Sumter County opens baseball season with 14-14 tie with Turner County

Published 1:14 pm Friday, February 17, 2023

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AMEIRICUS – Going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Sumter County varsity baseball team trailed Turner County 14-11 in its season opener on Thursday, February 16 at Thomas Bell stadium, but thanks in part to a two run double by Trekavion Rush, the Panthers scored three runs to tie the game at 14-14. However, they were not able to bring home the winning run and due to time constraints, the game was declared a tie.

In spite of not winning the game, SCHS head coach Lee Wright was pleased with the way his club battled against the Titans in the season opener, but knows that his team has much to improve on.

“They could have hung their heads when the other team scored some runs, but they kept their heads up. They kept fighting,” Wright said. “We’ve got some things we’ve got to clean up though. I felt like once we went up early in the game 6-2, I thought we had a good opportunity to close the door and play better defense, but in defense, we made some costly errors and let these guys get back in the game and we made some base running mistakes.” Wright went on to say that he told his team after the game that they have to take steps forward. “They understand the task that is ahead of us and they want to get better and I think that’s the great thing in sight,” Wright said.

Trekavion Rush went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and two runs scored and Torrende Rush also had a two-hit game for the Panthers, as he went 2 for 4 with two singles and a walk.

In total, the Panthers had 10 hits and were the beneficiary of numerous wild pitches from TC pitchers. However, the Panthers had a difficult time in the field, as they committed 10 errors on the day.

The Titans scored the first run of the game in the top of the second inning when Julian Sodaitis led off with a single, stole second and third base and then scored on an error. However, the panthers responded in the bottom of the second by scoring six runs on four hits and took advantage of several wild pitches.

In the top of the third, the Titans struck back with three runs on three hits and they would later tie the game at 6-6 in the top of the fourth on a two-run double by Jaden King.

TC took the lead in the top of the fifth when Julian Sodaitis drove in a run on an RBI single and he would later score after stealing both second and third base. At this point, the Panthers trailed 8-6. However, in the bottom of the fifth, the Panthers countered with four runs on four walks, a hit batsman, an error and a couple of wild pitches to take a 10-8 lead.

Unfortunately for SCHS, they weren’t able to hold the lead, as the Titans scored five runs on five hits, including RBI doubles from Sodaitis and Gavin Lewis. At this point, the Panthers trailed 13-10.

Sumter County second baseman Trekavion Rush scores on a wild pitch. Rush went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Panthers scored a run in the bottom of the sixth when Lavaris Milledge, who had drawn a walk, scored a run on a wild pitch. TC responded with a run in the top of the seventh on an RBI double from Jaden King, but the Panthers were able to score three runs in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI double from Jakorey Wise and a two-run single from Trekavion Rush.

Torrende Rush got the start on the mound for the Panthers. In three innings of work, Rush gave up four runs on one hit and struck out seven. Koby Robinson came on in relief of Rush. In four innings of work, Rush gave up 10 runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out 10.

The Panthers (0-0-1) will try for their first win of the season when they host Webster County on Monday, February 20 at 5:30 p.m.