Matt Talley pitched a four-hit shutout and Sumter pounded out 16 hits against three Rock Hill pitchers as Post 15 routed Post 34 in an elimination game in the American Legion State Tournament at The Winthrop Ballpark on Saturday.
Talley was dominant all afternoon. He allowed only one extra-base hit, struck out six and walked three.
After the third inning, he did not allow a Rock Hill runner to reach second base. His teammates backed him with errorless play in the field and turned four double plays.
Grayson Tanner's single in the first drove in Tyler Cappelman to give Post 15 a 1-0 lead. Cappelman's two-run triple in the second gave Sumter a 3-0 lead, and Post 15 looked back.
William Fudger's sacrifice fly to right field in the fourth inning gave Post 15 a 4-0 lead. Robert Benehaley, who opened the inning with a single, scored on the play.
Post 15 (26-3) broke the game open in the eighth with five runs. Six singles, a hit batter, a sacrifice fly, two stolen bases, and a wild pitch all figured in the outburst. When it was over, Sumter, the two-time defending state champion, had a 9-0 lead.
Eddie Barkley, Matt Price, Tony Micklon, Fudger, and Tanner each had an RBI in the rally.
Post 15 added one more in the ninth to account for the final score. Cappelman's single drove in Quintrell Nelson, who singled to get the inning started.
Rock Hill struggled at the plate all afternoon. No Post 34 player had more than one hit, and Rock Hill committed two errors in the field.
Post 34's best scoring opportunity came in the third inning. Brent Oakes opened the frame with a double and went to third on a wild pitch. Casey Seay grounded out to Talley, and Ryan Cox hit into a double play to end the threat.
The loss eliminated Rock Hill from the tournament. Post 34 went into the event as the No. 1 seed after breezing through the playoff rounds with six straight wins.
Post 34 finished the year with a record of 19-10. Despite the loss, coach Steve Knight was positive about his team's performance throughout the year.
"We had a great season," Knight said. "We ran into a buzzsaw this afternoon. We never quit, and I am proud of that."
The Post 34 coach had nothing but praise Sumter.
"They are a solid team," he added. "Their pitcher was strong today. They played good defense, and they hit the ball well."
Knight felt like his team played hard throughout the season and into the tournament.
• GAFFNEY 2, LANCASTER 1 -- Gaffney stayed alive with a win over Lancaster. Gaffney drew first blood when Ricky Brandon's infield ground out in the fourth inning plated Treven Tabor, who doubled to open the frame.
Lancaster tied the game in the top of the eighth when Derek Parker doubled to open the inning and later scored on a squeeze bunt by Joe Wright.
Gaffney won the game with a run in the bottom of the eighth. Treven Taber singled and went to second a wild pitch. He scored on Brian Parson's double.
• RICHLAND 15, FLORENCE 3 -- Richard Mounce did his best "iron man" impersonation that past two days.
Battling swealtering heat, he went the distance on the mound, going seven complete innings and belting two hits with five RBI's in the victory over Florence.