It took three days to complete the first game of the Lower State American Legion state playoffs between Manning-Santee and Georgetown, due to lightning and heavy rain.
Three days after tying the game in the bottom of the first inning, M-S broke an 8-all tie in the bottom of the tenth inning on July 11, when Georgetown’s second baseman Tyler Ward dropped the inning-ending out allowing Zach Graham to score from third on Jack Martin’s infield grounder.
When the game resumed at 7:30 p.m. July 11 with the game tied at one, Post 68’s Jamal Keels was on first with Greg King coming to bat. King stroked Travis Shelley’s first pitch to centerfield. Douglas Ard walked on five pitches, loading the bases. Shuler Ward hit a single into right field, scoring Keels. The ball skipped past right fielder Richard Archer scoring King and Ard on the error and allowing Ward to get to third. Chris Kellahan hit Shelley’s second pitch into shallow centerfield, allowing Ward to score. Kellahan made it to third base on several errant throws by Georgetown. He was thrown out at the plate after a bad throw by catcher Mason Brett ended up in centerfield. Logan Caulder’s throw from centerfield nailed Kellahan at the plate. Mark Pipkin struck out swinging to end the five-run first inning for Post 68.
Georgetown cut the M-S lead to two in the third inning when an error and a walk ended up costing Post 68 two runs. Post 114’s J.D. Whitlock reached first on an error by second baseman Martin. Mason Brett followed with a walk on just four pitches. Pitcher Shelley struck out swinging for the first out. Patrick Ward walked on five pitches, loading the bases. Tyler Ward hit into a 4-3 fielder’s choice, scoring Whitlock and moving Brett to third. Mac Jordan hit an infield single that scored Brett. Austin Smith struck out swinging to end the two-run inning.
M-S collected two more runs in the seventh inning on three walks, an infield hit, a failed bunt attempt and a few errors.
Georgetown fought back in the top of the eighth adding a run to its total.
Two hit batters, an error and a couple of groundouts added Post 114’s lone run of the inning.
M-S countered in their half of the eighth adding one more run to make it 8-4.
Georgetown batted around in the top of the ninth, adding four runs to the board and tying the game. M-S replaced starting pitcher Linc Powell with Kellahan. Kellahan walked the first two batters he faced before Patrick Ward struck out swinging. Tyler Ward followed with a 3-2 walk to load the bases. Kellahan then hit the next batter, Jordan, with a pitch to bring in the first run of the inning. That was all for Kellahan. Head Coach G.G. Cutter brought in Justin McArthur, who threw a first pitch strike before Austin Smith lined the next pitch into right field scoring a run. Georgetown’s next batter was called out on strikes for the second out of the inning. On an 0-2 count, Archer lined a ball under the glove of Pipkin which brought in two runs. Whitlock ended the inning popping out to second, but not before Georgetown tied the game at 8-all.
In M-S’s half of the ninth, King walked and stole second but was left stranded after Ard reached on an error, Ward struck out swinging and McArthur hit into a 5-3 groundout.
The top of the tenth was scary for Post 68 fans when McArthur walked the first two batters before settling down and getting two of the next three batters to strike out swinging and the other batter to fly out.
The bottom of the tenth started off with Pipkin getting hit by a pitch. He was replaced on first with pinch runner Corey Brown. J.T. Eppley’s bunt got Pipkin to second. With one out, Graham reached first on a field’s choice. Brown was thrown out at third for the second out. Graham stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. A routine ground ball to second baseman Tyler Ward was dropped, allowing the winning run to score from third.
McArthuer picked up the win for Post 68. He finished with three strikeouts and two walks. Powell who started the game for Post 68 collected 11 strikeouts and four walks during his eight innings on the mound.
Weather permitting, M-S faced Georgetown at 7 p.m. July 12 with the third game of the series set for 7:30 p.m. July 13 on Monarch Field.