The Sumter Junior Dixie Boys all-star baseball team had to beat Beaufort County twice on Thursday to win the state tournament at Oscar Frazier Park in Bluffton, and that's exactly what it did.
Sumter earned a berth in the Junior Dixie Boys World …
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Sumter earned a berth in the Junior Dixie Boys World Series by beating Beaufort 9-5 in the first game and winning by the 10-run mercy rule, 11-1 in six innings, in the second.
The World Series will be held in Aiken beginning on Saturday, Aug. 3.
Sumter went 6-1 in the tournament. Its lone loss came at the hands of Beaufort on Monday, dropping a 11-9 decision. Sumter came out and took it to Beaufort on Thursday, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the opener and never looking back.
"I was really proud of the team and the intensity they came out with today," said Sumter head coach Byron Kinney.
Clark Kinney was the star of the first game. He pitched five innings, striking out eight, to secure the win. At the plate, he was 2-for-2, including a 3-run home run, and four runs batted in.
Sumter finished with eight hits, and Dylan Jones and Sean Rouse supplied the other six. Rouse was 3-for-4, while Jones was 3-for-5.
In the deciding game, Sumter rode the pitching of Chase Denton to the victory. He worked five innings, striking out four while scattering five hits.
"We weren't sure who would be on the mound if we got to a second game," Coach Kinney said. "Chase Denton did a tremendous job."
Jones, Clark Kinney and Jes Schwedler each had two hits to lead the offense in the second game. Kinney hit another home run.
"We hit the ball really well throughout the tournament, and we played great defense," Coach Kinney said. "Jes did a great job behind the plate (catching). Nobody tried to run on him, and he hit the ball really well."
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