Playing for the first time since scoring a season-high 22 runs in a win over Lexington, the Kershaw County American Legion baseball team ended its regular season with a 4-0 non-league road loss to Florence Post 1 on Monday.
By virtue of the win, Post 1 split its two-game season series with Post 17 in what could be a state playoff preview. Should both Florence (25-3) and KC (15-5) win their second round series next week, they will meet for the chance to earn a spot in the state finals.
Florence starter Anthony Hopkins allowed just three hits with six strikeouts as he worked into the seventh inning.
The hosts gave Hopkins the only run he would need by getting to P-17 starter Jake Tanner for an unearned run in the second. Two innings later, Florence made it 2-0 before Post 1 tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the home portion of the sixth.
KC threatened in the third after Noah Rabon continued his hot streak with the bat as he sent a one-out single to left. Hopkins then walked Jaiden Garner only to get out of the mess with a strikeout and a ground out.
In the sixth, the 17ers had a runner on second with one gone after J.C. LeGrand smacked a one-out double to right center only for Hopkins to get a pair of ground outs to close the inning.
In addition to the hits from Rabon and LeGrand, Wynston Dyer rounded out the visitors’ offense with a single.
Tanner made his first start of the summer and the right-hander went the first four frames, scattering six hits while fanning one and walking a pair.
Tripp Reeves worked the final two innings, allowing two runs on three hits with a strikeout.
Playoffs up next: The 17ers open second round state playoff action at home on Monday when Orangeburg comes to american Legion Park for game one of the best-of-five series in a 7 p.m. start.
Game two will be played in Orangeburg with game three being played in Camden. If needed, games four and five will be played in Orangeburg and Camden, respectively. All games have a 7 p.m. starting time.