The Sumter P-15's had Lathan Todd on the mound and on his game against Hartsville Post 53 in the opening game of their American Legion baseball first-round state playoffs series on Monday at Riley …
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The Sumter P-15's had Lathan Todd on the mound and on his game against Hartsville Post 53 in the opening game of their American Legion baseball first-round state playoffs series on Monday at Riley Park. The right-hander had a no-hitter through four innings, but found himself in a scoreless tie against Hartsville righty Caleb Peach.
Then Daulton Dabbs put down a bunt to start the bottom of the fourth.
Dabbs reached on a throwing error and that opened the floodgates to a 6-run inning. Todd went on to toss a 1-hit shutout, and the P-1's came away with a 10-0 mercy rule victory in six innings.
Sumter, which improved to 16-9 on the season, and 9-10 Post 53 will play Game 2 today at 7 p.m. at Jimmy White Park in Kelleytown.
The P-15's had a runner on base in each of the first three innings and left runners in scoring position in the first two, but had no runs to show for it. Dabbs led off the fourth by laying a bunt down the third base line. Third baseman Ashaunti McFarland fielded the ball and a good throw would have had Dabbs. However, McFarland threw it away for a 2-base error.
"I decided to do that on my own," Dabbs said. "I didn't get it down the line like I wanted, but he threw the ball away and that started a rally for us."
"Daulton's a really good bunter, and he has the ability to put it down like that," said Sumter head coach Curtis Johnson.
P-15's third base coach Frankie Ward called for a bunt by the next batter, Joey Pereira, and he dropped a sacrifice to the third base side of the mound. Peach got to the ball and decided to go to thid, but McFarland had come after the ball as well, and shortstop Owen Taylor couldn't beat Dabbs to the bag.
Rylan Williamson followed with a ground ball to McFarland, but his throw to first pulled first baseman Alex Miller off the bag to load the bases.
Then the runs started to flow.
Cory Blackley was hit by a pitch to force in the first run. Chandler Hunter and Trey Yates followed with run-scoring singles, and Blackley came in when center fielder Dorian Pendergrass didn't fill Yates' single cleanly.
An infield single by Jacob Holladay reloaded the bases before Ryan Moore singled home Hunter to make it 5-0. Austin Sellers relieved Peach and got an out at the plate before walking Dabbs to force in another run. Post 53, which split two regular-season games with Sumter, got out of the inning hen the P-1's ran themselves into an unconventional double play.
"The bunt game is something we can do, and we made it work for us tonight," Johnson said.
The six runs was more than enough for Todd, even though Hartsville got its only hit of the game in the fifth. Todd struck out five and didn't walk a batter.
"I've been struggling to throw strikes this year," Todd said. "Coach Johnson told me to go out there and not worry about who is at the plate, just throw my pitch. I felt like I was throwing everything pretty well tonight."
"This was one of his better outings (this season)," Johnson said of Todd. "He had command of all of his pitches, and he went out there and he competed."
Sumter put the game away with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Bobby Crisp and Pereira had RBI singles, and Dabbs scored the winning run on a wild pitch.
The P-15's finished with 11 hits. Holladay, Moore, Crisp and Yates each had two hits. Holladay and Dabbs both scored twice.
The offense was balance as seven batters had a hit, eight scored a run and seven drove in a run.
The right-handed Williamson is set to start on the mound today.
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