Socastee Junior Legion Post 178 finishes one win shy of a dream season as they fall to Florence Post 1 11-1 in the South Carolina Junior Legion Championship Game. The final score was no indication of the fantastic effort put forth by the Braves as Florence held a slim 2-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth and lowered the boom with nine runs in the frame to earn the mercy rule victory. Socastee actually scored first when Zach Hyde singled in the second inning, advanced to third on a Walker Darnell single to right, and scored on an infield grounder by Landon Edwards. Florence rebounded in the bottom of the inning with two runs on four hits. From there it was a showcase of defensive leather and sound pitching from both teams until the deciding sixth. Third baseman Carlos Fernandez turned an excellent double play to snuff out the Florence rally in the second, Landon Edwards struck out the side in the third (3-4-5 hitters), shortstop Walker Darnell climbed the ladder to snag a line drive, while second baseman Zach Hyde ranged around the infield and short outfield to grab three flairs. Meanwhile, Florence ended the Braves last meaningful threat when the centerfielder made a diving catch of a Manny Berdayes two-out drive that kept the tying run from scoring in the third. In the end, the Braves managed only the two second inning singles by Zach and Walker. Landon Edwards (5.1ip, 5k) got the call on the mound and pitched brilliantly through five innings but was clearly overwhelmed in the sixth. Jason Farria and Hayden Miller came on in relief of Landon but could not manage to stop the bleeding.
The disappointing loss will not overshadow the amazing accomplishments of Post 178, who battled hard from the first game, had amazing chemistry, and showed their resiliency and undeterred composure in spite of the loss of key personell down the stretch. This was a team of baseball players that clearly earned the respect of the entire state. One can only look forward to see how this summer experience will translate on the field next spring.
July 19 (State Championship - Game 4 vs Union)
On the day after a dramatic come-from-behind victory that assured the Braves a spot in the championship game, Socastee Post 178 comes out flat and is humbled by Union 9-1 who needed the win to stay alive in the tournament. The team hangover was evident from the first inning when two errors led to the first two Union runs. The Braves scored one in the third when Manny Berdayes doubled in Jared Landrey to narrow the score to 2-1, but thats as close as it would get as Union tacked on two in the bottom half of the third, and four in the fourth to widen the gap to 8-1. The Braves never mounted a serious rally until the seventh when they loaded the bases with two outs but failed to score. Carlos Fernandez (3.2ip, 2k) started on the hill for the Braves and takes the loss. He was joined by Jason Farria (1.1ip, 0er) and Andrew Morris (1ip, 2k, 0er) who made his pitching debut for Socastee. The offense seemed to take the day off as well, managing just five hits. Manny Berdayes ((1-3, 2b, rbi) and Zach Hyde (1-3, 2b) doubled for the Braves, while Jared Landrey (1-3, r), Hunter Renfrow (1-4), and Tyler Hudson (1-1) added a hit apiece.
The loss was only the second of the season for Socastee and snaps a very impressive fifteen game win streak. Their last loss was way back on June 14, and of the fifteen victories since, seven were won in comeback fashion.
July 18 (State Championship - Game 3 vs Florence)
WOW! The championship is far from decided, but Socastee Post 178 may have just played in one of the greatest games in the states junior legion championship history. Zach Hyde's two-out three run homer in the bottom of the eighth against powerhouse Florence Post 1 gave Socastee a come from behind 4-2 win and propelled the Braves into the championship finals regardless of what happens on Day 4.
The teams starting pitchers, pitted Chase Keevert against Brandon Baggette for Florence. Both lefthanders battled toe to toe through most of the game, but when the dust settled, it was Chase who was left standing. While the Braves struggled to combine hits and walks for anything threatening through most of the game, the defense showed a remarkable bend but don't break toughness over the aggressive Post 1 offense, exemplified by the first pitch of the game when Florence's leadoff hitter tried to stretch a mishandled throw after a single into an extra base but was thrown out at second by Hayden Miller. The game was peppered with impressive individual plays - Manny Berdayes gunned down a steal attempt at third, Chase picked off a baserunner to end the second, Zach Hyde made a diving catch of a foul pop down the right field line, Trevor Bigham ended a threat in the third with a backhanded step-on-third and throw to first double play. Even the one run that Florence did score in regulation innings showcased a spectacular leap and catch attempt from Hunter Renfrow at the centerfied wall, only for him to look in his glove and see that the ball had squeezed through two of the fingers for a home run.
With the Braves down 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth Hunter Renfrow lead off and drew a walk. Chase Keevert bunted Hunter over to second and Manny Berdayes drove him in with a single to right on a 3-0 count to tie the game. Walker Darnell grounded out to short, but the hustling Manny never slowed down and ended up on third. With two outs, Hayden Miller hit a solid comebacker on the first pitch that was olayed by the pitcher who threw to first for the third out. In the seventh the Braves ended a threat when Chase fanned the last two batters with a runner on second. The bottom of the frame saw the Braves mount a threat of their own when, after two outs, Trevor Bigham walked, and Tyler Hudson, batting in the place of Jerad Landrey, croutched low and watch as the Florence pitcher couldn't thread the zone on four straight pitches. That chased the starter and the table was set for Hunter Renfrow to face their closer. After an 0-2 count and a foul, a wild pitch advanced both Trevor and the reinserted Jared Landrey. With the winning run 90 feet way Hunter built the count to two and two but was caught looking at a low and away fastball for the third out to send the game into extra innings.
Florence came out quickly, getting a single by the leadoff hitter, who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a walk and a hit batsman loaded the bases, Chase came back from a 3-0 count, pitched two strikes and watched as Post 1's leading homerun hitter hit the ball just far enough in right field to drive in a run on a sacrifice fly to take a 2-1 lead. Florence failed to manufacture any more runs when Chase induced the next hitter to fly out to centerfield. That set the stage for the dramatic finish as Manny Berdayes punched a 2-2 pitch for a single into left field with one out to give the Braves life. After a strikeout left the Braves down to their last out, Hayden Miller battled from an 0-2 count to 2-2 with Manny swiping second base. Hayden then cued a hard spinning shot to the third baseman who could not handle the play and left Manny advancing to third and Hayden getting to first. Thats when Zach Hyde stepped to the plate, took the first two pitches for balls, he then turned on the third pitch and hit a long hard drive deep but foul for strike one. The next pitch was a ball that brought the count to 3-1. At that point it was lightning in a bottle as Zach crushed the next pitch deep over the left field fence for his second homer of the year and Florence watched helplessly as the Braves stormed home plate for their victory celebration.
Chase Keevert (8ip, 2k, 2er) earns the gutty win throwing 106 pitches through eight innings and leaving it all on the field. The Braves managed just five hits. Manny Berdayes (2-4, r, sb, rbi) lead the team offensively with his timely hitting, Hunter Renfrow (1-3, r, sb) and Hayden Miller (1-4, r) pitched in with a hit and run apiece, and Zach Hyde (1-4, hr, r, 3rbi's) was the hero of the moment with his clutch homer.
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Socastee Junior Legion advances through the winners bracket by defeating rival Conway 7-4 on the second day of the Junior Legion State Championship at West Florence High School. In spite of outscoring Conway 24-7 in the two regular season games, the Tigers proved much tougher this time around and the Braves had to dig deep to earn the win. After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, the Braves rallied for two in the bottom of the frame thanks in part to three Conway errors. Manny Berdayes drove in Hunter Renfrow on a ground ball to the shortstop whose throw was misplayed by the first basemen. Later in the inning Drew Morris, running for Manny, scored on a two-out infield error off the bat of Zach Hyde. The Braves stretched the lead to 3-1 in the second when Jared Landrey knocked the second pitch he saw over the left field fence. Socastee faltered as Conway touched up starter Hayden Miller and reliever Jason Farria for 3 runs in the third to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead. That was all the scoring they would see as Trevor Bigham came in with one out in the fourth and pitched one-hit ball the rest of the way. Meanwhile, the scrappy Braves offense tied the game on a Hunter Renfrow single that plated Jared Landrey who had started out the fourth with a double. Hayden Miller started the fifth with a single and moved around to third on an infield out and a wild pitch. Landon Edwards then came through with a clutch two-out single to left field to drive in what turned out to be the winning run. The Braves then added two crucial insurance runs in the sixth. Walker Darnell drove in Hunter Renfrow with a sac fly rbi that was dropped by the centerfielder that also allowed Chase Keevert to advance to third. Hayden Miller then executed the Braves third successful squeeze bunt of the season to score Chase and build a three run advantage. The top of the seventh proved anything but routine, though, as the first two Tigers walked to put the tying run at the plate, but never advanced as a foul out to the catcher, a flyout to center, and a game ending flyout to right sealed the deal for the Braves.
Hayden Miller (2.2ip, 2k), Jason Farria (1ip, 0er) and Trevor Bigham (3.1ip, 2k, 0er) tag-teamed their way through the game on the pitchers mound, with Trevor picking up the win. Hunter Renfrow (3-4, 2r, rbi) paced the eleven hit attack, that also saw Jared Landrey (2-3, hr, 2b, 2r) and Hayden Miller (2-3, r, sac, rbi) deliver two hits apiece. Also contributing were Chase Keevert (1-2, r, sac, hbp), Landon Edwards (1-2, rbi), Walker Darnell (1-3, sac fly, rbi), and Zack Hyde (1-4). The defense was spotless, committing no errors, and getting some highlight plays on a pickoff at second base from catcher Manny Berdayes in which Zach Hyde held his ground and the ball after getting barreled over; a double play diving catch and throw of an attempted sacrifice bunt from Hayden Miller; a catch in centerfield from Hunter Renfrow despite a collision with left fielder Drew Morris and another Hunter running catch up against the left center field fence with two runners on.
July 16 (State Championship - Game 1 vs Darlington) Socastee takes Game 1 of the State Junior Legion Championship Series against Darlington 11-7 at West Florence High School. The Braves, started out looking every bit the number 1 seed against the number 8 seed Falcons, scoring 2 runs in each of the first three innings. In the first inning Chase Keevert drove in Hunter Renfrow with an rbi groundout, and Manny Berdayes turned a hustle double and a wild pitch into the second run. In the second, Hunter Renfrow doubled in Landon Edwards, and Chase Keevert followed with a run scoring single. The Braves took advantage of a two out error and wild pitch to plate Hayden Miller and Zach Hyde in the third to stretch the lead to 6-0. To Darlington's credit, they fought back with one run in the fourth, and a five run outburst in the fifth to knot the score. But true to form, the Braves defense stiffened (Zach Hyde's unassisted double play ended the Falcon's threat in the sixth) and the Braves offense reawakened in the bottom of the frame. Trevor Bigham drew a full count walk to start the inning, followed by a superbly executed sacrifice bunt by Jared Landrey. Hunter Renfrow delivered his fourth hit of the game to left field to put runners on first and third. Run scoring singles by Chase Keevert (his third rbi of the day) and Manny Berdayes, a run scoring error off the bat of Walker Darnell, and an rbi single from Hayden Miller carved out a four run advantage for the Braves. Trevor Bigham, who batted for the second time in the inning completed the scoring by driving in Walker with a 20' infield single. Socastee would surrender one more run in the seventh, but had to call on Chase Keevert to pitch the last out with bases loaded and the tying run at the plate.
Landon Edwards (5ip, 2k, 3er) got the start for Socastee and pitched well through four before the Darlington uprising in the fifth. Carlos Fernandez (1.2ip, 1er) pitched a solid sixth, and managed two outs before yielding to Chase for the last out. Offensively, the Braves hammered out 14 hits with Hunter Renfrow (4-4, 2b, 3r, rbi) and Hayden Miller (3-3, hp, r, rbi) accounting for half of them. Chase Keevert (2-4, r, 3rbi's) and Manny Berdayes (2-4, 2b, r, rbi) collected two hits apiece, and Trevor Bigham (1-2, sac, r, rbi), Landon Smith (1-3, r), and Zach Hyde (1-4, r) rounded out the hitting.
July 12 (2nd Round of Playofs - Game 2 @ Mullins)
Socastee Post 178 advances to the Junior Legion State Championship by dispatching Mullins Post 89 12-6 on the Auctioneers sweltering home field. The Braves scored two runs in their first at bat to set the tone - Manny Berdayes hit a run scoring triple and scored on a wild pitch. They added three runs in the second on two out rbi singles from Chase Keevert (2rbi's) and Manny Berdayes and added another run in the fourth. Meanwhile, the defense, behind the pitching of Hayden Miller, contained the Mullins potent offense through four innings allowing a single unearned run in the third. With the Braves sitting on a 6-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth Mullins struck for three runs to close the gap to 6-4. Thats as close as it would get as Socastee immediately recaptured the momentum by scoring four runs in the top of the sixth on a run scoring double by Hunter Renfrow (who also scored on the play as a result of a two-base throwing error) and a two run blast from Manny Berdayes. Mullins responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth, but the Braves matched it with two runs in the seventh on a two out double by Hunter Renfrow to make it 12-6. From there Carlos Fernandez finished his two innings of relief by closing the door on Mullins. Our one-two-three hitters, Hunter Renfrow (2-5, 2r, 3 rbi's), Chase Keevert (3-4, sac, r, 2 rbi's), and Manny Berdayes (4-4, 3b, hr, 2r, 4rbi's) paced the twelve hit attack, but not lost in the offense was the fact that the bottom four hitters set the table for our heavy hitters and scored seven of the twelve Socastee runs. Trevor Bigham (1-1 2bb, 3r), Jared Landrey (1-2, sac 2r) and Walker Darnell (1-4) rounded out the hitting. Hayden Miller (5ip+, 2k, 3er) started on the hill and pitched effectively for the win. Carlos Fernandez (2ip, 0er) came in with a runner on in the sixth and provided the fresh arm the Braves needed to cruise to the victory. The win puts the Braves record at 15-1 on the season, and the two game series sweep allows them to rest and prepare fot the State finals in Florence later this week.
July 11 (2nd Round of Playoffs - Game 1 vs Mullins)
Socastee Junior Legion Post 178 takes Game 1 of the second round playoff series with Mullins Post 89 14-13 in a barnburner under the lights at Socastee Field. The Braves opened the scoring with a run in the first, an rbi double from starting pitcher Chase Keevert, but later had a run erased on an apparent sac fly that was voided when the baserunner at first left early and was thrown out on a force play for the third out. Mullins responded in the top of the second by sending ten men to the plate and manufacturing 6 runs (five unearned). Not to be outdone, the Braves countered in the bottom of the inning by sending 15 batters to the plate and scoring 9 runs. Zach Hyde drove in three runs in the inning with a monsterous 2-run homer onto the roof of the building beyond the left field fence and a run scoring single later in the same frame. Walker Darnell and Chase Keevert each added two run singles in the second. While both teams somewhat settled in on defense, the Braves extended their lead with no-doubt-about-it solo home runs by Manny Berdayes in the third, and Hunter Renfrow in the fifth. It was all for naught as the Aucs plated a run in the fifth and tied the game 12-12 with a five run outburst in the sixth, again due in part to some uncharacteristic sloppy play in the field. But the never-say-die Braves like so many times before immediately bounced back to regain the lead. After a walk and hit batsman opened the Braves sixth, two batters struck out, and set the stage for a first pitch double by Hunter Renfrow to score both runners. The lead proved just enough to win as Mullins plated their thirteenth run on a two out single, but had the potential tying run thrown out at third on the same play by recently inserted left fielder Andrew Morris to end the game. Offensively, the Braves pounded out 11 hits led by Hunter Renfrow (3-4, 2b, hr, 3r, 3rbi's), Chase Keevert (3-4, 2b, r, 3rbi's) and Zach Hyde (2-3, hr, 2r, 3rbi's). Manny Berdayes (1-3, hr, r, rbi) added the other big blow, and Walker Darnell (1-2, r, 2rbi's) and Bubba Martin (1-1, r, rbi) collected the other two hits. Chase Keevert (5.1 ip, 4k's) was the workhorse on the mound until he was chased (pardon the pun) in the sixth. Zach Hyde faced two batters in the sixth but gave way to Trevor Bigham (1.2ip, k) who finished the inning and then the game and earned the win benefitting from the late inning heroics. In spite of some untimely defensive lapses there were still some stellar plays. Manny Berdayes threw out a runner in the seventh inning at third base for the second out, Andrew Morris and Walker Darnell combined for the game ending out, and Hayden Miller, playing first base against a team loaded with lefthanded hitters recorded two throwing assists and six unassisted outs including a spectacular layout snag of a liner headed for right field in the third inning. The Braves now head to Mullins for Game 2 on Tuesday.
July 8 (Game 2 of Playoffs @ Andrews)
After two agonizing days of rain postponements the Braves finally make the trip to Andrews and reward themselves by posting a 9-3 win, eliminating the Yellow Jackets and taking the first round of playoffs. The game was more intense than the final score would indicate with both teams failing to cash in on early opportunities. Socastee struck first on a run scoring single by Dalton Smith in the first inning but left runners stranded at second and third with two strikeouts to end the inning. Andrews put runners on second and third in the bottom of the first with no outs but an infield fly out and two strikeouts ended the threat. In the second, the Braves loaded the bases after two were out but could not score. Andrews responded by leading off the second with a hit batsman followed by four consecutive singles which only managed to produce one run, thanks to a brilliant outfield assist from Hunter Renfrow and even better swipe tag from Walker Darnell at third, and an inning ending 6-4-3 double play with bases loaded. The Braves regained the lead in the third on a Zach Hyde rbi single, loaded the bases with one out but again saw the next two batters strike out to miss a golden opportunity. Undaunted, Socastee showed it resiliency by plating five runs in the fifth inning after two outs were recorded and nobody on. Walker and Bubba Martin walked, and consecutive hits by Hunter, Chase Keevert, Manny Berdayes (2-run double) and Dalton stretched the lead to 7-1. The Braves added a run apiece in the sixth and seventh innings to complete their scoring and held Andrews to two oh-by-the-way runs in the sixth. In all, Andrews left nine baserunners in scoring position. Winning pitcher Landon Edwards (5ip, 6k, 1 er) labored through 99 pitches but seemed to get the outs when he needed them most. Carlos Fernandez worked in and out of trouble in the sixth and finished strong ending the game on two strikeouts. The Braves also left nine runners stranded in scoring position but had plenty of extra offense (15 hits and four walks)to make the difference. Dalton Smith (4-5, 2-2b, r, 3rbi's) and Chase Keevert (3-4, 3r, rbi) paced the attack. Kyle Smith (2-4, 3b, r) and Hunter Renfrow (2-5, r, rbi) added two hits each, and Manny Berdayes (1-4, 2b, 2rbi's), Zach Hyde (1-4, rbi), Walker Darnell (1-2, r), and Jared Landrey (1-2) rounded out the hitting. The Braves have little time to celebrate, though, advancing to the next round of playoffs and taking on Mullins the following evening.
July 5 (Game 1 of Playoffs vs Andrews)
The Braves take Game 1 of a best-of-three first round playoff series against Andrews at Socastee High School Field on Tuesday night. Socastee won 4-2 in comeback fashion and will look forward to Game 2 at Andrews on Wednesday. Both teams sent their lefthanded aces to the hill, and the result was a very tight contest with tough pitching and solid defense. The Braves took the early lead started by a first inning walk by Hunter Renfrow, followed by a stolen base, a sacrifice bunt from Chase Keevert and an RBI groundout from Manny Berdayes (classic get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in). Andrews tied it in the top of the third on a two-out single and took a short lived lead in the top of the fifth with another two-out single. Socastee responded in the bottom of the frame, when Manny Berdayes hit a one-out double, then scored on a heads up play from third three batters later when the Andrews first basemen left his feet to field a pop-up from Kyle Smith in short right field but could not make a throw to the plate. After a one-two-three top of the sixth, the Braves manufactured two runs in the bottom of the inning on seeing-eye singles from Manny Berdayes and Dalton Smith to forge a two run lead. From there it was up to Bubba Martin to close the door, striking out the final two batters to record the win. Chase Keevert (5ip, 7k, 1er) got the start and pitched masterfully. Bubba Martin (2ip, 3k, 0er) pitched the final two frames, only allowing one baserunner. Manny Berdayes (2-3, 2b, r, 2rbi) and Dalton Smith (2-2, 2bb, rbi) led the Braves offensively, while Hunter Renfrow (1-3, sb, 2r), Chase Keevert (1-3, sac bunt), Hayden Miller (1-3, bb), and Zack Hyde (1-3) added a hit apiece. Manny Berdayes also picked off two runners at first.
July 1 (Game 12 vs Waccamaw) Socastee Junior Legion exacts revenge for their only loss by making short work of second place Waccamaw 10-0 in five innings on the Braves home field. It marks the end of the regular season schedule with Socastee dominating the region with an 11-1 record. Kyle Smith pitched brilliantly for the Braves, recording a complete game shutout, allowing only two hits and striking out seven. Meanwhile the offense was methodical in taking control of the game early with Hunter Renfrow hitting his second leadoff homer of the year and the rest of the lineup orchestrating four more first inning runs. Dalton Smith provided the big blow in the second, a three run homer to right field, and Chase Keevert drove in two runs in the third with a two out single to complete the scoring. Hunter Renfrow (2-3, hr, 2r, sb, rbi), Chase Keevert (2-3, r, 2rbi), and Kyle Smith (2-3, r, rbi) combined for six of the Braves seven hits. Dalton Smith (1-1, hr, sac, r, 3rbi) added the other. The Braves were also aided by five hit batsmen and for the first time this season Socastee did not record a strikeout. The defense has rounded into form, again playing errorless ball in the field.
The Braves head into the playoffs next week as the number one seed. They finished the 12 game regular season scoring at least 10 runs in seven games, recording five mercy rule victories, and having an average runs scored of 10.8 - 3.9 and a team batting average of 360. The pitching has been equally impressive with a regular season 3.45 ERA.
June 29 Update (Game 11 @ Georgetown)
Socastee records its tenth victory of the season, winning a tight contest against Georgetown 5-4 on the Bulldogs home field. No crooked numbers this time as the Braves built a steady lead by scoring single runs in five of the first six innings. Kyle Smith drove in the first two runs with a two out double in the first and a run scoring single in the third. The Braves scored without benefit of a hit in the fourth and Zack Hyde executed a squeeze play to drive in a run in the fifth. Manny Berdayes completed the scoring for the Braves with a two out single in the sixth to forge a 5-1 lead. That margin proved just enough as Georgetown scratched out thee runs in the bottom of the sixth and had the tying run on third with one out before the Braves executed an unconventional double play, a Jason Farria strikeout and a pickoff by Manny Berdayes of the runner on third. Chase Keevert came on in the seventh to close the door on Georgetown, recording the save for the Braves. In all, the Braves used five pitchers. Hayden Miller (4.2 ip, 4k, 1er) got his first start and pitched solidly, helping the Braves keep a lid on Georgetown through five. Carlos Fernandez (.1ip), Zach Hyde (.1ip), and Jason Farria (.2ip, k) battled through the sixth, and Chase Keevert (1ip, K) mopped up in the seventh. The defense also shined in this one, recording three double plays - two started by great plays from Walker Darnell at third base. Shortstop Kyle Smith also flashed some leather, spearing a line drive up the middle with a runner on board to end the game. Zach Hyde also snagged a line drive and made a good play on a slow roller at second. Offensively, Socastee's bats were quiet only managing five hits, but the Braves did add seven runners via walks, and took advantage of four Bulldog errors. Kyle Smith (2-2, 2b, r, 2rbi) continued his good hitting, while Walker Darnell (1-4, 2b, r, sb), Manny Berdayes (1-2, 2-bb, rbi), and Jared Landrey (1-4, 2b) added a hit apiece.
June 27 Update (Game 10 @ St. James) The juggernaut that is the Socastee Junior Legion continued on Monday night with their third straight mercy rule win, a 20-0 obliteration of St. James on the Sharks home field. The game was never in doubt as Kyle Smith's two run first inning homer helped carve out an early 3-0 lead, and the Braves poured it on from there, scoring in every inning and getting a season high in hits and runs scored. Meanwhile, Chase Keevert cruised on the hill, pitching the second consecutive complete game for the Braves, striking out 5 and benefiting from errorless fielding from his teamates. Offensively, the Braves blistered the Sharks pitchers for 17 hits, paced by Hunter Renfrow (4-5, 2b, 5 runs), Kyle Smith (3-4, hr, 3r, 4rbi's), and Chase Keevert (3-4, 2-2b, r, 4 rbi's). Manny Berdayes (2-3, 2b, r, sb, 3 rbi's) contributed two hits to the cause, while Andrew Morris (1-1, 3r, sac, hbp), R.J. Bethea (1-1, 2r), Hayden Miller (1-3, r, sb, rbi), Zach Hyde (1-3, r, sb), and Walker Darnell (1-4, 2 rbi's) added a hit apiece. Tyler Hudson also drove in the twentieth and final run for the Braves in the fifth inning.
June 24 Upddate (Game 9 vs Carolina Forest) The Braves finished 3-0 on the week and get their third mercy rule victory of the year by dismantling Carolina Forest 14-3 on Socastee's home field. Again, a close early inning contest turned into a route when Socastee rebounded from a three run CF lead to post 10 runs in their half of the third inning. Hunter Renfrow started the comeback with a solo shot over the left field fence, and when the dust cleared 14 Braves marched to the plate and pounded out eight hits, including two doubles in the inning from Chase Keevert, and a two run double from Zack Hyde that hit the base of the left field fence. Socastee then added four runs in the fourth, including a two run single by Jared Landrey, to provide the final margin of victory and send the crowd home early.
Chase Keevert (3-4, 2-2b, 2r, rbi) paced the Braves offensive attack with three hits and saw four other players have multi-hit performances - Hunter Renfrow (2-2, hr, r, 2-sf, 3rbi's), Jared Landrey (2-3, 2r, 3 rbi's), Zach Hyde (2-3, 2b, 2r, 2rbi's) and Manny Berdayes (2-3, 2r, rbi). Also contributing to the thirteen hit attack were Dalton Smith (1-4, 2b, rbi) and Kyle Smith (1-2, r). Kyle Smith (5ip, 2er) twirled the first complete game of the season for the Braves without recording a strikeout and getting some nifty defensive play in the field including a nice backhand field-and-throw from shortstop Bubba Martin, and diving catches from Hayden Miller and R.J. Bethea.
June 22 update (Game 8 vs Conway) Socastee Junior Legion improved to 7-1 on the year with an inhospitable 15-5 home win against visiting Conway. Although the Braves scored in every inning, the game was somewhat in doubt through three innings with a tenuous 5-3 lead. But a six run fourth, and a four run fifth, featuring a leadoff homer by Jared Landrey and concluding on a two run walk-off double by Kyle Smith, triggered the ten run mercy rule. In all, the Braves pounded out fifteen hits to match their fifteen runs. Kyle Smith (3-4, 2b, 2r, 3rbi's) led the charge and got significant support from five Braves with two hits apiece - Hunter Renfrow (2-3, 2-2b, 3r), Dalton Smith (2-3, 2b, 2rbi's), Hayden Miller (2-3, 2rbi's), Walker Darnell (2-4, 2r, 2rbi's), and Chase Keevert (2-4, 3r, rbi). Jared Landrey (1-2, hr, 2r, rbi) and Zach Hyde (1-2, r) rounded out the hitting for Socastee. Bubba Martin (4.2 ip, 5er, 2k's) got the start, got the run support, and got the win pitching all but the last out, which was a strikeout recorded by Hayden Miller who faced the final two batters in the fifth
June 21 Update (Game 7 @ Andrews) Socastee finishes the first half of the regular season with a 6-1 record after journeying to remote Andrews and posting a 7-4 win. The Braves scratched out a slim 2-0 lead on two Kyle Smith rbi singles in the early going but missed several opportunities to increase the lead, leaving four runners in scoring position, and having another thrown out at home. Andrews responded by taking the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a bases clearing double. The Braves bounced back in the sixth by scoring five runs on no hits, taking advantage of two walks, two errors, a catchers interference, three wild pitches and two hit batsmen. From there the defense tightened, allowing only a seventh inning two-out run to complete the scoring and preserve the win. Landon Edwards (3.1 ip, 3k, 3er) started on the bump for Socastee and got some middle inning relief from Jason Farria and Carlos Fernandez. Chase Keevert was pressed into duty for the final two innings striking out 5. Offensively, the Braves only managed six singles with Kyle Smith (2-3, bb, r, 2rbi's) and Manny Berdayes (2-3, bb) getting a pair of hits each. Hayden Miller (1-3, hbp, rbi) and Chase Keevert (1-3) collected the other two hits.
June 17 Update (Game 6 vs Georgetown) The Junior Legion team finished the second week of play with a 16-5 shellacking of the visiting Georgetown Bulldogs in a five inning contest. Hunter Renfrow started the Braves bottom of the first inning driving the first pitch he saw over the fence in left centerfield, and finished the scoring in the same frame with a two run homer in nearly the same spot, sandwiched in between were six more hits, including triples by Manny Berdayes and Carlos Fernandez, and five more runs giving Socastee a commanding 8-1 lead. The Braves posted three runs in the second and five runs in the third to put the mercy rule into effect after Georgetown batted in the fifth.
Starter Kyle Smith (2ip, 3k, 2er) and relievers Landon Edwards (2ip, 1er), and Jason Farria (1ip, 2er) cruised to the win on the mound. Socastee hammered out 17 hits in the three innings of scoring. Hunter Renfrow (2-4, 2hr, 2r, 3rbi), Walker Darnell (3-3, 2b, 3r, 2rbi), and Manny Berdayes (3-4, 2b, 3b, 2r, 2rbi) paced the Braves attack. Also collecting two hits apiece were Carlos Fernandez (2-3, 2b, 3b, r, 3rbi), Zach Hyde (2-3, 2b, 2r, rbi), Hayden Miller (2-3, 2r), and Chase Keevert (2-3, 2r). Dalron Smith (1-2, 2b, 2r) added a double and Bubba Martin drove in a run with the Braves second successful squeeze bunt of the season. Socastee now stands at 5-1 entering the third week of play.
June 15 Update (Game 5 @ Conway) Braves rebound from their lackluster performance on Tuesday to thump Conway 9-2 on the Tiger's home field. Socastee took a decided advantage in the third inning by sending ten men to the plate and scoring six runs. Chase Keevert drove in two runs and Kyle Smith drove in another while a throwing error, a passed ball, and wild pitch paved the way for the other three runs. In the sixth the Braves loaded the bases with no outs and Manny Berdayes cleared them hitting a triple on a 3-0 count. Socastee sent four pitchers to the mound in this one with Trevor Bigham (4ip, 2er) carrying most of the load. The Braves got effective pitching from Landon Edwards (2ip, 0er, 2k), Zach Hyde ( .2 ip, k) and Jason Farria (one batter faced, one strikeout). The Braves pounded out ten hits with Chase Keevert (3-4, 2r, 2rbi) doing the most damage. Manny Berdayes (1-4, 3b, r, 3rbi), Kyle Smith (1-4, rbi), Landon Edwards (1-2, r), Trevor Bigham (1-2), Carlos Fernandez (1-3, r), Hayden Miller (1-4, r) and Zach Hyde (1-4, r) added a hit apiece.
June 14 Update (Game 4 @ Waccamaw)
In a battle of early season unbeatens, Braves suffer their first loss 4-1 to Waccamaw on the Chiefs home field. Chase Keevert got the start for Socastee and pitched well enough for the win, but was victimized by two fielding errors in the fifth inning that led to four unearned runs. Bubba Martin came in late to pitch scoreless ball the rest of the way. Offensively, the Braves could get runners on base but couldn't get them in as they stranded 13 runners. Manny Berdayes was the offensive punch (3-3, 2B), with Zach Hyde (1-4, rbi), Chase Keevert (1-4), and Bubba Martin (1-3) collecting one hit each.
June 10 Update (Game 3 vs St. James)
Socastee finishes 3-0 on the week scoring early and often to defeat St. James 10-5 on the home field. After getting out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the first, the Braves responded with a five run outburst in the bottom of the frame with Dalton Smith and Chase Keevert delivering two run singles and Hayden Miller a run scoring double. They added three runs in the second thanks in part to a two run Dalton Smith double, and tacked on two runs in the third to pull out to a 10-0 lead. From there, the Braves rode the 13 strikeout pitching of Carlos Fernandez (4ip, 2er, 6k's), Hayden Miller (2ip, 1er, 4k's), and Bubba Martin (1ip, 0er, 3k's) to the victory. Dalton Smith led the team offensively (2-4, 2b, 2r, 4rbi), with Chase Keevert (1-3, 2rbi), Hunter Renfrow (1-1, 2b, 2r, 3sb), Kyle Smith (1-2, 2r), Manny Berdayes (1-3, 2r), and Hayden Miller (1-4, 2b, r, rbi) adding a hit apiece.
June 8 Update (Game 2 vs Andrews)
The Braves win their home opener in walk-off fashion as they defeat Andrews 8-7 to make it 2-0 on the young season. The lead changed hands several times in the first three innings with Socastee forging an uncomfortable 7-4 lead, and thats how it remained going into the final frame. After a quick out, Andrews plated three runs to tie it before seeing their eight and nine hitters strike out with the go-ahead run on third. The Braves immediately responded by loading the bases on a walk, a bunt single, and an intentional walk. Kyle Smith then delivered the winning blow on the first pitch he saw with a line drive to the base of the right field fence. Offensively, the bats were fairly quiet, with the team only collecting 5 hits. But nine walks and some opportunistic baserunning helped lead to the run production. Kyle Smith paced the Braves (3-4, 2b, r, 3rbi), while Manny Berdayes (1-3, r) and Chase Keevert (1-4) each added bunt singles. Hunter Renfrow and Dalton Smith also drove in runs for Socastee. Trevor Bigham got the start on the hill and threw an effective five and a third innings striking out 4, Bubba Martin went the rest of the way, getting into and out of his own jam in the seventh and earning the win.
June 7 Update (Game 1 @s Carolina Forest)
Socastee's Junior Legion Braves began the season on a winning note by drubbing Carolina Forest 14-8 on the Panthers home field. A first inning 2-0 lead courtesy of a pair of run scoring doubles by Manny Berdayes and Dalton Smith was quickly erased by a three run homer in the bottom of the frame. CF extended their lead with a run in the third, but from there it was all Braves with 5 runs scored in the fourth (the big blow being a two run triple by Hunter Renfrow), and seven runs scored over the last three innings. Carolina Forest showed some life with one out in the bottom of the seventh, plating four runs before Carlos Fernandez shut the door fanning the last two batters to preserve the win. Chase Keevert overcame his first inning struggles to pitch a solid six and a third innings to get the win. Bubba Martin also contributed to the pitching effort. Offensively, Socastee belted out 12 hits and took advantage of 11 Panther errors. Chase Keevert collected three hits (3-5, r, rbi) to lead the attack. Having two hits each were Hunter Renfrow (2-5, 3b, r, 3rbi), Zach Hyde (2-3, 2b, 2r, 2rbi), Manny Berdayes (2-4, 2b, 2r, rbi), and Dalton Smith (2-4, 2b, r, rbi). Kyle Smith (1-3, 2r, rbi) added a hit and Trevor Bigham successfully executed a squeeze bunt to drive in a run.
The Junior Legion team finished the second week of play with a 16-5 shellacking of the visiting Georgetown Bulldogs in a five inning contest. Hunter Renfrow started the Braves bottom of the first inning driving the first pitch he saw over the fence in left centerfield, and finished the scoring in the same frame with a two run homer in nearly the same spot, sandwiched in between were six more hits, including triples by Manny Berdayes and Carlos Fernandez, and five more runs giving Socastee a commanding 8-1 lead. The Braves posted three runs in the second and five runs in the third to put the mercy rule into effect after Georgetown batted in the fifth. The Junior Legion team finished the second week of play with a 16-5 shellacking of the visiting Georgetown Bulldogs in a five inning contest. Hunter Renfrow started the Braves bottom of the first inning driving the first pitch he saw over the fence in left centerfield, and finished the scoring in the same frame with a two run homer in nearly the same spot, sandwiched in between were six more hits, including triples by Manny Berdayes and Carlos Fernandez, and five more runs giving Socastee a commanding 8-1 lead. The Braves posted three runs in the second and five runs in the third to put the mercy rule into effect after Georgetown batted in the fifth. The Junior Legion team finished the second week of play with a 16-5 shellacking of the visiting Georgetown Bulldogs in a five inning contest. Hunter Renfrow started the Braves bottom of the first inning driving the first pitch he saw over the fence in left centerfield, and finished the scoring in the same frame with a two run homer in nearly the same spot, sandwiched in between were six more hits, including triples by Manny Berdayes and Carlos Fernandez, and five more runs giving Socastee a commanding 8-1 lead. The Braves posted three runs in the second and five runs in the third to put the mercy rule into effect after Georgetown batted in the fifth. The Junior Legion team finished the second week of play with a 16-5 shellacking of the visiting Georgetown Bulldogs in a five inning contest. Hunter Renfrow started the Braves bottom of the first inning driving the first pitch he saw over the fence in left centerfield, and finished the scoring in the same frame with a two run homer in nearly the same spot, sandwiched in between were six more hits, including triples by Manny Berdayes and Carlos Fernandez, and five more runs giving Socastee a commanding 8-1 lead. The Braves posted three runs in the second and five runs in the third to put the mercy rule into effect after Georgetown batted in the fifth. The Junior Legion team finished the second week of play with a 16-5 shellacking of the visiting Georgetown Bulldogs in a five inning contest. Hunter Renfrow started the Braves bottom of the first inning driving the first pitch he saw over the fence in left centerfield, and finished the scoring in the same frame with a two run homer in nearly the same spot, sandwiched in between were six more hits, including triples by Manny Berdayes and Carlos Fernandez, and five more runs giving Socastee a commanding 8-1 lead. The Braves posted three runs in the second and five runs in the third to put the mercy rule into effect after Georgetown batted in the fifth.