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Weather throws wrench into P-17 playoff series
Jr. 17ers stay alive in bid for state tourney slot
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One night after heavy rains in the Georgetown area forced the postponement of Tuesday’s game two of the state American Legion second round playoff series between Kershaw County and host Georgetown, weather problems stopped the following evening’s game dead in its tracks.
On Wednesday night, with the visitors leading 2-0 in the top  of the third with runners on the corners with no outs and Gunner Smith at the plate with a 2-0 count, the rain became too heavy as the umpires sent both teams to their respective dugouts. When the precipitation continued and made the field unplayable, the contest was suspended.
Kershaw County Post 17, which won Monday night’s opening game, 7-5, was to have returned to Georgetown on Thursday night to complete game two. Game three in the best-of-five series is slated for tonight at 7 p.m. at American Legion Park in Camden. A fourth game, if necessary, will be played in Georgetown on Saturday with KC hosting the deciding fifth game, if needed, presumably to be played on Sunday or, Monday.
Here is the tricky part: Should the Post 17 vs. Georgetown series go the full five games, it would mean that the play-in contests will have a tight time frame. The only three guaranteed berths in the state American Legion tournament for Lower State teams are awarded to the second round winners. The three losers of the second round series then play for the fourth and final spot in the state tourney. A coin flip will determine which of the three teams gets the bye into the final game of the tie-breakers while awaiting the winner of the first round play-in contest.
Should the KC vs. Georgetown series extend into or, through the weekend, the play-in series will come just days before the state tournament which begins with four games at Riley Park in Sumter on Saturday, July 26.
Post 17’s game was the only one in the state playoffs to be affected by weather on Wednesday. Sumter punched its ticket into the state tournament with a 9-1 victory over Hartsville to sweep that series in three games. Hartsville is still alive and will be in the play-in series.
After having Tuesday’s rain storm interrupt its second round series with Manning-Santee, League II champion Florence went up 2-0 on Manning-Santee with a 15-2 road victory on Wednesday. Game three in that series was slated for Thursday in Florence.
Three other Upper State teams were on the brink of earning a trip to Sumter as Chapin-Newberry, Inman and Spartanburg each took 2-0 series leads into Thursday’s contests.
Jr. 17ers lose, but stay alive for state tourney berth: After being tied at 1-1 through regulation seven innings, South Florence Blue exploded for four runs in the top of the eighth and held on for a 5-1 win over the KC Post 17 Junior squad on Wednesday at American Legion Park in Camden.
The visitors from the Pee Dee wrapped up the best-of-three series in two games while clinching a berth in the state tournament. Post 17 could play its way into the state tournament with a win over Marlboro County in Thursday’s play-in game at South Florence.
The South Carolina State Junior American Legion Tournament will begin on Saturday at Legion Field in Florence.