Ashley Ridge forces 3rd game in championship series

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- A game postponed twice for inclement weather was finally played Saturday.

It was a do or die situation for Ashley Ridge. Maybe two extra days helped the team prepare for the must-win situation. Maybe not.

Regardless, Ashley Ridge defeated Byrnes 6-5 on Saturday in game 2 of the Class AAAA state baseball championship series. A third and final game will now be played in Lexington at White Knoll High School on Monday.

The major factor in the win.

Head coach B.J. Belush said it was mental toughness.

"It's a big tribute to our kids and our coaches and how hard they've played," Belush said. "We preach mental toughness and commitment, and those guys have showed that from day one. That's what showed tonight."

Ashley Ridge, now with a record of 29 wins and three losses, is only in its fourth year of baseball. Belush said to be playing in the final game of a championship series that soon is "amazing."

"It's awesome, obviously, to be only four years old and going for game three and a chance to win a state championship," he said.

The Swamp Foxes scored their first run of the game on a Austin Livingston RBI single to right center. The very next batter, McColl Furman hit a breaking ball over short for a two-run single that gave Ashley Ridge an early 3-0 lead.

In the top of the second inning Byrnes responded on an Evan Sudduth single to left field that brought in two runs and narrowed the Swamp Fox lead, 3-2.

Action continued in the second inning as Ahlsey Ridge extended the lead to 5-2 on a Nick Bells two RBI single.

The final score, 6-5.

Monday's final game will be played at 7 p.m. Monday.