Both Bluffton teams clinched berths in the state tournament and Bluffton American avenged Sunday’s loss to Bluffton National on Monday to force a decisive championship game in the Dixie Youth Baseball District 8 AA Machine Pitch (7-8) Tournament in Walterboro.
Bluffton American stayed alive with a 13-2 win over Beaufort, as Nathan Fulton went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and Noah Sepulveda was 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs to lead the charge. Zach Szypczak was 2-for-3 with three RBIs, Jackson LeBaron was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Derek Blesie was 2-for-3 with an inside-the-park homer, and Finn Boyles added two hits for American.
Cooper Gustwick had two hits and an RBI, and Marshall Rhoten added two hits for Beaufort.
Bluffton National then assured both Bluffton teams spots in the state tournament with a wild 16-13 win over Hilton Head in extra innings. National plated the maximum seven runs in the first inning to take control, only to see Hilton Head rally for nine in the bottom of the sixth to force extra innings. National answered with three runs in the top of the seventh, though, and shut down Hilton Head in the bottom of the inning for its second consecutive extra innings win.
Landon Kyle was 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs, Truman Jarrett was 3-for-3 with three RBIs, and Charlie Nelson was 3-for-4 with three runs and the drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh for National. Caleb Malphrus and Austin Broene also had three hits, and Colt Harper, Duncan Conn, and Eli Elam each added two hits and two RBIs.
Lewis Wolf was 3-for-3 with three RBIs, Miles Dzendzel was 3-for-4 and scored twice, and Matias Guzman hit a two-run inside-the-park homer to tie the game in the sixth for Hilton Head. Tucker LIndstrom was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Kyle Larson, Jack Cerrati, and Matty Chapman each added two hits.
Bluffton National had a chance to clinch the district title Monday but was denied by Bluffton American, which put up six runs in the first and played outstanding defense to preserve the four-inning shutout. Nathan Guthrie was 2-for-2 with three RBIs to lead American at the plate, while Boyles and Trevor Wolfe added two hits apiece.
National managed only three hits — singles by Harper, Nelson, and Jarrett.
The Bluffton teams meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday for the district title with both teams advancing to the state tournament July 6-9 in Florence.
Editor’s note: Coaches may submit results for publication to firstname.lastname@example.org throughout the all-star tournaments.
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