-1 over South Pointe and 2-0 over Parkwood.

Play opened Saturday when Buford faced Great Falls at 10 a.m. in the seventh-place game.

Indian Land met South Pointe at 12:30 in the fifth-place game and Lancaster, which went 1-2 in the AJ bracket with 1-0 losses to the host Vols on Thursday and Great Falls on Friday night, faced Parkwood at 4 p.m.

AJ topped the Bruins, 1-0 behind ace right-hander Tripp Rollings, who faced 18 batters in the five-inning game, and struck out 11 and allowed a hit. He walked one and had a no-hitter for four frames.

Jordan Brock had the lone Lancaster hit.

Brock worked 3.1 innings and C.D. Pelham hurled 1.2 frames. Brock took the loss, yielding three hits.

Sydney Watson, Chandler Neal and Dustin Eddins each had a hit for Andrew Jackson.

AJ, in the five-inning game, broke on top in the first as Chandler Neal walked and later scored on Dustin Eddins’ RBI-hit.

Buford went 0-3 in its bracket, dropping close losses in all three setbacks.

On Friday, Buford fell to South Pointe of Rock Hill, 2-1

Evan “Buck Shot” Flynn, in 4.2 frames, took the loss. He allowed two runs, one earned run, two hits, and hit two batters. Gage Hinson worked a third of an inning and allowed no runs.

Skylar King laced a double for the Jackets. James Gardner had a hit and Tripp Wright drove in a run. Garrett Johnson tallied a run.

Parkwood edged Buford, 3-2 on Thursday, Feb. 28 at Buford Park.

Buford southpaw Kholby Pate took the loss in three innings of work, yielding three runs, two earned runs, two hits and three walks. He fanned three.

Matt Bayne went two innings and allowed no runs and a walk. He whiffed three.

Skylar King belted a solo home run for the Jackets.

Evan Flynn had a hit and Tripp Wright added a sac fly RBI. James Gardner drew three walks and Bayne walked twice. Daniel Mackey tallied a run.

Buford opened tourney play, falling to Central, 3-1 on Monday, Feb. 25.