Lexington Wins 'Again' over Summerville on Rogers' Walkoff RBI Double to Reach Lower State Final

Airport stays alive in Class 4A baseball playoffs

Posted 5/17/22

New day, same result, new hero.

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Lexington Wins 'Again' over Summerville on Rogers' Walkoff RBI Double to Reach Lower State Final

Airport stays alive in Class 4A baseball playoffs

Posted

Thomas Grant Jr. |. Chronicle
Lexington's Madison Rogers with the walkoff RBI double in the resumed game versus Summerville.

New day, same result, new hero.

Tuesday afternoon saw Lexington’s Madison Rogers take her turn in leading the softball team to victory. Her walkoff RBI double in the bottom of the ninth gave the Lady Wildcats the official 6-5 win to advance to the Class 5A Lower State final.

“Just the grit of this team and they never back down to anybody,” said Lexington head coach Laurie Epps said. “At some point during the season, I told them somebody else different has stepped up and Madison was the one today that stepped up for us. But we’re playing as good a softball as we can play right now and we’re just happy to be here.”

Nearly 24 hours earlier, eighth grader Livi Warren thrilled the Lexington faithful with a memorable leadoff solo home run for what appeared to be a 6-5 win in eight innings.

However, the hit and anything taking place after there were two outs in the top of the eighth were erased the next day from the record books.

The S.C. High School League, in consultation with the National Federation of High School Officials Association, upheld the protest by Summerville head coach Heather Tucker. She had wanted to use Teonia Johnson as a pinch hitter for flex player May May Harrel.

Epps argued against the move, leading to a 35-minute discussion among the umpires as to whether Johnson was eligible to enter the game in this manner. The umpires eventually sided with Epps and Harrel struck out, leading to Warren’s walk off home run.

Tucker said she was confident of the outcome, citing clarification from Charleston officials during a game a month ago.

For Epps’ part, her team quickly moved on from the decision and refocused on winning.

As lively and energic as the Lady Wildcats (25-2) were during pregame warmups, they received an energy boost watching the football team march over from spring practice to seat behind the outfield fence.

“When we saw them…we were like ‘Oh my God’ like that’s everything we need to pull through this game and get ready," Warren said. 

Once play resumed, pitcher Mackenzie Mathis got to finally face Johnson. She fanned her on four pitches and quickly retired the Lady Green Wave.

Warren was walked this time to lead off the bottom half of the inning. The Lady Wildcats were kept scoreless, leading to the implementation of the international rules where each team has a baserunner start the at bat on second base.

Mathis retired the three batters she faced, putting Lexington in position to win in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Gracie Scott started on second base. After Summerville retired Jessica Senn after intentionally walking her four times, Scott moved to third base on a fielder’s choice by Mathis.

With two outs, it was déjà vu time as Rogers lined the first pitch from Logan Goodwin towards the rightfield fence. This time, it landed in the gap far enough to score Scott and end the game nine minutes shorter than the length of Monday night’s interruption.

“I just knew I had to do something,” Rogers said. “Just hit it in the gap somewhere to score from third.”

“We didn’t hang our heads,” Tucker said. “We came out here. We fought hard. We made good plays on defense and had some things. Hat’s off to them. They got a timely hit when they needed it. That’s all it takes in the playoffs.”

This was the second straight nine-inning game for Summerville. It now officially plays host to Chapin Wednesday for an elimination game.

The Lady Green Wave won the first meeting at home 4-3 on May 14 after scoring two runs in their last at-bat. The winner returns to Lexington Friday for the Lower State final and a berth in the state championship starting Monday.

“I think we’ve seen how they hit the pitchers and we kind of know what’s coming, but I think we’ve still got to come out like it’s any other game,” Warren said.

Baseball

Airport 10, James Island 8

Another Lexington County baseball team came back to stay alive in the high school baseball playoffs.

A 7-run sixth inning enabled the Eagles (23-7) to rally from a four-run deficit to defeat the Trojans for the second time in a week.

Corbin Wright and John Allen Forrester both had two hits and combined for three RBI for Airport, which now returns to Hartsville Wednesday for the Class 4A Lower State final.

Keillor Osbon put James Island on the board in the first inning with a sole home run. The Eagles tied the game in the bottom of the second inning as Layne Turner scored off an error by catcher Hogan Garner.

An RBI single by Wright and Blake Palyok scoring off a wild pitch put Airport ahead. After the Trojans got within 3-2 in the fourth, they scored four runs in the top of the fifth to take a 6-3 lead.

Garner had a two-run homer and Osbon had an RBI groundout. McAndrew Mangan scoring off a wild pitch put the Trojans ahead 7-3 in the sixth inning.

A leadoff walk by Hunter Epps opened up the Airport comeback. After Matt Harrelson lined out, Adam Rushing followed with a double.

The Eagles got three consecutive RBI singles to cut the lead to 7-6. Blake Palyok was intentionally walked to load the bases, which led to Josh Raines tying the game with an RBI hit by pitch and Epps forcing home the go-ahead run with a walk.

An RBI single by Harrelson and another RBI HBP, this time by Rushing, put the Eagles up 10-7.

After giving up a one-out home run to Trip Brown in the top of the seventh. Bryson Moss struck out the final two batters.

Airport will look to avenge Monday’s 1-0 loss to the Red Foxes by winning twice to advance to the state final starting Saturday.

Thomas Grant Jr. | Chronicle
Lexington head soccer coach Laurie Epps following the 6:5 win in 9 innings over Summerville.
Thomas Grant Jr. |. Chronicle
Lexington's Livi Warren & Madison Rogers.

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