One night after scoring 15 runs on 14 hits against Richland Post 6, West Columbia Post 79 proved it can also win the close games as well defeating Irmo–Chapin Post 193 4–3. Chris Andrews pitched five strong innings for Post 79 giving up only one run on five hits.
West Columbia coach Legree Oswald said, “If you play nine innings of a 4–3 ball game, then that’s a pretty good ball game. Our kids battled back and made some moves to keep us in the ballgame. Chris Andrews put us in position to win the ball game. Ken Smoke came in a tough spot to win it for us in middle relief and saved it for us.”
For the second straight night, Post 79 did have to fight back from a deficit. After Andrews gave up a first inning home run, the offense helped him out in the bottom of the third. With runners on second and third, Lucas Knight’s sacrifice fly scored Wesley Camp from third to tie the game at 1–1. The next batter up, Matt Tanner, hit a single allowing Luke Beasley to score to give Post 79 a 2–1 lead.
West Columbia added to that lead in the bottom of the fifth. With Tanner at second and one out, Todd Joyner hit a ground rule double allowing Tanner to score and increasing the lead to 3–1. An RBI single from Stuart Pound allowed Tanner to score to give Post 79 a 4–1 lead. It was a big enough cushion for Post 79 despite giving up two late runs to make the game interesting.
Despite the offensive output, Oswald isn’t worried about his team’s offense. “We had some situations that we should have scored some more runs, and we just didn’t. I’m not worried about hitting; we’ll come around. We’re going to hit.”
It was the defensive plays that were the story of the night for Post 79 that closed out the third, fourth, and fifth innings with double plays. It was a big momentum swing for Oswald’s team.
“They kept us in the game. We were in a situation where those guys had a lot of guys that should have scored. We were able to turn some double plays and play good solid defense. I think that was the key to the game.”
Oswald believes that a close win is huge for his team’s momentum, especially when he is a couple of players short.
“I think it helps out tremendously if we can get some guys back. It’s tough to play a game with 12 or 13 guys and throw nine innings; we’re looking to get all of our guys back.”
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