Interestingly, Rushton and Greenville do not play each other in pool play, leaving the possibility that the two teams will meet for the first time in the semi-finals Tuesday night.
Josh Sims pitched just two innings, giving up three hits, but picked up the win for Rushton Thursday night. Ryan Gebhard pitched three scoreless innings to complete the game for Rushton.
Austin Gambrell picked up the loss for S.C. District One, pitching just one inning and giving up four runs. Joey Pankake, Jake Wolff, Sammy Nix and Jon Rosenberger all pitched briefly for the host team, trying to control the Rushton bats.
Rushton opend the game strong. Ryan Gebhardt and Drew Narmour each drew walks, then Tyler Burch loaded the bases with a single. Dillon Berry then doubled to knock in the first two runs of the game. Burch scored on a ground ball hit by Dillon Berry. Then Kirby Moore knocked in another run with a single, giving Rushton a 4-0 lead after an half of an inning.
Things got worse for S.C. District One in the top of the second. Cole Hesson reached in an infield hit. Taylor Reeves came in as a courtesy runner for Hesson. Colby Johnson then hit a double to give Rushton runners on second and third. Ryan Gebhardt then drove Reeves home with a single.
Rushton got another run when Johnson stole home. Gebhardt stole second, and Drew Burch walked. Then Tyler Burch cleared the bases with a 3-run homer.
Dillon Berry was hit by a pitch, then moved to third base when Kirby Moore doubled. Sam Addis then hit a 3-run homer to give Rushton a 12-0 lead after an inning and a half.
S.C. District One got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning. Jaren Sustar was hit by a pitch, then Brody Greer and Andrew Cow each drew a walk to load the bases. Sustar scored when L.J. Newman reached base on an error. But District One was unable to get anything else out of the situation, leaving the bases loaded at the end of the inning.
In the top of the third, Ryan Gebhardt drew a walk, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Gebhardt reached second on a ground-out by Drew Narmour, then came home on a single by Tyler Burch. Rushton led 13-1 after two and a half innings.
In the bottom of the third inning, S.C. District One again had a chance to make things happen. Jacob Tavernier doubled to start the inning, then moved to third on a passed ball. Joey Pankake then singled to drive Tavernier home. Jaren Sustar singled, then Brody Greer loaded the bases by earn a walk. But Ryan Gebhardt came in to pitch for Rushton, and he struck out three straight batters to end the inning.
In the top of the fourth, Ryan Gebhardt hit a 2-run home run to improve Rushton’s lead to 15-2. Neither team scored in the fifth, and the game ended due to the 10-run mercy rule.