Playing its second extra-inning game in less than 24 hours, the West Ashley baseball team came up a little short in a 5-2 loss to Sumter in AAAA District VII Lower State playoff action on Saturday afternoon.
West Ashley needed nine innings on Friday night to defeat Fort Dorchester and returned to the field on Saturday for a noon contest. The game was played early to accommodate the senior prom for both schools on Saturday night.
After rallying to tie the game at 2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, West Ashley allowed three unearned runs in the top of the eighth to take the loss. The Wildcats (15-9) will play Monday night against the winner of Saturday’s elimination game between Fort Dorchester and Dutch Fork.
“It’s a tough loss, but I thought we fought and battled all game long,” said West Ashley coach Mitch Miggenburg. “We had some chances. We had some runners on base a few times during the game. We just couldn’t come up with the big hit.
“It was tough to come back so early after an emotional win last night, but I don’t think it was a factor. We were excited and ready to play today. I don’t think we had any lingering effects. We just came up a little on the short end today. We’ll be ready Monday.”
West Ashley left runners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
West Ashley trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning but scratched for an unearned run when David Allen scored on a Sumter error on Jonathan Sabo’s ground ball.
Allen again was in the scoring mix when the Wildcats tied the game in the seventh. Allen reached on an error and moved to second. Sabo’s groundout to short moved Allen to third, and Taylor Oden’s single down the third-base line scored Allen to tie the game.
In the top of the eighth, Sumter scored three unearned runs after a two-out error. Sumter’s Jacob Watcher had a big two-run single to provide the winning margin.
West Ashley sophomore Anthony Vincelli gave Miggenburg a stellar start. Vincelli went 72/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits.
“He gave us a chance to win,” said Miggenburg of Vincelli’s performance. “He’s a young guy with a great future and he’s been solid for us all season. All we can ask is for the pitchers to keep us close and give us a chance. We had our chances today.”