Fort Mill Post 43’s Xavier Cumbee readies for a pitch during an at-bat. Cumbee led Fort Mill at the plate with five RBI, including a three-run home run.

LANCASTER – For the second consecutive game against Lancaster Post 31, Fort Mill Post 43 posted a shutout performance to take a league lead.

Fort Mill Post 43 improved to 4-2 overall and 4-1 in league play and took the season series against Lancaster despite one more game still to play between the two clubs. Three of Post 43 wins have come against Lancaster. Fort Mill’s series with Rock Hill Post 34 is tied at 1-1 with two more games to go as well between those two clubs.

“Offensively, this week we showed the ability to hit the ball into the gap, hit the ball out of the ballpark and our pitching has been special,” said Post 43 head coach Tom Skula. “We’re showing some really, really, good signs and we just hope to keep building on that.”    

Post 43 beat Lancaster 10-0 with dominant pitching from Blake Sherrill, who pitched four innings and allowed just two hits while striking out eight and walking none. Tyler Levy pitched a scoreless fifth inning for Fort Mill as the game was stopped after the fifth inning due to the 10-run mercy rule.

“Blake continues to have that bulldog mentality,” Skula said. “Week in and week out he has continued to amaze. I was very impressed to see what Tyler Levy did out of the bullpen tonight as well. We’re still trying to figure out all the pieces out of the bullpen, but we need some of our younger players to continue to step up and make quality contributions.”

Fort Mill had a comfortable 4-0 lead in the game when again they blew it open in the fifth inning scoring six runs on five hits, including a three-run home run from Xavier Cumbee. Cumbee went 2-4 with the home run and five RBI in the game to lead Post 43.

“When you have a guy at the top of the order that can hit home runs, lay down bunts, and steal bases it gives you so many opportunities from an offensive standpoint,” Skula said.

Post 43 collected 11 hits in the game as Brady Stone went 3-3 with an RBI and both Patrick Matthews and Chase Dougherty each had two hits in the game, as well.

Matthews got the hitting started for Fort Mill in the top of the first with a lead off double to open the game. He would later score on a sacrifice fly by Kolby Crepeau. Fort Mill added two more runs in the second inning on a single by Stone and another single from Matthews, who drove Stone in. Cumbee would hit a sacrifice fly to score Gabe Simmons, who reached on a walk.

Cumbee added his second RBI of the game in the fourth driving in Stone, who singled to open the inning.

“At the plate, our players continue to look for their pitch and have a plan up there,” Skula said. “We foul balls off, spit on breaking balls in the dirt, and look to hit the fastball.”

Fort Mill has a true road game at Dalzell Post 175 Thursday and will return to their summer home in Lancaster’s Harvey Eggleton Field for a home game Monday against Rock Hill Post 34.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep