American Legion Baseball

Florence evens score with Beaufort Ospreys, ties playoff series at 1-1

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comJuly 17, 2013 

Beaufort Ospreys' David Tilton swings the bat during the first inning of their game against Florence in the American Legion baseball playoffs on Tuesday night at Beaufort High School.

DELAYNA EARLEY — Delayna Earley Buy Photo

David Tilton doesn't know why the Beaufort Ospreys flopped Tuesday.

The third baseman couldn't find an excuse in a long game at Florence Post 1 on Monday or in the key players missing from the Post 9/207 lineup for Game 2 of the American Legion second round state playoff series.

Tilton, bound for Erskine in the fall, expected better during Florence's 13-1, seven-inning victory, which evened the series at 1. He expects better when the Ospreys travel Wednesday.

"We've got to do better at everything -- throwing strikes, hitting, defense," Tilton said. "It seemed like tonight, we couldn't find our way with any of those."

Post 1 starter Alex Dorriety threw six solid innings, including five scoreless to start. And Florence, which stole 32 bases during the regular season, continued to apply pressure Tuesday, stealing nine bases through four innings to set up easy runs.

Coach Derick Urquhart canceled the steal signs with his team up nine. The message was sent.

Right-hander Austin Willis-Greene settled in for Beaufort to pitch a scoreless fifth and sixth. But Florence again turned up the pressure to close out the run rule-shortened game.

Beaufort had been the team to apply the pressure in Game 1, with hitters drawing out at-bats, putting the ball in play and forcing Florence into mistakes. The Ospreys couldn't work the same against Dorriety, who was coming off a complete-game shutout last week against Moncks Corner.

Beaufort coach Mike Smith was without leadoff man Alex Silon, who hit a home run to start Game 1, and first baseman Mattison Pike, who adds power to the middle of the lineup. Tilton doubled and later drove in a run, but Beaufort struggled to mount rallies.

"We're riding it as we are," Smith said. "But those guys are beatable over there."

Urquhart said his pitching should hold up well through a five-game series, that Florence had played similar stretches during the regular season with a schedule supplemented with non-league opponents.

Post 1 will start Francis Marion left-hander Brian Davis at home Wednesday.

"We've got pitching depth this season, which is fortunate in Legion ball, with nine innings and especially when you get to a series," Urquhart said.

Florence was without assistant coach Phillip Herring, who served a one-game suspension after a confrontation with umpires during Game 1. Two Post 1 players had suspensions overturned by the American Legion state committee. Florence rallied from a 9-2 deficit Monday before losing 12-11 on a run in the ninth.

"I was worried about a mental letdown tonight," Urquhart said. "But we came out strong early and played well."

Florence 222 300 4xx -- 13 9 1

Beaufort 000 001 0xx --1 5 4

WP: Alex Dorriety 6 IP 1 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 K, 2 BB

LP: Austin Willis-Greene 6 1-3 IP, 9 R, 9 H, 5 K, 5 BB

Top hitters: Florence-- Austin King 3 for 4, RBI, 2 SB; Beaufort -- David Tilton 2 for 3, 2B, RBI.

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