NEWBERRY — The Chapin-Newberry American Legion baseball team, sponsored by Newberry Post 24 and Chapin Post 193 of the American Legion, are once again State Champions, after defeating Sumter, for the second time in three days, on Friday in Spirit Communications Park by a score of 4-2.
This is the third State Championship win the team has had in six years, they won in 2013 and 2015, which was also the year they went all the way in the World Series.
“It never gets old, it is one of those things we put on our goals for the year, every year. It is a matter of having a chance to play for the State Championship, and it feels good any time you can meet your objective. They worked hard throughout the summer, I’m glad they were able to do this,” said Head Coach David Coats.
During Friday’s game, Jeb Fulmer got the start for Chapin-Newberry hurling 5 1/3 innings allowing two runs on four hits, but came out with no decision. Hard throwing Aaron Copeland earned the win closing the game out getting the final five outs. With the score tied at two in the bottom of the sixth inning, Will Kroske led off the inning with an infield hit and was followed by what Coats called a “Bunt and Run.”
Robert King laid down the sacrifice bunt toward third base and Kroske advanced from first to third on the play. With one out Sumter elected to intentionally walk Ward Hacklin, who promptly stole second base. Aaron Copeland popped up to the catcher for the second out of the inning setting up Chase Hood who greeted the first pitch with an opposite field line drive to drive in Hacklin for the winning RBI. Preston Farmer followed that with another RBI single to bring the score to 4-2.
The seven hit attack was lead by Farmer at 2-3 with an RBI, Hacklin had an RBI double and Tanner Folk hit a triple off the right center field wall.
With the win Chapin-Newberry improved to 20-5 on the season and will advance to the Southeast Regional Tournament in Asheboro for the third time in six years. They will play the Host Team Asheboro at 7 p.m. on August 8. Sumter will also advance to regional tournament as the state of Georgia does not have a champion this year.
“The record is 20-5, it is a different group of kids, but they have obtained the honor of representing our state in the Southeast Regional Tournament for the third time in six years. The coaches and players have pulled together to play some of the best ball I’ve seen this year,” said Robert Livingston, Post 24 athletic officer.
Coats said he is trying to put a game together for either Thursday or Friday, to prepare for the Regional Tournament. The team will then get back together on Monday and have a pregame run through, before they hit the road on Tuesday.
“It is always our goal to become the World Series champions. I’m glad we made it this far, but any time this team gets on the field they feel like they have a chance to win. I’ll keep putting them in situations where they can do that,” he said.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.