On Wednesday, both the Nation Ford Falcons and the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets’ baseball teams left the drama and craziness of their rivalry behind from the night before.
The two heated rivals played the second game of their three-game series Wednesday in just over an hour and a half, almost unheard of in baseball game terms these days. The two teams played a clean game – there were no errors on defense by either team – and the home fans at Nation Ford were treated to a 5-0 shutout win over their rivals.
The win moved the Falcons to 5-3 overall and 1-1 in Region 3-5A play. The Falcons also ended Fort Mill’s unbeaten start to the season, moving them to 8-1 and 1-1, respectively.
Falcons’ senior starting pitcher Jeffery Maidhof (Queens University signee) pitched yet another masterful game, spreading out two hits and only one walk while striking out four for the win. Maidhof had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning, Yellow Jackets’ third baseman Kyle Kotas broke up the no-hitter with a line drive single to right center with one out in the sixth.
The Falcons left no doubt in this game, starting the scoring in the first inning, with shortstop Tyler Causey hitting a two-out solo home run to right field. The third inning basically put the game away although one run was all Maidhof needed. Right fielder Nathan Mahaffey was hit by a pitch and then left fielder Keith Cooke III doubled down the left field line. Third baseman Steven Johnson hit a single to center field that scored Mahaffey. After center fielder Bradley Bott walked to load the bases, Causey singled to left, scoring Cooke and Johnson. At that point, the Falcons led 4-0 and it looked like they were finally going to break through to beat their crosstown rival. The Falcons wrapped up their scoring when Mahaffey singled to left, scoring Brandon Stancil who was running for catcher Justin Lehman.
Maidhof allowed only two hits, to Kotas and to Yellow Jackets’ first baseman Connor Manco, who is 3-for-6 for the series. The only other baserunner that the Yellow Jackets could muster against Maidhof was a sixth inning walk to second baseman Brady Stone. Maidhof pitched to only three extra batters over the minimum, keeping his ERA at 0.00 and giving up only three hits all season in three appearances.
The Falcons and Yellow Jackets play the rubber match of the series tomorrow night at Fort Mill High School. The game’s first pitch is at 7:00 pm, following the JV game between the two schools starting at 4:45. The teams are tied in league play at 1-1, so the winner tomorrow night will move back into a tie for first place. Northwestern is 2-1 in the league although they also were unbeaten in the Region, falling to Rock Hill today 7-2.