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Baseball 13-5 with one week to go

With a state playoff spot realistically assured, the SCHS baseball Gamecocks are now about shoring up a better-than-fourth-place seed in the season’s final three region games.
Standing at 13-5 overall and 6-3 in the 3AA standings after wins last week over East Laurens and non-region foe Jenkins County, the Roosters have region games remaining in Harlem (April 18) and at home against Dublin (April 22) and T.W. Josey (April 25).
In between is an April 23 contest in Twin City against ECI.
State playoffs begin with a doubleheader May 2 and the “if” game May 3. Region 3AA is paired with Region 1AA and, in some order, the playoff teams from down there will be Thomasville, Cook County, Berrien County, and Fitzgerald (though Brooks County has a win over Thomasville).
The 3AA playoff teams will be Westside, Harlem, SCHS, and either Dublin or East Laurens. As always, the highest two seeds from each region will host the opening round. For the third and fourth place teams from either region, the road trip is long.
Plating a run in the bottom of the seventh to claim a 5-4 win over visiting East Laurens April 10, the SCHS baseball Gamecocks realistically locked up a state playoff bid with the win.
Three consecutive singles in the home half of the seventh inning enabled the Roosters to unknot a 4-4 contest and claim a victory over visiting East Laurens Thursday.
The late inning heroics that saw Bailey Pollock drive in Tyler Dixon were necessitated because of a pair of infield errors in the top of the inning that allowed the Falcons to score a pair of unearned runs.
After one out, Dixon beat out an infield single and moved to third on Aaron Brower’s fourth hit of the evening before Pollock’s two-strike hit ended the contest.
Senior Carl Heindel (3-2, 3.74) pitched a complete game four-hitter to pick up the win, surviving his infield woes in the seventh. On the night, Heindel struck out 12, but the combination of eight walks/hit batters kept him in trouble.
A run in the first when Brandon Whatley drove in Brower gave SCHS a quick lead, but East Laurens came back with one each in the second and third (on just one hit) to take the lead.
In their half of the third, Whatley’s double drove in Brower and Pollock before Shadon Kemp’s sacrifice fly brought home Whatley.
That was all of the scoring until the seventh.
Friday night’s game with visiting Jenkins County brought with it a lot more runs.
SCHS scored at least two runs in five of its six at bats April 12 while JCHS scored a pair of runs in four of its seven at bats in the 12-8 contest.
Bobby Hodges (3-0, 10.15) picked up the win with 3.1 innings of relief of starter Jacob Smith with Wyatt Beasley getting the final three outs (two by the K) for the save.
Nine different Roosters had hits with only Pollock netting two. With a hit each were Brower, Whatley, Smith, Hodges, Seth Warren, Jamie Scarboro, Caleb Krulic, and Dixon.
The offensive onslaught also saw six different Roosters record rbi led by Whatley’s four. His included a two-run homer in the home half of the sixth that allowed a little breathing room for Beasley’s seventh.
Pollock scored three runs and also had a pair of stolen bases.