Manning-Santee Post 68, Dalzell-Shaw game postponed until Tuesday


DALZELL - Manning-Santee was on the verge of run-ruling Dalzell-Shaw on Thursday at the Thomas Sumter Academy field. Then, Mother Nature intervened.

With Post 68 in the midst of what had been a 6-run fourth inning that had upped the visitors' lead to 18-0, a nearby lightning strike necessitated a 30-minute delay. Within the last 10 minutes of that delay, and with a potential storm looming, the decision was made and agreed upon by both coaching staffs to suspend the game and resume play on Tuesday at the same site. After the completion of the suspended game, the two teams will play their regularly scheduled game for that night.

At least five innings of a 7-inning American Legion baseball game must be played before it can be considered official.

Manning-Santee scored at least one run in all four innings, with six in the first, one in the second, five in the third and six in the fourth. Post 68 had sent eight men to the plate in the fourth with no outs and six runs in at the time of the delay. Bryce Acord had just singled, moving Keaton Wildes around to third, as fielding troubles for the Jets contributed to Manning-Santee's high run total.

"It's difficult when we can't make some of the fundamental plays," said Dalzell-Shaw head coach Layton Watts. "With routine plays, sometimes we struggle a little bit and that just adds insult to injury, so to speak. It's kind of hard to come back from that, from a mental standpoint. The guys are kind of deflated, and it's hard for them to keep their minds in the game after that."

Post 68 sent 10 men to the plate in the first inning before starter Mason Love limited M-S to one run and five batters in the second as his defense played well behind him.

The top of the third saw Love retire the first two batters, including his second strikeout of the night, before Post 68 strung together six consecutive hits. Among those hits were doubles by Tyler June, who was 2-for-2 with two walks, two stolen bases and four runs scored, and Wildes, who closed 3-of-4 with an RBI and three runs.

Love plunked Joe Wilson with a pitch to open the fourth before the next seven M-S batters hit the ball hard to spots that created issues for D-S fielders. The result was six runs that padded an already seemingly insurmountable lead, with the threatening weather finally putting a temporary cease and desist on the rally.

"We just teach our guys, try to tell our guys to just, no matter what, just hit it hard," said Manning-Santee co-head coach Greg King. "We had a couple of kids already have three hits in four innings. Colt Gibbons had a 3-hit game so far, Britton Morris also had a couple of RBIs, so our main starters, one through nine, we just try to stay hitting as much as we can, no matter who we're playing. (We want to) treat (every game) like it's our last game. We just teach our guys, barrel it up."

While most of the news for Post 68 was good on Thursday, there was a concerning development during the 6-run first-inning rally. Starting third baseman Mickey Jordan reached on a 2-RBI single to left field. Later, while advancing to second base, Jordan slid awkwardly and apparently twisted his ankle.

Jordan would initially shake off the effects of the injury, coming around to score in the first and then playing the field in the bottom of the first. However, when he stepped to the plate in the top of the second, Jordan struggled to get down the line on a grounder to short and would exit the game.

King confirmed after the game that Jordan had suffered what the team hopes is a minor ankle sprain.

"We did have to take him out because it was getting a little swollen, so we had to put ice on it immediately," King said. "Hopefully he should be back very soon."

Post 68 starter Lee Holiday faced 12 batters in his three innings of work, putting forth what could be termed as an up-and-down effort. That point was perfectly illustrated in the home half of the second as Love and Eddie Donald drew walks before Holiday rallied to strike out the side and close out the inning with no damage on the scoreboard. Still, Holiday's numbers were impressive with six strikeouts, three walks and two hits allowed.

"He was actually done for the night. He had six Ks on 52 pitches," King said. "We were bringing in Coleman Kelly to hopefully finish the game off, so that's what we still plan on doing on (Tuesday)."

Watts was pleased to see his young team showing better plate discipline.

"We're still winless, still looking for that first win," Watts said. "We haven't been able to get a string of hits together to work offensively for us yet. Still waiting on that big inning. I'm trying to get the guys to work a little bit more on their patience and pitch selection. Early in the season they were swinging at a lot of pitches that were out of the zone, so we're trying to get them focused a little more on actually selecting the strikes and taking advantage of those strikes and actually making contact with them. We still have a few strikeouts I would like to eliminate if we can, so we've got a little ways to go with that."

With a suspended game still to be completed against Chesterfield, M-S still stands at 4-2 in League 3 play and 6-2 overall while the Jets remain 0-7 in league play and 0-13 overall.