The Nation Ford Falcons baseball team ran its season-high winning streak to six with a win over Clover 9-4 on Friday night and then turned around and went to Rock Hill for a 3-1 win there on Monday night.
With the two wins, the Falcons are close to securing a spot in the District Playoffs, which begin at the end of this month. A win against Rock Hill on Wednesday night at home would sew it up for Coach Stas Swerdzewski and his senior-led team.
On Friday night, center fielder Bradley Bott provided the spark for the Falcons’ offense. He nearly completed the cycle, getting a single, double and triple while driving in four runs. Bott got things started in the first inning, with an RBI single to right field, scoring third baseman Steven Johnson.
Catcher Justin Lehman then found a hole in right field, singling in Bott and shortstop Tyler Causey to make it 3-0 at the end of the first inning. The Falcons sailed along, scoring five more times in the second and third innings combined, and then relied on the arm of pitcher Magdiel Cotto to get the win. Cotto pitched five strong innings, giving up only one hit and striking out seven. Clover managed to score four runs in the seventh inning down 9-0, but it wasn’t enough to make the comeback. Clover pitcher Kolby Crepeau didn’t make it out of the first inning, getting only one out and allowing three runs. He took the loss for the Blue Eagles.
After sweeping the Blue Eagles, the Falcons turned their attention to Rock Hill, starting a three-game series with the Bearcats on Monday night at Rock Hill High School. The Falcons gave the ball to starting pitcher Jeffery Maidhof to hopefully get a good road win against a team that had come into the game with a three-game winning streak. Maidhof had his usual great outing, going into the sixth inning with a no-hitter.
It wasn’t until a one-out single by second baseman Luke Banks that the Bearcats had reached safely with a hit. Maidhof gave up only three more hits during the game and an unearned run to get the complete game win. Maidhof also lowered his Region leading earned run average to 0.19, and also increased his Region leading strikeout total to 39. His record is 5-0 on the season.
Right fielder Nathan Mahaffey paced Nation Ford with a 2-for-3 performance, including an RBI triple, on his way to driving in two runs. Bott also tripled and knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice.
Nation Ford improved to 11-5 on the season, including 5-2 in Region 3-5A play. Rock Hill dropped to 12-6 and 1-6, respectively. Game two of the series is Wednesday night at Nation Ford at 7:15 pm. The game follows the Nation Ford-Rock Hill JV game at 4:45 for a doubleheader.