Camden clinches share of League III title

Thomas Grant Jr. photo.

The race for the three playoff berths out of South Carolina American Legion League III has grown tighter in the final week.

On the same night Camden Post 17 clinched a share of the league title with a doubleheader split of West Columbia Post 79, Lexington Post 7 saw its hold on second place reduced to a half game. Lexington was swept by Aiken Post 26 by the scores of 12-2 and 8-3.

Game one at Aiken was the continuation of a June 5 contest stopped due to bad weather. Lexington led 2-0, but Post 26 resumed play with a five-run inning in the second and seven runs over the next three innings to close out the victory in five innings.

In Game two, Aiken (7-11, 5-6) jumped out to a 7-0 lead through the first four innings. In the top fifth, Brett McEwen of Batesburg-Leesville belted a three-run homer for his fifth of the season.

Lexington (8-11, 5-5) closes out the regular season with games Monday and Wednesday against Camden and an exhibition contest versus the Victorian Kookaburras at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Lexington County Baseball Stadium. Camden can clinch the league title outright with 1 win, while Lexington can win the title with victories in both games.

Over at Brookland-Cayce High School, West Columbia kept its playoff hopes alive with a 7-5 victory in Game one. Dylan Williamson of Pelion High School put Post 79 on the board in the bottom first with a solo home run.

After Camden Post 17 (13-4, 7-3) tied the game in the top second on an RBI double by Wynston Dyer, West Columbia erupted for six runs in the bottom half of the inning.

The rally started with a leadoff double by Dalton Mims of Airport High School, followed by a two-run homer by Pierce Nance. With two outs, Williamson belted a two-run single and Brandon Caughman of Airport followed with a two-home run to make it 7-1.

Camden rallied for three runs in the fourth and added a run in the fifth when Mims struck out the tying run at the plate in Brady White to end the game.

In Game two, West Columbia jumped out to a 2-0 lead on RBI singles by Caughman and Drew Boozer of Pelion. Camden answered with 10 unanswered runs, seven during the third inning on a three-run homer by Dyer, a two-run RBI single by Bradwin Salmond and RBI walk by John Lanier.

Post 79 (5-9, 4-7) rallied in the bottom fifth with an RBI single by Caughman and three-run homer by Mims, The comeback came up short and West Columbia dropped a game behind Aiken for third place in League III.

The two teams meet Monday at Brookland-Cayce High School in a contest which could decide the final playoff spot.

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