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Todd shuts down KC on four hits in 10-0 P-15 win

Posted: June 7, 2017 4:15 p.m.
Updated: June 9, 2017 1:00 a.m.

SUMTER --- Lathan Todd had such command on the mound for the Sumter P-15’s on Tuesday, he almost didn’t want to get a hit that would end the night early against Kershaw County Post 17 at Riley Park.

Almost.

“I really wanted to go back out there,” Todd said. “But I’ll take it.”

Todd’s single in the bottom of the eighth inning drove in the game-ending runs and capped off the right-hander’s four-hit, 12-strikeout shutout performance in Sumter’s 10-0 American Legion baseball League III victory.

Not only was Todd dominant with the strikeouts, he had tremendous control. He did not walk a batter and only went three balls on one batter, that coming in the first inning.

“When I first got out there on the mound, that’s when I knew I had pretty good stuff,” said Todd, who improved to 2-0 on the season. “I didn’t really feel that good in the bullpen but that changed when the game started.”

“What a commanding performance by that young man,” said P-15’s head coach Steve Campbell, whose team remained undefeated in league play at 5-0 and 5-1 overall. “He went out there and took control of the game.”

Todd had at least one strikeout in seven innings, the final one being the only inning in which he didn’t fan anyone. He struck out the side in the sixth and had three two-strikeout innings.

“I was just working on getting ahead in the count,” said Todd, who is not known as a dominant strikeout pitcher. “When I got ahead, I started working on getting them to swing at pitches out of the strike zone.”

A 10-run mercy rule victory didn’t appear to be in the offing. The game was scoreless after five innings as KC right-handed starter Jay Lynch limited Sumter to three hits.

The P-15’s broke the scoring drought with a run in the sixth. Rylan Williamson led off with a double, was sacrificed to second by Ryan Touchberry and scored on a Todd groundout.

Sumter finally got to Lynch in the seventh, scoring seven runs on eight hits. Ryan Moore had an RBI single, Williamson a 2-run triple and Touchberry an RBI single to make it 5-0.

The game completely got away from Post 17, which fell to 0-2 both overall and in league play, when Courtland Howard hit a grounder in the hole to first baseman Justin Dorton who had nobody to throw the ball to when his pitcher failed to cover first base. That allowed Howard to reach and Todd to score. Joey Pereira got caught in a rundown but avoided the tag of catcher Brady White and slipped his hand on the plate after initially missing it on a head-first slide to make it 7-0.

Daniel Reynolds’ infield single, his third hit of the night, drove in another run to make it 8-0. Todd’s two-run, no-out single in the eighth ended the game.

The P-15’s finished with 14 hits. Touchberry also had three hits and Williamson and Howard both had two. Todd finished with three RBI.

Offensively, four different players collected hits for the visitors. Bradwin Salmond went 1-for-3 with a stolen base while Nick Buter had a double in three trips to the plate.

Lynch, making his first American Legion start, was the second KC pitcher to work into the seventh inning. In 6.1 innings of work, the rising senior at Lugoff-Elgin struck out five Sumter batters. He scattered seven hits along the way

“It took us a little while to get the bats going, but we finished strong,” Campbell said. “I think once we got to see him (Lynch) the second time we got a good feel for him. That’s 20 runs in the last two games (Sumter won 10-4 on Monday). I’ll take that.”

Kershaw County tried to avoid the sweep in its season-opening series when Sumter was scheduled to come to American Legion Park in Camden.

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