By Lonnie Turner
The Dillon AA Coach Pitch All Stars shut out Johnsonville, 7-0, Thursday evening at Greenwood Park in Florence to take the District 10 Tournament Championship and punched their ticket for a trip to Clemson for the State Championship, which will begin on Saturday, July 17th.
Johnsonville, which was sent to the losers bracket by Dillon on Wednesday, had the task of beating Dillon twice on the final day of the tournament.
In game one, Johnsonville built a 6-2 lead through the top of the sixth inning, but Dillon came up with three runs in the bottom of the inning with the tying and winning run left on base to force a second game.
A coin was flipped to designate the home team in the second game and the Johnsonville coach won the toss and elected to be the home team. The home team prior to the championship was predetermined at the District meeting, also by a flip of a coin.
Consecutive hits by Ryan Elliott, Cain Berry and Levi Willis, plus alert base running turned into a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The Dillon defense allowed only one Johnsonville base runner to get to first base, giving Dillon an early 3-0 lead.
The Dillon defense continued to shine in the second and third innings allowing only one runner to get to third base.
With two out in the bottom of the fourth, Monroe Ayers doubled and scored on a hit by Liam Bohachic to put Dillon up by a 4-0 score and back to back to back singles by Jamie Bohachic, Jeremy Oxendine and Ryan Elliott plated two more runs in the fifth inning to give Dillon a 6-0 lead. Levi Willis started the Dillon sixth with a hit and scored on a force play at second for a 7-0 lead.
Dillon’s defense continued to make big plays through the final three innings, allowing one runner in the fourth and sending Johnsonville three up and three down in the final two innings to preserve the shutout.
Leading the Dillon hitters with two hits apiece were Jeremy Oxendine and Ryan Elliott. Bryce Bailey also hit safely for the champions.
Dillon will play Saluda, the District 3 Champion, at 11 o’clock Saturday morning and a win would put them against the Hampton-Georgetown winner at 5 PM, also on Saturday. A loss would have them playing at 1PM on Sunday against the Hampton-Georgetown loser.
The road to Clemson:
Dillon 14, Lake View 4
Dillon scored 7 runs in the first inning, three in the second and third and one in the fourth to win over Lake View 14-4 in the tournament opener.
Dillon 18, Lynches River 12
Lynches River scored all its runs through the first three innings and Dillon scored nine runs in the final two innings to improve to 2-0 in the tournament.
Dillon 19, Lower Florence 2
It took only three innings for the Dillon All Stars to knock Lower Florence to the losers bracket. The first five Dillon batters pounded out 14 hits, including Jeremy Oxendine (3-3), Ryan Elliott (2-3), Cain Berry (3-3),Levi Willis (3-3), Bryce Bailey (3-3). Adding other hits were Liam Bohachic (2-3), Eli Meekins (2-3), Easton Baxley (1-3)and Jamie Bohachic (1-2).
Dillon 8, Johnsonville 7
Dillon sent Johnsonville to the losers bracket with an 8-7 come from behind victory on Wednesday. Trailing 7-4 in the sixth, Dillon scored four times with one out for the win.
Dillon 7, Lake View 2
Dillon built a 4-0 lead through four innings and out-scored Lake View, 3-2 in the final two innings to enter the championship series with Johnsonville as the only unbeaten team.
Johnsonville 6, Dillon 5
Dillon 7, Johnsonville 0 (Champions)
By Lonnie Turner