Dylan Williams mustered up all his speed to dash for home plate Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Casey Williams trotted to first base, hoping that he’d hit a potential sacrifice fly far enough in extra innings.
Asheville American Legion Post 70’s first state playoff series win in three years was a family affair.
The Williams brothers made sure of that.
Dylan Williams just beat the Union County catcher’s tag at home to score the deciding run in the eighth inning of a 3-2 victory at Mars Hill.
Dylan just graduated from Reynolds, while Casey is a rising senior for the Rockets. Dylan started the Asheville rally in the eighth inning with a leadoff double on Tuesday, setting the table for his younger brother, who came to bat with one out and the bases loaded.
Asheville (11-10) took the best-of-five series, three games to one, over a Union team made up of players from a pair of reigning NCHSAA champions — Piedmont (2-A) and Weddington (3-A).
North Buncombe graduate Kyle Ramsey held Union scoreless after the first inning.
“It’s a really nice feeling,” said Casey Williams, who also had the winning RBI in Sunday’s Game 3 (a 7-6 Asheville win).
“With the bases loaded, I knew I had a job to do. I just wanted to make sure I hit something deep and gave Dylan a chance. Winning a playoff series is a big deal to all of us. There is so much tradition with our Legion program. It’s nice to add to it.”
Ramsey was also the winning pitcher on Sunday, and he and Asheville were able to recover Tuesday after falling behind 2-0 after the first inning.
Christ School graduate Christian Jewkes drove in Asheville’s initial run with a third-inning sacrifice fly. Asheville High’s Sam Weidie followed that up with an RBI double in the fifth.
Asheville will now jump right into its second-round playoff series tonight by traveling to Shelby. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Post 70 will then host Game 2 on Thursday at Mars Hill (at 4:30 p.m.) and Game 4 will be Saturday at the same time at Mars Hill.
J.D. Hinson has been Post 70’s coach since 2000 and announced prior to the season that this would be his last in the Asheville dugout.
So Tuesday’s win was sweet, and made even sweeter by the fact the Asheville was missing several key players, including Enka alum David Sutton, who was 7-for-7 in the Union County series.
Hinson said the early start time for Game 4, necessitated by previous weather postponements, made it impossible for Sutton and several other players to get out of their summer jobs or other obligations.
“I really liked the way our kids competed,” Hinson said.
“Kyle settled into a good groove and we were able to overcome some mistakes. When I saw (Casey Williams) coming up to bat with the bases loaded in the last inning, I had a good feeling. With the way he’s been swinging the bat, I was ready to take my chances.”