The Sumter High School varsity baseball team had a furious rally in the seventh inning to send its game against Lugoff-Elgin on Wednesday at Gamecock Field to extra innings.
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It ended up being all for naught though as the Gamecocks fell to Lugoff-Elgin 7-6 in 10 innings.
Down 6-2, the Gamecocks scored four runs in the seventh to knot the game up at 6-6, but the Demons scored a run in the top of the 10th and the Gamecocks were unable to keep the game going with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning.
“I’m proud of the heart,” said Sumter head coach Brooks Shumake. “We have a competitive nature. We have a group of kids who work their tails off and expect to win.”
Sumter fell to 2-4 on the season and lost the 3-game set with the Demons with a 7-2 road loss on Monday and the loss Wednesday. SHS is 0-2 in Region IV-5A, while L-E is 2-0.
“We’re struggling on defense,” Sumter head coach Brooks Shumake said. “We can’t give teams extra outs. We shoot ourselves in the foot. We have to do a better job of being ready to play in terms of making plays.”
Sumter got on the board first when Trey Yates plated Wylie Coker with a single in the second inning, giving the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead.
However, the Demons would take a 3-1 lead after scoring three runs in the fourth inning. Pitcher Walker Branham reached home on a throwing error, Brandon Lankford scored Jake Laffin with a single, and Heath Stokes plated Dalton Reeves with a sacrifice fly.
Sumter would get a run back in the fifth inning when Sebastian Ducom hit a single to score Jackson Hoshour to make it 3-2.
However, Lugoff-Elgin would score three runs in the top of the seventh inning. Ty Dooley would score on an error after a Witt Branham single, and Laffin would score Witt Branham and Walker Branham with a single to put the Demons up 6-2.
Sumter tied the game as Hoshour scored on a single from pitcher Jacob Holladay. Ducom scored on an error, and Yates plated Drake Thames and Holladay with a double.
“We stayed in the game,” Shumake said. “The tide turned.”
Neither team would score in the eighth or ninth innings, but Sumter had a good chance to score with runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Thames reached base on a single, and Holladay reached after getting hit by a pitch. Coker advanced the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. L-E chose to intentionally walk Yates to load the bases and got the desired result. Austin Trapp grounded to shortstop to start a 6-4-3 double play to end the Gamecocks’ scoring threat.
“We (hit into) a double play right at ‘em,” Shumake said. “It was tailor-made.”
Lugoff-Elgin took a 7-6 lead in the top of the 10th when, after stealing third, Heath Erwin crossed home plate on a wild pitch.
Sumter got the bottom of the 10th off to a good start with a single from Hoshour. With one out, Posey hit a shallow fly ball to right field that was caught by the Demons. Hoshour, who was halfway between first and second, was unable to beat the throw back to the bag and was doubled up to end the game.
Holladay recorded five strikeouts and gave up five hits in nine innings of work in the loss. For Lugoff-Elgin, Walker Branham recorded a strikeout and a walk and gave up three hits in four innings, and Witt Branham recorded a strikeout and gave up four hits in six innings of relief.
Sumter will have another crack at the Demons in the final game of the series at Lugoff-Elgin on Friday. Shumake is still undecided on who will take the mound for the Gamecocks.
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