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End of the road
Florence surges past P-17s en route to state title
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POST 17S RUSS RADCLIFF dives safely back into first base ahead of a pickoff throw in the first inning of Tuesdays loss to Florence. Defending on the play is Post 1 first baseman Logan McRae. - photo by C-I photo by Tom Didato
SUMTER – In a move akin to taking a six-cylinder engine out of a car and replacing it with one with four cylinders, Jake Brazell was told to scrap the fastball and concentrate more on his off-speed pitches as he prepared to take the mound to face Florence in Tuesday’s South Carolina American Legion State Baseball Tournament contest.With Post 17’s season hanging in the balance at Riley Park, Brazell more than held his own for seven innings as Kershaw County trailed the unbeaten squad from the Pee Dee, 5-4. But in a tournament in which Florence has proven unstoppable, Post 1 flexed its muscles in its final two at-bats in pulling away to a 15-4 win.The loss knocked the locals from their first state tournament appearance, one in which they went 2-2 over their four-day stay. The setback capped a 25-9 season for Craig Smith’s troops which finished tied for third in the state.Before talking about the game itself, the third-year Post 17 head coach saluted his 17-player roster and his three assistant coaches.“You hate to lose your last game of the season,” Smith said, “but unless you go win the (American Legion) World Series, you’re going to lose your last one.