DALZELL – When the Sumter P-15’s put up five runs in the top of the first inning of their baseball game against the Dalzell-Shaw Jets on Monday at Thomas Sumter Academy’s General …
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DALZELL – When the Sumter P-15’s put up five runs in the top of the first inning of their baseball game against the Dalzell-Shaw Jets on Monday at Thomas Sumter Academy’s General Field, it appeared a short night might be in order.
It was far from that though. Sumter didn’t score again until the 10th, but it was two runs that gave it a 7-5 victory.
The P-15’s improved to 5-4 in the South Carolina American League and 3-1 in the Lower State League. Dalzell fell to 1-7 overall and 0-4 in LSL play.
“We just got lackadaisical,” said Sumter head coach Robby Coker, who watched his squad commit two errors in the bottom of the first to help Dalzell plate three runs. “We were throwing the ball around, not hitting our cutoff, not being the cutoff man. That team really battled and gave it all they had. We were lucky to pull that one out.”
Sumter started the game with three straight hits off of Jets starting pitcher Hunter Arledge – singles by Trey Yates and Jacob Holladay and a run-scoring double by Dustin Kennedy. An RBI groundout by SB DuCom made it 2-0 before Jackson Hoshour delivered an RBI double to make it 3-0.
That was the end of the night for Arledge, who was replaced by fellow right-hander Blane Hopkins. The P-15’s final two runs came via two errors and a runner reaching base via a passed ball after a strikeout.
Hopkins ended up being charged with one unearned run in 6 1/3 innings. He allowed just four hits – two of them coming after he recorded two outs to start the seventh, bringing an end to his night. He walked two and struck out one batter.
“Blane did a great job,” said D-S head coach Layton Watts. “I didn’t expect him to come into relief so early, but he filled a need for us at that time. It was very welcomed. I felt he did a great job of keeping Sumter’s batters off pace, and they made a lot of groundballs and popups that we needed.”
Dalzell got the three runs back in the bottom of the inning against Sumter starter Jacob Holladay. The right-hander was making his first appearance on the mound this season after having some arm issues.
Carson Collins led off for the Jets with a single and Hunter McGee was hit by a pitch. A Britton Morris single delivered Collins before Will Beck delivered a sacrifice fly. Chandler Evans added an RBI single to make it 5-3.
Holladay pitched two more scoreless innings before being pulled over the pitch count.
“Jacob wanted to keep going,” Coach Coker said. “We didn’t want to risk any arm problems though.”
Dalzell made it 5-4 in the fifth when Peyton Godwin’s single scored McGee, who was hit by a pitch by reliever Connor Batey to start the inning. The Jets scored the tying run in the sixth when McGee’s sacrifice fly scored Hunter Vohs, who was hit by a pitch from Josh Burns to open the inning.
“I do rate it as a moral victory,” Watts said. “It was a great game; the fans were all involved, our players were excited by the way we played. It reminded me of a good Sumter-Dalzell rivalry. I thought they did a great job battling back and never gave up.”
Dalzell had a chance to win the game in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs. Sumter reliever John Kolb walked Evans to start the inning and Godwin followed with a single. Sandy Johnson relieved Kolb and walked Ethan Grantham to load the bases with no outs.
However, Johnson rebounded by getting Vohs and Gabriel Harris to hit groundballs that ended up in force outs at the plate. Johnson got Carson to pop up on the infield for the final out.
“Sandy came in there and did an unbelievable job,” Coach Coker said. “To come in there with the bases loaded and to get out of it, that’s pretty impressive.”
After Johnson recorded a 1-2-3 eighth, the Jets loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth before he got out of it. Dalzell loaded the bases with two outs in the 10th as well before Johnson struck out Grantham to end the game.
The P-15’s got the two runs in the 10th when Kennedy led off by reaching on an error. After a DuCom single off of reliever Will Beck, Kennedy ended up scoring on a wild pitch. Hoshour, who had walked and reached third, ended up scoring on a stolen base after Wylie Coker intentionally got himself caught in a rundown between first and second.
Dalzell left 17 runners on base. The P-15’s left just six runners on base.
“I’ll probably think about it later on the opportunities that we had that we didn’t capitalize on,” Watts said. “The guys worked their behinds off and for them not to come away after working so hard that was very disheartening, but I think we’ve learned some things that will help us along the way..”
Sumter finished with nine hits. Holladay, DuCom and Kennedy each had two hits. Kennedy and Hoshour both scored two runs.
The Jets also had nine hits. Collins, Evans and Godwin had two hits apiece. McGee scored two runs and had an RBI.
The teams will play again on Wednesday at Riley Park beginning at 7 p.m.
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