Every Mauldin High batter that got to a three-ball count Wednesday night reached base. Unfortunately for the Mavericks, Dorman pitcher Collin Morris let that happen only twice.
In a game that lasted just one hour and 17 minutes, Morris tossed a one-hit shutout as the Cavaliers clinched the Region II-AAAA championship with a 1-0 win.
“Collin can play with anybody. He’s a great pitcher and did a great job tonight,” said Dorman coach Matthew West. “(Mauldin’s) Cory (Thompson) is a great pitcher, too. We were very fortunate to get those two hits in the first inning.”
The Mavericks entered Wednesday’s game winners of five straight, including four consecutive shutouts, and had outscored their opponents 61-2 in that stretch.
Dorman (12-1 in region) ended the Mavs’ string of 24 consecutive scoreless innings pitched in the first.
Nick Bryson hit a one-out single up the middle. With two out, Matt Mayes roped a double into the right-centerfield gap, scoring Bryson.
It was Mayes that hit a two-run home run in the first inning of the Cavaliers’ 2-1 win at Mauldin earlier this season.
After that first-inning run, Thompson retired 11 straight batters before Dorman got back-to-back one-out singles in the fifth inning. Thompson got out of the jam with a strikeout and groundout back to him.
Thompson allowed just those four hits in six innings. He had no walks and eight strikeouts.
“Cory pitched his tail off. Collin pitched his tail off,” said Mauldin coach Jim Maciejewski. “They got one hit with a runner on, and we didn’t. That’s just baseball.”
Morris retired the first 11 Mauldin batters of the night before Ramon Osuna hit a 3-2 pitch into right for a two-out single in the fourth.
The Mavs’ only other batter to reach base was Grant Fuller, who led off the sixth with a walk. One out later, Thompson ripped a 2-1 pitch into left that appeared to have a chance to leave the park. But Dorman leftfielder Charlie Easterling caught it a few feet shy of the fence.
“We knew we were facing Cory. To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best,” said Morris, who finished with seven strikeouts.
Mauldin (10-3 in region) needs a win at Boiling Springs in the regular-season finale today to secure the second-place playoff seed, since the Bulldogs (9-4 in region) won at Mauldin earlier this season.
“We will see what kind of group we have and see how we respond,” said Maciejewski. “It’d be nice to say we’re region champions, but ultimately at Mauldin High School, we’re trying to be state champions.”