Summerville topped Ladson June 21 in the championship game for the 2019 South Carolina Dixie Youth Baseball AA Machine Pitch District 7 All-Stars Tournament.
Summerville claimed a 14-3 victory over Ladson at Wescott Park to clinch the district championship and advance to participate in the AA Machine Pitch State Tournament scheduled for July 5-9 in Delmae, South Carolina. As the district runner-up, Ladson will also advance to the state tournament.
Summerville fell 6-3 on the opening day of the tournament to one of two Pepperhill/Wescott teams participating, but got a little revenge by edging out the last host team standing by a 9-6 score in a game that carried into the final day of play due to a weather delay. That set up the title game with Ladson.
“We took a defeat Saturday and had to bounce back and work through the losers’ bracket,” Summerville Manager Matt Cope said. “We never gave up. The kids played hard, hit the ball hard and most of all they played as a team all the way through and didn’tgive up even when they were behind and it was a struggle. There were some late games, but we have great coaches and the kids just kept playing.”
Chase Fecko led Summerville at the plate in the title game, reaching base three times including twice with a double. He scored two runs and drove in a run.
Wyatt Tanner, Gram Ratcliff and Carson Kafina also reached base three times while J.T. Milligan, Brody Truncale, Jack Crosby, Blake Lemay and John Dahlberg reached twice. Other members of the team include Mason Rasely, Ethan White and Easten Baker.
Ratcliff and Kafina both drove in two runs and scored two runs and Rasely also had two RBIs.
Joseph Hill led Ladson at the plate, going 2 for 2 with 2 RBIs. Ladson’s Jordan Patnaude and Braden Steinbeck also reached base twice.
Ladson took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Hill drove in Steinbeck and Connor Roberts with a hit and Kai Otaleva plated Drew Legette.
But Summerville answered in the bottom of the frame. Fecko opened the turn at bat with a double and just kept running until he crossed home plate safely to put Summerville on the board. Lemay drove in Kafina and Rasely drove in Crosby. Lemay then stole home for the game-winning run.
Summerville added two runs in the third, two in the fourth and six in the fifth.
Cope and Summerville assistant coaches Keith Jernigan, Sean Milligan and Ty White are optimistic about their team’s chances at the state tournament next month.
“We need to continue playing hard and practicing hard,” Cope said. “There are some things we need to clean up and we may adjust the batting lineup and where everyone plays a bit but as long as they keep hitting the ball and playing like they did here that is the key.”