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Silent bats end Sumter P-15's season; fall to Fort Mill 2-0

BY J. SCOTT SEWELL jscott@theitem.com
Posted 7/31/19

COLUMBIA - It was an old-fashioned pitching duel, and the Sumter P-15's came out on the wrong end of the scoreboard for the second game in a row.

Sumter saw its season come to an end with a 2-0 loss to Fort Mill in the South Carolina American …

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Silent bats end Sumter P-15's season; fall to Fort Mill 2-0

Posted

COLUMBIA - It was an old-fashioned pitching duel, and the Sumter P-15's came out on the wrong end of the scoreboard for the second game in a row.

Sumter saw its season come to an end with a 2-0 loss to Fort Mill in the South Carolina American Legion baseball state tournament on Wednesday at Segra Park.

"I'm proud of my guys, proud of the year we've had," said Sumter head coach Curtis Johnson, whose team finished 24-11 on the season. "I'll take it; one of the final four teams in the state, and they competed every time they played."

Sumter was held scoreless in the final 11 innings of its play in the state tournament. The P-15's didn't score in the final four innings of their 4-3 loss to Florence on Monday and not at all against Fort Mill.

The P-15's pitching and defense did their part though, holding a Fort Mill team that only lost twice in the regular season scoreless for the first six innings. Post 43 broke through with two runs in the top of the seventh inning to secure the victory and advance to Thursday's 7 p.m. contest against the loser of Wednesday's game between Greer and Florence.

Post 43's Daniel Gueldner reached base on an error to begin the top of the seventh. Justin Kerosetz walked two batters later, and then Allen Stevens made perhaps the play of the game with a perfectly placed bunt that advanced the runners and allowed him to reach base safely. Xavier Cumbee then came through with the clutch base hit that both teams were waiting for with a line drive up the middle, scoring two runs.

Jacob Holladay held Fort Mill's bats in check for most of the game, eventually exiting due to cramps after the first batter reached base in the top of the seventh.

"Jake was really, really good," said Johnson. "He stayed ahead in the count pretty much all night and was able to keep them guessing."

It's the end of the road for several P-15's that have become mainstays in the program. "I'm proud of the guys, especially those that are done after this year like Trent (Frye), Corey (Blackley), Josh (Bryant), Chandler (Hunter), and Drake (Thames)," said Johnson. "They helped kinda get this program back to where it was and try to rebuild the tradition we had in this program."

Dustin Kennedy and Victor Brown reached base safely twice, each recording a hit and a walk, but Sumter only recorded three hits on the evening.

"Everybody in the country ends their season with a loss but one," said Johnson. "We didn't make it as far as we wanted to, but I mean that's a good season for us. We're right here, in this beautiful facility, and we're one of the final four teams in the state."