For almost two batters, the Laurens Minors (9-10 age group) All Stars had everything going their way.
Second baseman Brayden Patterson led off with a single. Dee Suber reached base on a Northwood error, Patterson roared around to third, and when throw there got away, raced home.
But Suber was out on a close play at third, the inning died, and so, ultimately, did Laurens’ state championship hopes. Northwood defeated Laurens, 5-2, scoring a run in the bottom half, another in the second and three more in the third.
Northwood, from Greenville, remained the great thorn in Laurens’ side, defeating it for the second time in the tournament, and even if Laurens had managed to win on Thursday night, it would have had to pull off the same feat on Friday.
Laurens got off cheap in the bottom half of the first, as Northwood settled for a run but left the bases full. No such luck in the third, when Northwood scored three times off two hits and two walks.
Both teams collected five hits, but Northwood worked Laurens starter Samuel Adams for two walks in each of the first three innings.
Patterson led Laurens, which effectively fell two wins shy of a state championship, with two hits and a run in three trips to the plate. The other hits came from Suber, Wyatt Pinson and Logan Martin.