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West All Stars off to state tourney
Florence toned
THE KC WEST ALL-STARS display the hardware which they won after finishing second in the Coach Pitch All-Star District IV Tournament. Kneeling, from left, are Bryce McNair, Gauge Douglas, Caleb Reynolds, Alex Kirincich and Rivers Moak. The back row is made up of Owen McCluney, Tanner Peak, Colten Branham, Caden Bradley, Harrison Marlow, Zackary Williams and Ryan Crane.

After having won the 10-team Coach Pitch All-Star District IV Tournament hosted by the Kershaw County Parks and Recreation Department at Kershaw West Complex in Elgin, the Kershaw County West team will open play in the AA Coach Pitch 2018 State Tournament on Saturday, July 7 at Greenwood Athletic Park in Florence County.

The coach pitch division is made up of players ages seven and eight. KC West, made up of players from Lugoff and Elgin, was one of two county teams to have played in the District IV tourney along with the Camden-based KC National squad.

 KC West won its first three games in the district tournament by defeating Lee County, 16-6, Jefferson, 20-8, and Pageland, 19-18. 

In game four, in the winners’ bracket, KC West faced off against Hartsville. The outcome of the game was not what the West Wateree boys had hoped for, and KC West suffered its first loss of the tournament in falling 9-7. Going into game five --- with an overall record of 3-1 --- KC West was facing elimination for the first time. At this point in the tournament there were only two options left, win or go home. 

In the elimination game, KC West met Jefferson for the second time in the tournament with more on the line in their second meeting. A win for either team meant they would play in the district championship game and automatically qualify for the state tournament. The elimination game versus Jefferson went down to the wire. In the sixth and final inning, with everyone in attendance on their feet, Jefferson was down to their last out, and there were two strikes on the batter with the tying run on third and winning run on first. As the pitch was thrown everyone held their breath … strike three. The final score was KC West 10, Jefferson 9. 

With that victory KC West clinched a berth into the State Tournament and another game versus Hartsville in the District Championship. The KC West All-Star team lost the championship game to Hartsville, but it did not end their journey together as both finalists qualified for the state tournament. 

Opening Ceremonies for the AA Coach Pitch 2018 State Tournament will be held tonight at Greenwood Athletic Park beginning at 7 p.m. The 16 team state tournament begins the next day with KC West making its tournament debut at 10 a.m. Saturday on Field 3.