Junior team swept
WILSON – Sometimes turnabout is not fair play.
This was the case metaphorically for Ahoskie American Legion Post 102’s junior baseball team Friday when a wet field at Fike High School postponed their Area-One East playoff game. The news of the rainout came after the team was already en route to Wilson County.
That meant a doubleheader of games on Saturday and Ahoskie – playing with just 10 players for both games – was eliminated as they lost the twinbill, 9-2, to Wilson Post-13 and 13-3 to Northern Nash.
The junior team ends their season at 14-12.
&uot;Saturday our backs were against the wall missing three starters,&uot; said Post 102 Head Coach David Ellis on Sunday. &uot;(We) had only 10 players and played with several kids out of their normal position. On Friday we had already left with 12 players and were near Lewiston when I got the call the field would not be ready.&uot;
John Hunter led Ahoskie in the first game with two hits. Travis Ellis, Edward Joyner, Zeek Williams, Tyler Pryor, Mitchell Godwin and Dakota Young all had singles.
Ellis led off the top of the first inning with a walk. Austin Cooke then reached on bunt single, but a wild throw sent Ellis to third where he later scored on Hunter’s RBI single to right.
Cooke advanced to third, but three pop ups ended the half-inning and Wilson responded by scoring two in the bottom of the first and three runs in the second inning to take a 5-1 lead.
In the top of the third, with one out, Hunter singled to center. After a pop out, David Brackett drew a walk and Williams’ RBI single plated Hunter.
Ahoskie then loaded the bases but Godwin’s slow roller to the short stop ended the inning on a controversial call with Pryor ruled out at second to end the rally and Ahoskie trailed 5-2.
Trailing 6-2 in the fourth Ahoskie had another chance, as Joyner singled and Brackett reached via an error that advanced Joyner to second. Williams then hit a bullet down the third base line, but the Wilson third baseman turned it into a double play to end the threat.
Post 102 had singles in each of the final three innings but could do no further damage and fell by seven runs.
That sent Post-102 into the loser’s bracket game against Northern Nash, who lost Friday night to top-seed Wilson.
Ahoskie took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as leadoff batter Ellis was hit by a pitch. He then stole second and advanced to third when Cooke reached on an error. Hunter followed with a deep shot to leftfield that was almost a three-run homer, but instead became a sacrifice fly, scoring Ellis. Unfortunately for Ahoskie, a fly out and strike out ended the inning.
Northern responded by exploding for nine runs in the top of the second and another in the third to take a 10-1 lead.
In the fourth frame, Ahoskie scored a pair of runs as Joyner led off with a walk and Brackett singled. Williams’ fielders choice forced Brackett out at second, but Pryor drove in Joyner with an RBI-single. Godwin’s ground ball to short was misplayed allowing Williams to score, but another double play ended the inning with Ahoskie trailing 10-3.
Northern Nash scored three more runs to take a 13-3 lead. Ahoskie had one final chance to score in the bottom of seventh as Godwin led off with a walk and one out later advanced to third on Ellis’ single. But a ground out and fly out ended Ahoskie’s season.
Ahoskie ended up with six hits led by Ellis and Brackett with two apiece while Pryor and Williams also singled.
&uot;Today just was not our day,&uot; said the disappointed Ellis afterward. &uot;We had our chances, but couldn’t take advantage. We left too many runners (11) on base in the first game and made several defensive mistakes which Wilson made us pay for.
&uot;In the second game you never know what might happen if we take a 3-0 lead but instead they score nine runs and we were really never in the game after that inning.&uot;
Ellis was complimentary of his young team on their season.
&uot;We had a great year with 14 wins and a two-year run which produced 23 wins,” he said. “Even though we didn’t reach all our goals those other teams know who we are and knew they had to bring their ‘A’ game. I wish we could be playing Tuesday in Cary.&uot;