West Columbia Post 79 drops season opener

By Thomas Grant Jr.

Visiting teams suffered several defeats in comeback fashion this season at Lexington High School’s Wildcat Stadium.

On Monday, West Columbia Post 7 became the latest team. Instead of the host team, it was players from the Class 5A champions who helped Lexington Post 7 earn a victory in the season opener.

Wildcat Toby Sobieralski’s 2-out single in the Bottom 7th sent West Columbia to a 3-2 defeat. It was his second RBI of the game, both coming off two of Post 79’s five errors.

West Columbia Post 79’s Connor Wood

The first one took place in the Bottom 1st on a misplayed groundball hit by Ryler Kellis. He promptly stole second and third base and scored on Sobieralski’s RBI sacrifice fly.

An infield error by Post 7 following a single by Chance Culley set up a run-scoring opportunity with two outs in the third inning. Connor Wood delivered with a 2-run single to put the West Columbia ahead.

Starter Patrick Coggins continued to hold Lexington scoreless for four straight innings, In the sixth inning, a throwing error from third to first base on a groundball by leadoff hitter Lincoln Hill enabled him to reach second base.

Garrett Sanders followed with an RBI single to tie the game. Jack Rivers, who relieved University of South Carolina commit Brandon Cromer, got out of the half inning with a popout and double play.

Rivers led off the Bottom 7th with a groundball misplayed at first base for an error. Pinch runner Will Myers stole second as the next two Lexington batters were struck out by reliever Jeremy Powell.

Soberialski faced a 2-2 count to Powell when he belted a single to right centerfield to score Myers who slid across homeplate to win the game.

Cromer picked up the victory as he struck out six in five innings and allowed the only two hits by West Columbia. Jack Rivers struck out four in two scoreless innings.

Coggins took the loss for West Columbia despite striking out four, allowing just three hits and giving up no earned runs.

The two teams met again Wednesday at Brookland-Cayce High School. Lexington then plays host to Orangeburg Post 4, while West Columbia travels to Richland Post 215 Monday.