EASLEY, S.C. — For just a moment, it looked like District I would live to see another day.
The Kent County squad seemed to have broken open a tied game with South Carolina by scoring five runs in the top of the fifth inning.
But the host all-stars had other ideas.
South Carolina answered right back with five runs in the bottom of the fifth before edging District-1, 8-7, and eliminating the Delaware squad from the Big League baseball World Series on Sunday evening.
The loss was the second one-run setback in as many days for Kent County (2-2), which fell to California, 2-1, on Saturday night. District I had won five games in a row before that loss.
South Carolina (3-1) and California (3-0) will meet in today’s U.S. championship game with the winner taking on the international champ on Tuesday.
With the game tied 7-7, South Carolina broke the deadlock with a run in the bottom of the sixth. The host team strung together a double, a single and a sacrifice fly to come up with the run.
Kent County had runners in scoring position in both the sixth and seventh innings. But South Carolina threw a runner out at the plate in the sixth and then got two strikeouts in the seventh after District I put a runner on second.
In District I’s five-run fifth, Tevin Thomas, Dakota Graham and Sean Hanhauser all had singles in the inning. Hanhauser, a Polytech High grad, drove in three runs in the contest.
Kent County was also led by Thomas (2-for-3, 1 run), Kendall Small (2-for-4, 1 RBI), Corey Everage (2 runs) and Graham (1 run, 1 RBI). District I scored its other two runs in the fourth.
South Carolina outhit Kent County 13-6 in the contest. The host squad committed five errors, hit four batters and walked two.
Jon Barkley, Dallas Willey and Hanhauser all pitched for District I, finishing with three strikeouts and three walks.