PREP BASEBALL

Pitching duel

Gamecocks knock off West Florence 3-2 in eight innings

BY EDDIE LITAKER
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 4/12/18

Those looking for offense in Tuesday's Region VI-5A high school baseball game between Sumter and West Florence had to get their fill early and late.as pitching ruled for most of the night.

The game would go eight innings and, ironically, come …

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PREP BASEBALL

Pitching duel

Gamecocks knock off West Florence 3-2 in eight innings

Posted

Those looking for offense in Tuesday's Region VI-5A high school baseball game between Sumter and West Florence had to get their fill early and late.as pitching ruled for most of the night.

The game would go eight innings and, ironically, come down to an errant throw to first by WF relief picher Quincy Manning that allowed the Gamecocks' speedy leftfielder Trey Yates to come in from second and seal a 3-2 Sumter win at Gamecock Field.

Sumter starting picher Josh Bryant limited the Knights to one hit over 6-plus innings, striking out six and walking four in a 94-pitch effort. However, he ended with a no-decision as WF rallied for a tying run in the top of the seventh, making it 2-2 and forcing extra innings.

"Josh gave us a great effort tonight on the mound," said Sumter head coach Brooks Shumake, whose team moved to 8-10 overall and 6-2 in region play and handed him his 399th career victory. "He's a guy that wants the ball, and he kept us in this game tonight. We also had a great game from (catcher) Bryce Spittle behind the plate. The pitching on both sides was pretty dominant all night."

While the Gamecocks could not finish off the game in regulation, Yates beat out an infield hit to open the eighth, stole second and was foiled in a bid to steal third by a Jacob Holladay foul ball. Holladay then grounded to Manning just in front of the mound, leading to the game-ending error.

"Once Trey got on, we wanted him to steal second, to get him into scoring position," said Shumake on a night where his team managed just five hits, including two of the infield variety. "I was going to have him steal third as well. We felt we needed to be aggressive in that inning and it worked out for us."

Holladay, moving from right field to the mound, retired the first two batters he faced in the seventh after Bryant issued a leadoff walk to Dylan Snyder. After striking out Manning for the second out, Holladay surrendered an RBI single to left to No. 9 hitter Hunter Harvin, who then stole second to get into scoring position with the potential go-ahead run. Holladay went to a 3-2 count on WF leadoff hitter Carter Woodberry before inducing an inning-ending pop fly to Bryant in foul territory at first base.

The Knights opened the scoring with an unearned run in the top of the first. Bryant struck out Woodberry looking and retired Zach Medlin on a grounder to first baseman Drake Thames before Brennan Herndon reached on an infield error. Ryan Florio followed with a single to right-center to plate Herndon.

The Gamecocks answered in the bottom of the frame as Joey Pereira delivered a 2-out, 2-run single up the middle. Pereira's timely hit scored Yates and Holladay, who had reached on an infield error and an infield hit, respectively.

Bryant walked three of the next eight batters he faced in the second and third innings but worked around the free passes with out any damage. Snyder was left at first in the second as Bryant retired the next three batters in order, and a grounder to short from Cooper Wallace ended the third with runners at second and first.

The Wallace groundout would begin a string of 10 consecutive batters set down by Bryant before the seventh-inning walk to Snyder.