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Playoff Round-Up Part 2

The district and upperstate championship rounds of the 2024 high school baseball season are mostly in the books. So, with that, here is another roundup of what happened over the last week by classification. 

 

5A district 1

Weather brought with it plenty of delays across the board last week. Monday night was supposed to be the district championships for each of the teams we still had alive with the exception of Greer (the 4A bracket does not use the district format). Instead, a thunderstorm that brought soaking rains and tons of lightning ended up postponing all but 2 of them. 

 

Spartanburg was one of the three local teams that were able to play and one of just 2 that managed to complete their game. The Vikings had to go on the road to Lexington, needing to beat the Wildcats twice. Spartanburg led for a good chunk of this one, but in the end, the Wildcats scored twice in the 7th inning to walk it off 2-1 and eliminate Spartanburg and claim the district championship. 

 

The Vikings still had a very successful season that shows that the needle on the program’s compass is pointing north. They won the rivalry series with Dorman, made the playoffs as the three seed, and made it to the district final. They also had 2 all-state selections in Center Fielder/Closer EJ Grant and Shortstop States Farr, with EJ earning region 2-5A player of the year.

 

5A district 3

Dorman hosted Blythewood in one of the games that was moved to Tuesday night. The Cavaliers bats exploded, most notably with a pair of three run homers – one from Palmer Hornick and the other from Coleman Brown. Freshman lefty Connor Wells got the start and pitched into the 5th inning before giving up a couple of runs and exiting the game with the bases loaded and 1 out. At the time, Dorman led 5-3. But that would be as close as the Bengals could pull. 

 

After Palmer Hornick got a strikeout and a liner to short to put out the fire, he later opened the game up with the first of the 2 three-run blasts previously mentioned. Coleman Brown hit the other in the bottom of the 5th to make for the 11-3 final margin, securing the district championship for Dorman. 

 

The Cavaliers would be paired on the road with JL Mann in the opener of the upperstate round on Friday, ending up in the elimination bracket with a 3-1 loss. They bounced back by defeating Dutch Fork Saturday, holding on for a 6-5 victory at home to set up a rematch with the Patriots Monday night. With a nice outing on the bump from Campbell Whitener and a big 5th and 6th inning at the plate, the Cavs  jumped to an 8-3 lead, punching their ticket to the upperstate championship with an 8-4 win. 

 

Now, Dorman goes on the road this Wednesday night to face Lexington, needing to beat them twice. First pitch of what will hopefully be game one is set for 5:00 PM. 

5A District 4

Gaffney saw their hot run out of the elimination bracket come to an end with a 9-6 loss to JL Mann. 

 

4A

Greer also saw their run through the elimination bracket come to an end at the hands of their cross-town rival Riverside 3-2. 

 

3A district 1

Woodruff had to go on the road and beat Fountain Inn twice in order to advance to the upperstate round. After weather pushed their game to Tuesday, the Fury captured the district with ease via a 9-1 win to eliminate the Wolverines. 

 

The good news for Woodruff is that they had 2 all-state selections. Pitcher Colin McAbee, who logged a .167 ERA, enough to also earn a selection to the North-South game. Shortstop Kayden Barnaby also earned all-state honors with a .347 batting average, 21 stolen bases, and an on base plus slugging of .482. 

 

3A District 3

Behold.. The baseball game that would never end. Union County, by virtue of their upset of Blue Ridge on the road last Thursday, earned the right to host the district championship game. In the end, as expected, it was Blue Ridge that stormed their way through the elimination bracket to force a rematch at Timken Sports Complex for a spot in the upperstate round. 

 

The game began on Monday night and ended up going to extra innings tied at 2. In the top of the 8th inning, a lightning strike forced things to be put on hold until Tuesday night. They were unable to resume on Tuesday due to a decision by the powers-that-be over the Timken complex to cancel all games scheduled that night due to adverse field conditions – a soggy outfield. That decision canceled all little league games as well, leaving only the Miracle League games still on (thanks to the artificial field). 

 

Things were pushed back once again Wednesday due to the round of thunderstorms that came through that evening. Guess what? No, they didn’t play on Thursday. 

 

The game finally resumed on Friday night, and the story of the night very quickly became Blue Ridge ace Mason Tompkins. He started the resumption, in which after the Tigers struck for a run to go up 3-2, he shut down the Yellow Jackets to force a winner-take-all game. He was dominant in that start as well, going the distance in a 6-0 shutout to eliminate Union. 

 

2A District 2

Landrum, after picking up their first playoff win under Justin Henson’s leadership, fell to the elimination bracket after being shut out by Mid Carolina 5-0. That set up an elimination bracket final between Landrum and Pelion. Weather could have had this game on Friday night, but Pelion declined the offer, initially intending to still play on Saturday despite an unfavorable forecast. Monday night, the 2 sides finally met for battle. In a game where Titus Poore got the start, he managed to keep the Cardinals in the game despite their offense struggling with Pelion’s ace, who was made available again in the interim made by the postponement. As the game got to the 7th inning, the bottom fell out. The adverse conditions led to a lot of wild pitches. One of those that followed an RBI single scored 2 runs to make for a 6-3 Pelion lead. In the bottom of the inning, the decision was made to let them play on. Pelion’s ace lost his command and ended up walking the bases loaded, forcing a pitching change with 1 out. Noah Collins greeted the new arm with a bloop single to right to plate 2 runs and cut the deficit to 1. Harper Gosnell followed with a game-tying double to right. After an intentional walk to put 2 on, Garrett Bridges lofted a fly ball to left that dropped in for a walkoff single, delivering a 7-6 win for the Cardinals to send them to the district championship. 

 

Tuesday night, Landrum had to go on the road and beat Mid Carolina twice if they wanted to advance to the upperstate round, but were unable to force a 2nd game, falling 8-2. 

 

Congratulations to all of our local teams on a fantastic season, and best of luck to Dorman in the upperstate championship game Wednesday night!



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