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Beckley pitches Dogs past Hartsville

Posted: April 23, 2014 2:56 p.m.
Updated: April 25, 2014 5:00 a.m.

In what could be termed the calm before the storm, Camden kicked off a week which would determine its 3A baseball playoff fate by returning home from Hartsville with a 4-1 non-conference victory on Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs had a pair of key Region 4 matchups left, starting with Dreher on Wednesday before hosting second-place Chapin tonight in a 6:30 p.m. start at American Legion Park.
Camden head coach Denny Beckley handed the ball off to his son, freshman Devin Beckley, on Tuesday at Jimmy White Field and the 6-foot-2 right-hander delivered a complete game three-hitter.
The night got off to a rocky start for the first-time varsity starter who walked the first two Red Fox batters he faced in the bottom of the first. He also had a pair of early wild pitches, neither of which did not come back to haunt him.
Beckley gave up his lone run when the hosts reached him for one in the bottom of the second. A half-inning later, the Dogs evened things at 1-1 against the Region 6-AAA leaders.
“Devin was effectively wild,” said Denny Beckley of a night in which his son faced 28 batters, walked three and hit a pair. “He was pretty nervous starting out, but he was able to settle down. We played tremendous defense behind him as we did not commit an error in the field.
“He only had two strikeouts. It was a very effective outing for him.”
Cole Irick led off the top of the third with a double off the left field wall. Lawson Stokes then singled to center for the first of his four hits on the night. Irick scored on an error on the relay throw on the play.
Camden broke the 1-1 tie with a run in the sixth as Ross Hough drew a leadoff walk and scored on Will Abbott’s line drive double to right field.
An inning later, the guests put this one in the books by scoring two runs in a top of the seventh which opened with Darius Smith getting aboard with a leadoff single. Irick then beat out a bunt for a base hit with Stokes loading the bases with a single.
After Smith was forced at home, Hough sent a sacrifice fly to center to plate Irick with the third run while Bennett Harrelson sent a two-strike single through the box to dive in Stokes with the fourth run.
Camden collected 11 hits on the night with Abbott and Irick getting two each to go along with the four-hit evening from Stokes.
Beckley said he hopes that his team’s 3-1 finish in last week’s Kershaw-Richland Wooden Bat Classic and Tuesday’s effort against Hartsville are harbingers of a strong finish and an extended postseason run.
“That’s kind of been our approach the last several years,” he said. “We want to get everything worked out and be peaking as we head into the playoffs.
“Our guys have grown accustomed to that philosophy and they are taking it all in stride.”

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