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Manning-Santee ends Post 17's win streak at five, 6-4

Posted: June 21, 2011 3:19 p.m.
Updated: June 22, 2011 5:00 a.m.

TY ROBINSON CONTRIBUTED a single and scored a run during Post 17’s three-run fifth inning in Monday night’s loss to Manning-Santee. The locals will host Sumter on Thursday in a 7 p.m. start at American Legion Park.


MANNING -- It was a baseball game that both Kershaw County Post 17 and Manning-Santee needed as the American Legion League III standings begin to heat up with eight games remaining in the regular season.

KC came into Monday’s game just one game behind league leader Sumter, while Manning was in third with a 6-6 record and Dalzell-Shaw breathing down its neck.

Manning held off KC for a 6-4 victory at the Manning High School field after scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to drop Post 17 to 10-3 on the year. The loss snapped a five-game Post 17 win streak.

"After Friday night it was a letdown for us, losing the way we did (a 14-1 loss to Dalzell-Shaw). I figured we’d get some good pitching and we did," Manning-Santee head baseball coach G.G. Cutter said. "Kevin (Cox) threw well and Justin (Powell) did alright until the last inning. We got the force play there at third and that was a huge play for us."

KC didn’t go quietly in the ninth as it got the go-ahead run to the plate with no outs and runners on first and second. The 17ers tried to bunt the runners over, but a force out was made at third. Powell got the next two batters to fly out to center and pop out to second.

"(Manning assistant) Billy (Sylvester) and G.G. (Cutter) made a great call on the wheel play," KC head coach Curtis Johnson explained. "They knew how we play a little bit and knew we were going to try to bunt the ball to third and made a great call."

"I was glad we were able to close a game," Cutter said. "We’ve had leads in the last inning and lost it. I was glad we could do that. I told the boys it took nine innings and we did it."

Cox threw seven innings of five-hit baseball, allowing four runs with two walks and four strikeouts. Powell came in to earn the save, throwing two innings of no-hit baseball while walking two and striking out two.

"It feels good to get a win," Cox said. "We played good, fought ‘till the end. I didn’t have the best control in the game, but it worked out. My fastball and splitter worked better than the curveball at times."

Post 68 struggled in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, getting the leadoff man on but leaving a total of five runners on base, including four in scoring position.

Then came a wild seventh in which Manning re-took the lead thanks to a hit batter, a single, a sacrifice bunt, two errors and a wild pitch.

Jamal Keels led off the inning and was hit by a pitch. He later scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 4-4 after being moved over by Heath Smith’s single and a sacrifice bunt by Ard.

Smith scored on a throwing error to make it 5-4, as did Chris Kellahan, who scored later to make it 6-4.

Smith led Manning with four hits and three runs batted in, including two doubles that allowed Post 68 to take a 3-1 lead in the third. Jamal Keels contributed three hits and scored three runs in the win.

"This puts us in a good spot in the conference, hopefully we can get a good seed in the playoffs; and it was a total team effort tonight," Smith said of the win. "We got some key hits when it counted with runners on and we held it through this time."

KC answered in the fifth with three runs thanks to four straight hits. Cox had only allowed two hits through the first four innings before Post 17 became to figure him out as he allowed four straight hits in the fifth as KC went up 4-3.

After getting a strikeout to begin the fifth, Dillon Morrow, Ty Robinson and Stephen Boneparte each singled off Cox with Boneparte picking up an RBI single. Jake Ansley followed with a two-run triple.

"I’ve got a good group of guys and we’re going to be in every game we play; that’s what I love about them," Johnson said. "We’re going to be in every game and have a chance to win every time we play. We didn’t execute tonight; early in the game we left a lot of guys on with two outs. If we have a couple of big two-out hits, it’s a different game."

Following Tuesday’s game at Cheraw, Post 17 will host Sumter on Thursday before ending the week with a trip to Sumter to meet Dalzell-Shaw on Friday night. Both contests have 7 p.m. starts.

"It’s a numbers game is what it comes down to," Johnson said. "Right now, we’re trying to win enough games to win second place in this league. It’s just a numbers game. Every game is a big baseball game."


Keeping Posted:




In other League III action Monday night, Sumter blanked Hartsville, 13-0, while Dalzell-Shaw knocked off Cheraw, 10-4 … Post 17’s loss to Manning-Santee put the locals (10-3) two games behind Sumter (12-1) with seven regular season games left to be played. KC and Post 15 will meet two more times this year, including the Friday, July 1 finale at Riley Park … After the two front-runners, the League III standings, going into Tuesday’s games, have Manning-Santee at 7-6, Dalzell-Shaw at 6-7, Cheraw at 3-10 and Hartsville at 1-12. The top four finishers in the circuit will advance to the state playoffs which begin Tuesday, July 5 … Sumter has already locked up a post-season berth while Post 17 needs one more win to secure a spot to advance into playoff action.



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