The Sumter P-15's had a chance to take control of first place in League III in its American Legion baseball game against Camden Post 17 on Wednesday at Riley Park. Now Sumter has to find a way to get …
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The Sumter P-15's had a chance to take control of first place in League III in its American Legion baseball game against Camden Post 17 on Wednesday at Riley Park. Now Sumter has to find a way to get a road win today in Camden to keep Post 17 from getting a stranglehold on first place.
Camden scored a run in the top of the seventh inning and held off a P-15's rally in the bottom of the inning to pick up a 2-1 victory.
Post 17 improved to 7-2 on the season and 5-1 in league play. Sumter dropped to 6-3 overall and 5-2 in League III. The teams play again today at 7 p.m. at American Legion Field.
"This was a really good game tonight," said P-15's head coach Curtis Johnson. "It was really well pitched. Their guy was throwing everything for strikes -- fastball, changeup and breaking ball. And Lathan (Todd) pitched a great game for us. He did what he normally does and that's give us a chance to win.
"Their guy" is Camden right-hander Zac Branham. He limited Sumter to just two hits while striking out eight. He walked two -- one intentionally -- and hit a batter.
"We could tell early on that Zac was really on tonight," said Post 17 head coach Stephen Carmon. "We knew we were going to be able to go with him. We just needed to get him some runs."
Todd, the right-hander who had signed with The Citadel, made that difficult. He scattered six hits while striking out three and hitting two batters.
Todd gave up a leadoff single to Bradwin Salmond to start the game, but immediately picked him off first base. In the second, Camden loaded the bases with one out on singles from Noah Rabon and Chase Galloway before William Cobb was hit by a pitch. Todd escaped the jam by getting Chris Rivers on an infield fly rule that was dropped and catching Josh Boone looking at a called third strike.
Post 17 took a 1-0 lead in the third without the benefit of a hit. After two were out, Jake Laffin was hit by a pitch. A throwing error by third baseman Trent Frye and a fielding error by shortstop Ryan Moore allowed Laffin to score.
Branham mowed through the Sumter order in the early going, retiring the first 11 batters of the game. That streak came to an end when Jacob Holladay reached on an error by second baseman Rivers with two outs in the fourth. A wild pitch moved him to second, and he scored when Joey Pereira hit a hard ground ball off of Branham's leg that made it into the outfield to tie the game at 1-1.
Another hit wouldn't come from either team until the seventh. Cobb led off the Camden at-bat with a single and went to second on a 1-out hit by Boone. Salmond followed with a line drive at Pereira at second. He jumped for the ball, but it hit off his glove and went into right, allowing Cobb to score.
"Lathan is a really good pitcher," Carmon said. "Our guys did a good job of putting the bat on the ball in that inning."
Sumter didn't go down without a fight though. With one out, Moore, who had struck out in his first two at-bats, hit a shot that was just inside the first base line for a double. Daulton Dabbs was hit by a pitch before Branham struck out Rylan Williamson for the second out
Johnson decided to have Todd come in to pinch hit for Frye, but that set off a delay as it was debated whether Todd could come into a spot in the batting order other than for the designated hitter. It was determined he could, but a passed ball moved the runners up a base and Camden intentionally walked Todd to load the bases.
Branham got Cory Blackley to hit into a fielder's choice to end the game.
"We've just got to go over there tomorrow and scratch and claw and go from there," Johnson said. "We were one bounce from winning the game, but it didn't happen."
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