NEWBERRY — On June 22, the final three games of the ninth annual NC-SC American Legion Challenge were played at Newberry College.
In game one, Florence defeated Shelby 4-3 in eight innings and in the second game of the day, Florence defeated Hickory 7-3.
Chapin-Newberry closed out the tournament in the 6 p.m. game with a 12-8 win over Hickory.
Hickory scored one run in the top of the first on two singles and one double. Chapin-Newberry answered in the bottom of the first sending four base runners across the dish.
Peyton Spangler singled and Justin Hawkins doubled scoring Spangler. Ryan Stoudemire singled moving Hawkins to third and Landon Allison grounded out scoring Hawkins. Blake Smith walked and Zack Ziesing singled and went to third on the throw that scored Blake Smith.
The top of the second Chapin-Newberry saw their lead vanish as Hickory scored five runs making the score 6-5. Chapin-Newberry added one run the bottom of the second to knot the score at six. Danton Hyman and Spangler singled and Hawkins scored Hyman on a sac fly to left field.
Hickory scored one run in the top of the third on two errors and a single. Chapin-Newberry rallied back and scored two runs the bottom of the third. Allison was hit by a pitch, Blake Smith reached on an error and Andrew Livingston singled. Corey Stone walked and sent Allison walking to home. Hyman scored Smith on a bunt.
Two runs were added the bottom of the fifth. Tristan Smaltz singled, Hyman moved him to second on a sac bunt and Hawkins scored Smaltz on a double. Stoudemire tripled to the centerfield fence scoring Hawkins making the score 9-7.
Three insurance runs were added the bottom of the sixth. Smith and Ziesing walked and Livingston scored both on a double to the left center field fence.
After the third, Hickory was held scoreless until the top of the seventh when they scored one additional run making the final score 12-8.
Chapin-Newberry went deep into their bullpen in relief of starter Ryan Stoudemire. Corey Stone, Tristan Smaltz, Josh Haney and Patrick Yoder finished out the game with the win going to Smaltz.
“This was a great weekend of baseball. American Legion baseball is a very big deal in Area IV of North Carolina so to compete with and have success against those teams is quite an accomplishment,” said Coach Daniel Gregory. “I think our team grew up a little more this weekend. We found ourselves in a lot of different positions and it was great to see them battle hard through it all. This weekend will serve us well moving towards the final regular season push and playoffs.”
Leading hitters for Chapin-Newberry were Stoudemire 3-4 (3b), Hawkins 2-4, Livingston 2-4 and Spangler 2-3.
South Carolina won the ninth annual NC-SC Challenge for the second year in a row with seven wins against two losses. Team won/loss records for the weekend were: Hendersonville 1-2; Shelby l-2; Hickory 0-3; Florence 3-0; Greenwood 1-3; Chapin-Newberry 3-0.
Chapin-Newberry improved to 12-0 on the season and were back in action at home on Tuesday, June 23, hosting Lexington at 7 p.m. Results were not available by press time. There will be a special Quilt of Valor presentation prior to the game for WWII veterans Chester Hawkins and Joe Welborn.