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Copperheads send Raiders home; Red Devils off to Hanahan

Laurens center fielder Zay Pulley (10) removes his batting helmet after the final out is recorded in the Raiders 4-2 playoff loss to Catawba Ridge Friday night . The loss ended the Raiders’ season at 18-11-1. The Copperheads will play for the Class 4A State Championship beginning Monday.

Laurens’ baseball season ended Friday night one step short of the Class 4A Upper State championship with a 4-2 loss to Catawba Ridge at Ed Prescott Field.

For the second straight game, Catawba Valley pitching was able to largely shut down the Raiders’ bats. Wofford commit Jake McCoy and closer Caden Glauber combined on a one-hitter, pitching six scoreless innings with 13 strikeouts – nine by McCoy in five innings – and four walks. Glauber pitched the final two innings and earned his second save in as many games against the Raiders.

“This game here is hurtful a little bit,” said LDHS head coach Tori Patterson. “(McCoy) is really good, but we did enough to win. They got one (run) in the third and one in the fourth, and they were both off of lead-off errors. We gave them that game because we made errors again tonight.”

For Catawba Ridge, the victory was a bit of payback. In each of the past two seasons, the Raiders sent the Copperheads home from the district championship round, running up a 3-0 playoff record against them. That streak ended Tuesday in Fort Mill with a 4-0 loss.

Laurens second-baseman Hunter Nabors (6) throws to first for an out early against Catawba Ridge Friday night.

The Copperheads jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by catcher Sam Schwamb, but the Raiders answered in the home first with two runs.

Senior all-state outfielder Mason Hamby reached on a walk and advanced to second base on an error that landed batter Ben Willis on first. Hamby scored on a two-out RBI double down the left-field line by catcher Bennett Edwards to tie the game at 1-1.

Owen Pridgen followed by reaching base on a dropped third strike that scored Willis from third, giving the Raiders a 2-1 lead. Edwards’ base hit was the only hit of the game for LDHS. He went 1-for-3 at the plate.

Catawba Ridge tied the game at 3-3 in the third on another RBI single from Schwamb that scored Owen Noonan, who led off the inning by reaching on an error and scored from third base.

The Copperheads added the game-winning run in the fourth on an RBI double by Ethan Solnick that scored Peyton Dhein.

Catawba Ridge’s final two runs were unearned.

Starter Josh Hughes took the loss for the Raiders (18-11-1). Hughes gave up eight hits with one strikeout and two walks in 5 2/3 innings of work.

Clinton heading to Hanahan

Clinton will begin the Class 3A state finals at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Lower State champion Hanahan (26-7). The Hawks won the second game of a Friday doubleheader 3-1 over Brookland-Cayce to clinch the Lower State title.

The Upper State Champion Red Devils (24-3)  is to host Game 2 of the best-of-three state championship series at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Clinton is seeking its first state championship since 1961.







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