50/70 All-Stars storm into semis
The Rutherfordton/Chase IM 50/70 All-Stars are still rolling at the IM 50/70 Regional Tournament in Spring Hill, Tenn.
After an opening-day win over Florida Friday morning, the North Carolina representatives stormed past Georgia with a 9-0 win Saturday night and finished pool play with a perfect 3-0 record after a 13-3 drubbing of South Carolina Monday morning.
“We can really hit the ball,” head coach Curtis Snethen said. “These boys were taught to hit at a young age so we don’t have any liabilities in our lineup. Usually the 6-7-8-9 batter are pretty easy outs, but not on this team. We can swing it.”
Adam McDowell and Joe Conner led the offensive attack in the 9-0 win over Georgia with a pair of triples, but pitching was the story for Rutherfordton.
Levi Parks took the win on the mound after pitching 4 1/3 innings and allowing just one hit and striking out five batters. McDowell took care of the middle relief duties striking out five batters of his own in just two innings before Jace Crowe closed it out by whiffing the final two batters of the game.
“Aside from our hitting, we also have the pitching to control other teams,” Snethen said. “Things are really clicking on all cylinders.”
Rutherfordton had a quick turnaround Sunday at 10 a.m. after its win over Georgia lasted until midnight the previous night due to rain delays, but they carried the momentum into their final game of pool play by “run-ruling” South Carolina 13-3.
Jake Laughter, Joey Daigle and Marty Barrella kept the South Carolina bats quiet while a host of Rutherfordton players contributed from the dish.
Keaton Snethen scored four runs without recording a hit as he was walked three times and hit by a pitch in the game.
Cameron Snethen had three RBIs in the win while Sam McArthur drove in a pair of his own.
Rutherfordton, after claiming the No. 1 seed from its pool, is set to take on West Virginia today at 4 p.m. in the semifinals for a spot in Wednesday’s championship game and a potential trip to the IM World Series in California starting Tuesday, July 30.
“The team is real excited,” Snethen said. “Parents are trying to figure out a way, if this all comes to pass and it becomes a reality that we win this thing, how to figure out a way to swing a trip to California in less than a week. Both the fans and players realize that they have a goal and that’s to go to the World Series.”