AMERICAN LEGION BASBALL

P-15's complete sweep of Hartsville in playoff series with 8-3 victory

By DENNIS BRUNSON
dennis@theitem.com
Posted 7/12/18

The Sumter P-15's wrapped up their American Legion baseball state playoff first-round series against Hartsville with an 8-3 victory on Wednesday at Riley Park.

Sumter won the best-of-5 series 3-0, improving to 18-9 on the season. The P-15's will …

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AMERICAN LEGION BASBALL

P-15's complete sweep of Hartsville in playoff series with 8-3 victory

Posted

As was the case in the first two games of the series, Hartsville Post 53 did not go down easy in Game 3 of its first-round series in the American Legion baseball state playoffs against Sumter on Wednesday at Riley Park, but went down it did.

The P-15's pulled out the brooms and completed a sweep of the best-of-5 series, beating Hartsville 8-3. Sumter won the series 3-0, improving to 18-9 on the season.

"I think this shows how much we've improved since early in the season," said P-15's head coach Curtis Johnson, whose team split its two regular-season games with Hartsville. "We've gotten better as the season has progressed. I think the kids believe in what we're doing."

The P-15's will face the winner of the series between Camden and Lexington in a best-of-5 second-round series next week. Camden took a 2-1 lead in the series with a 9-5 victory on Wednesday.

Sumter and Post 53 were scoreless through 3 1/2 innings of the first game on Monday before Sumter went on for a 10-0 victory in six innings. In Tuesday's Game 2, Hartsville led 5-0 through four innings before the P-15's scored 12 runs in their final three at-bats to win 12-5.

On Wednesday, Sumter jumped out to a quick lead for a change, putting up two runs against  Hartsville starting pitcher Rashard Coleman in the bottom of the first inning. Jacob Holladay drew a walk to start the inning, and Ryan Moore followed with a bunt single. Daulton Dabbs followed with a double to deliver Holladay with the first run.

The P-15's were able to manage just one more run against the right-handed Coleman though as Moore came home on a Joey Pereira ground out.

"We talked about getting out to a fast start," Johnson said. "We hadn't done that in the first two games, and we wanted to do that tonight. It was great for our guys."

Sumter made it 3-0 in the third. Holladay reached on an error by center fielder Dariyan Pendergrass and moved to second on a Moore base hit. Dabbs' sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base, but Pereira flew out to shallow right for the second out.

Instead of waiting for a hit though, Holladay broke for the plate with Coleman pitching out of the windup. Holladay slid in head-first ahead of the tag by catcher Peyton Herndon.

Sumter went up 5-0 in the fourth. Rylan Williamson led off with a double and scored on an error. Chandler Hunter, who reached on a fielder's choice, scored on a 2-out single by Trey Yates.

P-15's left-handed starter Josh Bryant took a no-hitter into the fifth. Steve Joyner broke up the no-hitter and scored one of Post 53's two runs in the inning. He struck out No. 3 hitter Keyshawn McDonald with runners on second and third to end the inning and leave the score 5-2.

"Josh is a competitor," Johnson said. "He goes out there and gives it everything he's got. He did a really good job tonight."

Sumter got three runs back in the bottom of the inning to make it 8-2. After two were out, Pereira and Bobby Crisp singled before Williamson's 2-run double. Williamson came home on Cory Blackley's bloop doubled.

Bryant came back out for the sixth, but Hartsville did anything but go quietly. Alex Miller reached on a 2-base error to start the inning. He moved to third on a Coleman base hit and scored on a passed ball. Owen Taylor walked and that ended the night for Bryant.

Daniel Twitty came on in relief and walked Joyner to load the bases, still with no outs. The right-handed Twitty got McIver Wallace to pop up for the first out. Peyton Herndon came very close to making the game very close. He hit a slicing line drive down the right field line that was foul by just a couple of inches. If it had been fair, it would have been a bases-clearing double or triple, making it 8-6.

Instead, Twitty caught Herndon looking for the second out and got Pendergrass to fly out to end the threat.

"I like having Twitty come out of the bullpen," Johnson said. "He's an older guy, a college guy (a starting pitcher at the University of South Carolina Sumter), and I like him in that (relief) role."

Bryant worked 5-plus innings to get the win. He allowed four hits, walked three and hit a batte. He had one strikeout.

The P-15's had nine hits. Williamson had the two doubles and Moore also had two hits. Holladay and illiamson both scoed two runs