SUMTER -- Chalk one up for the unpredictable nature of summer weather in the south.
The Sumter Junior P-15’s took game one of their American Legion playoff series over Hartsville after a rain delay, and a separate prolonged lightning delay resulted in Hartsville deciding to forfeit the game. Sumter led 10-2 in the bottom of the fourth when the game was halted for the second time.
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The Junior P-15’s got off to a sloppy start, striking out four times in the first two innings. A miscue in the field ultimately gifted Hartsville the first run of the game when Sumter failed to cover third base on a bunt single, allowing the runner at first base to advance all the way to third. Hartsville scored on a sacrifice fly by the next batter giving them an early 1-0 lead. Sumter then had leadoff runners picked off first base in both the bottom of the second and third innings.
Everything changed with one out in the bottom of the third, however, when the Junior P-15’s scored five runs, and sent 10 batters to the plate. Clayton Goff and Timothy Gottshall delivered the two clutch two-out base hits to score four of the five runs in the inning and give Sumter a 5-1 lead.
Hartsville got one back in the top of the fourth inning, but the Junior P-15’s erupted for five runs again in the bottom of the fourth inning. Gottshall delivered the knockout blow with another two-run single, giving Sumter their 10-2 lead. Gottshall finished the game 2 for 3 with four runs batted in.
On the mound, it was Austin Trapp who held the Hartsville bats in check for most of the game. Trapp allowed five hits and struck out two batters in four innings pitched.
The Junior P-15’s will be back in action on Wednesday evening when they travel to Hartsville for game two of their best of three series. If Sumter wins they’ll advance to the next round to face either Manning or West Florence Green.
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