Post 514 rallies past Ahoskie

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 10, 2003

AHOSKIE – Roanoke Rapids Post 514 rallied for two runs with two-out in the top of the ninth inning to hand Ahoskie Post 102 a 13-12 loss here Sunday night in American Legion baseball action.

None of those in attendance gave Ahoskie much of a chance at even seeing the ninth inning as Roanoke Rapids parlayed a pair of costly Post 102 errors to score seven runs, only one earned, in the top of the first inning en route to a quick 8-1 lead after two innings of play. But Ahoskie battled back, eventually taking their first lead at 9-8 by the bottom of the sixth inning.

&uot;We got down early, but to the guys credit, they battled back and put themselves in a position to win,&uot; said Post 102 skipper Randy Whitaker whose club fell to 7-12 overall. &uot;We just couldn’t get that final out in the top of the ninth.&uot;

In that fateful inning, Post 514 had no one aboard with two outs and trailed by one. But Brandon Cotton got a rally started by drawing a walk. Ryan Deloatch then drove a pitch towards the rightfield line – a ball that Post 102 rightfielder Clay Thompson made a diving stab at, but couldn’t quite make the play. That allowed Cotton to score the tying run and, one batter later, Deloatch tallied what proved to be the game-winner as he raced home on Dustin Thomas’ RBI single.

Down 8-1, Post 102 launched its comeback bid by combining for six runs in the third and fourth innings. In the third, Corey Castelloe’s two-run double got Ahoskie to within 8-3. One inning later, Post 102 pulled to within 8-7 thanks to RBI hits by Chris Lawrence (double) and Ryan Ellis (single). One run scored on an error while the other came home on a wild pitch.

Ahoskie grabbed the lead at 9-8 in bottom of the sixth on RBI singles by Elliott Farless and Castelloe.

Roanoke Rapids rallied for a 9-9 tie thanks to a Post 102 error in the top of the seventh. Ahoskie came right back in their half of the seventh to plate three runs for a 12-9 lead. Two of those runs came on one swing of R. Ellis’ bat as he drove a pitch over the leftfield fence for a two-run homer. The other run scored on Castelloe’s RBI groundout.

But Ahoskie wouldn’t score again, opening the door for a Roanoke Rapids comeback as Post 514 tallied two runs in each the eighth and ninth innings to pull out the win.

Post 102 finished with 16 hits led by R. Ellis (5-for-6; 3 RBI’s) and Castelloe (3-for-5; 5 RBI’s).

Farless, the third pitcher used by Post 102, was the hard-luck loser on the mound. He worked one inning, surrendering two runs off two hits. R. Ellis, the starter, only lasted one-third inning as he gave-up seven runs off six hits. Castelloe pitched brilliantly in long relief, working seven and two-thirds innings, scattering six hits and fanning 10.