CLOVER — With regular-season play winding down Thursday, the Clover Post 38 American Legion baseball team has been making noise in the latter stages of the season, including a dramatic 10-9 win over Rock Hill Post 34 last week.
Rock Hill appeared to be in the driver’s seat, scoring four runs in the top on the ninth inning for a one-run lead.
But Post 38 was equal to the challenge, much to the delight of the home fans, scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning to claim the nail-biting win.
Davis McCarter had a big night at the plate for Post 38, with three hits in six at-bats and two RBIs.
McCarter scored the winning run from second base when teammate Chase Goldberg doubled with two outs.
Zane Van Hook, who walked with one out, scored the tying run on Chase Galant’s sacrifice fly to right field.
Galant had two hits, a walk and two RBIs.
Cameron Norwood was 4-5 for Rock Hill, but he had a difficult time on the mound, giving up seven runs and 11 hits in five innings while walking one and striking out three.
Hunter Hurst struck out five in 22/3 innings for home-standing Clover.
Post 38 picked up another win later in the week, defeating Fort Mill 7-3.
Clover scored two runs in the sixth inning and four in the seventh, highlighted by Landon Harkey’s three-run home run.
“The kids are playing well down the stretch,” coach Darrell Van Dyke said. “We’ve had solid pitching.”
Van Dyke said Post 38 would have to shore up its defense to continue to be successful.
“You can’t give a team four or five outs on any level of play. The kids are finishing strong,” he said.
In addition to the two York wins, Post 38 had an 8-7 loss to Concord.
With greater response to legion baseball this season, Van Dyke expanded the program to include two junior legion teams, the Lightning and Blue teams.
“The Junior Lightning team was 6-3 and tied for first in the league entering this week’s play,” Van Dyke said. “They are playing well and have a chance for first place. The Blue Junior team is becoming more competitive and showing improvement.”
The Post 38 senior legion team concludes the regular season Thursday with a doubleheader at Rock Hill Post 34. Action begins at 6 p.m.
With so many young players involved in Clover American Legion baseball, Van Dyke sees better days ahead for the program and the Clover High team.
“We’re excited about the future,” said Van Dyke, who is also the coach of the Blue Eagles. “The kids are making progress and having fun doing it.”
He noted that several key wins down the stretch makes a difference in the team’s mindset. “Having fun is spelled W-I-N,” he said.