Bluffton eliminates Minors in District 6 Championship | Sports | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | July 6, 2017 5:00 am
Last Updated: July 5, 2017 at 11:11 am
By CINDY CROSBY
The Colleton County Minors All-Star team faced a daunting task heading into last Wednesday’s District 6 Championship against an undefeated Bluffton-American team — they would need back-to-back wins on their home field to advance to the state tournament. The Minors stayed within reach until the final inning, when Bluffton’s bats came alive against Colleton County’s pitching staff in a 13-3 loss.
Earlier in the tournament, Colleton County defeated Jasper County (18-3) and Hampton (9-8) before losing to the Bluffton–Americans (10-5) in game three of the tournament. The Minors rebounded the following evening, earning a 13-9 win over the Bluffton–Nationals in the semi-finals.
In the semi-final match-up on Tuesday June 27, Colleton County outhit the Bluffton–Nationals 13-9. Xavier Oxner earned the start for the Minors, throwing 38 pitches and allowing six runs across two innings of work. Landon Carpenter provided two-and-two-thirds innings of relief, throwing 40 pitches and allowing three runs. Wylan Sheffield closed the game, allowing only a single base-runner in two innings of work.
“The Colleton bats started out slow tonight, only scoring three runs in as many innings,” said Coach Mike Phillips following the game. “In the fourth, the hit parade started — with us scoring 10 runs through patience at the plate, drawing walks and base hits.
“We scored five runs to leave us trailing 9-8,” said Phillips. “With the bases loaded and two outs, Britton Phillips hit a base-clearing double, then Landon Carpenter singled to advance Phillips to third and then took second on a throwing error. Ethan Driggers followed with a 2-RBI double to put us up 13-9. Our pitching staff allowed Bluffton only a single base runner over the next two innings to send us to the championship game.”
Against the Bluffton–Americans, Colleton County trailed 5-3 heading into the sixth. The Minors failed to capitalize with runners in scoring position early in the game and missed scoring opportunities on base-running miscues. An eight-run sixth by Bluffton shut the door for Colleton County in a 13-3 loss.
Wylan Sheffield started for Colleton County on the mound and had five strong innings of work, allowing five runs. Davon Varner and Britton Phillips combined for the sixth, accounting for eight runs. Xavier Oxner and Landon Carpenter had hard-hit doubles in the game.
“The All-Stars fought hard the entire game,” said Phillips. “Multiple errors in the sixth would be too much for the boys to overcome. These boys fought hard all week with a dominating game on last Friday and then two come-from-behind wins during the week. Losing to Bluffton was tough and the boys took it hard — but that shows their passion for the game. I was honored to have the opportunity to work with these boys.”
The Colleton County Dixie Minors Roster included: Britton Phillips, RJ Adams, Landon Carpenter, Xavier Oxner, Devin Miller, Ethan Driggers, Bryce Kinard, Colin Heirs, Braden Heirs, Daveon Varner, Wylan Sheffield and Tanner Caldwell.