The Seminary Bulldogs are South State-bound.
Seminary hosted Morton on Friday evening in Game 2 of the third round postseason showdown to determine who would advance to the state semifinals next week. After losing Game 1, the Panthers came out firing on offense early with two runs scored in the top of the first to set the tone of the ballgame. But the Bulldogs responded right away with two runs of their own, coming on a two-run bomb by Fisher Norris over the right field fence. This back and forth offensive trend continued for the rest of the evening. Each time the Panthers struck, the home team answered the call and raised the bar.
“We just kept fighting,” said Coach Graves when asked about his team’s ability to respond to early adversity. “We were down early, but these kids have been there before, so they didn’t panic.”
Seminary captured their first lead in the fourth inning when a fielding error on a ground ball hit by Cody Ellzey allowed two runs to come home. A Dalton Cummins solo home run followed by a RBI by Landry McQueen in the fifth inning extended the Bulldogs’ lead to 7-4.
Once again, Morton stormed back in the top of the sixth with five runs to take a 9-7 lead, just an inning away from forcing a Game 3. But as they did all night, Seminary stepped up to the plate and battled back. Robert Sanford scored on a fielder’s choice to cut the deficit to just one run. Moments later a double by Cummins brought home Ellzey to tie. Three at-bats later, Conner Jones hit a sacrifice fly ball to center field, and Dalton Cummins dashed home to give out the Bulldogs back on top. Ellzey then took the mound in the top of the seventh and got three outs in just four at-bats to seal the deal, sending Seminary to the next round with a 10-9 victory and a sweep of the Morton Panthers.
Dalton Cummins and Fisher Norris were the driving forces on offense in the contest, each batting two for three at the plate with a combined five runs and five RBIs, affectively accounting for all ten of the Bulldogs’ runs.
Awaiting the Bulldogs in next week’s South State Championship series are their fierce rivals from St. Andrews Episcopal, whom they’ve encountered in many competitive games in recent years, both in the regular season and postseason. “If I’ve heard correctly,” recalled Coach Graves, “we’ll be playing St. Andrews in the next round, which has become a great rivalry. We’ve beat them once this year, and they’ve beat us once. They have a great team, and we feel we do too, so we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
(Article written by Brad Crowe)