SUMTER For a number of years, the Sumter baseball program’s trademark has been pitching and defense, coach Joe Norris said.
“We pride ourselves on those two things because that’s what you need to win games — especially tight playoff games,” Norris said.
Thursday’s District VII tournament matchup against Dutch Fork in the first round of the 4A state playoffs was a case in point. Charlie Barnes pitched a complete-game shutout for the Gamecocks, working out of a pair of two-on, nobody-out jams with help from a solid defense behind him.
Meanwhile, Taylor McFaddin led off Sumter’s half of the first inning with a solo home run on the first pitch he saw to provide Barnes with all the support he needed in a 1-0 victory.
Sumter improved to 16-8 and will play again on Saturday. The West Ashley-Fort Dorchester game was rained out on Thursday and the two teams will play today. Sumter will travel to face West Ashley if it wins and will host the Patriots if they win.
Barnes allowed six hits, struck out eight, walked one and hit a batter. He faced four batters or fewer in five of his seven innings, and pitched out of the two jams he faced.
Dutch Fork’s Holton was equally as dominant, save for one pitch. Holton struck out eight and allowed two hits and three walks, one intentional.
Pappas and Mark Kingsmore each had two hits to lead Dutch Fork, which fell to 14-10 .