J.L. Mann starting pitcher Mattie Moss struck out 14 Boiling Springs’ hitters, but the Patriots collected just three hits in a 3-1 loss in the first round of the AAAA Upper State Playoffs at J.L. Mann High School on Friday night.
“There is no way you should have 14 strikeouts and lose a game,” said J.L. Mann Coach Tammy Pace. “We had opportunities, but we did not execute.”
“Both pitchers did a great job tonight,” said Boiling Springs Coach Sandy Martin. “Tonight it was just about who was able to create opportunities and take advantage of those opportunities. It just went our way tonight.”
J.L. Mann leadoff hitter Madison Templeton reached second base to start the game. Haley Thorton moved Templeton over to third on a sacrifice bunt. However, the leadoff hitter was stranded at third.
Boiling Springs’ Katie Jacoby walked to start the second inning. The Bulldogs’ next batter took a hack at strike three, but missed. Jacoby took off on the pitcher, but the catcher’s throw got away from her intended target. Jacoby advanced to third on the play and scored on a Webber Roberts’ grounder to third.
Boiling Springs (27-1) scored their second run of the game when a ball glanced off of a diving Patriots defender’s glove.
J.L. Mann’s Carson O’Donald doubled down the left field line driving in Thorton to cut the lead in half. Thorton went two-for-two on the night.
“I thought that it may be the turning point for us,” O’Donald said.
“Carson’s hit was a timely hit,” Pace said. “I wish we could have had some more timely hits because it could have made a big difference.”
However, the Bulldogs added another run on a wild pitch in the seventh inning to seal the victory.
“We just need to worry about the next game coming up,” said O’Donald. “It is going to depend on whether we let this get to us and I don’t think we should. We can come back win this tournament.”
J.L. Mann will host the loser of today’s Byrnes and Clover matchup on Monday.