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Ahoskie junior team swept by Post 58

AHOSKIE – Just when Ahoskie’s Post-102 American Legion Junior baseball team was getting its swagger — along comes a reality check.

Rocky Mount Post-58’s junior team took a doubleheader from the home team Sunday. That was the bad news.

That the two losses did not come in league play is the good news.

The Nash County Nine jumped out to an early lead in the first game of the two five-inning contests and despite three unearned runs held off an Ahoskie comeback to win the first game, 8-5. Then the visitors rallied for a pair of runs late in the second game to complete the sweep, 3-2.

“At least this one’s over,” said Ahoskie coach Wayne Hill shaking his head after the twin losses.

“I think of it more as practice,” he added, “and it should get us ready for the games we have coming up this week.”

Ahoskie will play a key conference game Thursday evening in Tarboro against Pinetops Post-316’s junior team and the outcome could go a long way in determining the final standings before the playoffs begin.

“We don’t really have a lot of time to practice because we’ve got three games this week, so it’ll just be who wants it the worst,” Hill said.

Chris Rogerson was 3-for-3 in Game-One and drove in three runs. Jacob Rose and Simon Hoggard also had RBI’s.

Ahoskie only managed one hit in the second game, a towering homerun from Blake Hill; but they made the most of it for their only two runs of the game.

Rocky Mount’s Jeremy Trevathan was 2-for-4 in the twinbill and scored three runs, including the game-winner in the second contest. He also picked up the win on the mound in game one.

Post-58 scored five runs in the first two innings, two of them unearned on Ahoskie errors to take a 5-0 lead after an inning and a half of play.

Ahoskie came back, however, in the bottom of the second when Patrick Dilday got a base hit, moved to second when Daniel Merritt drew a walk and then scored on Jacob Rose’s single up the middle to get the home team on the scoreboard.

Tyler Burden then hit a weak grounder to the shortstop, but beat out a double-play on the fielder’s choice. Hoggard followed with a base hit back through the box past the pitcher to score Merritt and put runners on first and second with one out. After a strikeout, Rogerson delivered two more runs with a shot into the right-centerfield gap and the four-hit attack had drawn the home team within one at, 5-4.

After a scoreless third inning by both teams Rocky Mount got three more runs, including another unearned, off eventual losing pitcher, Hill, to double up Ahoskie, 8-4.

In the bottom of the fourth inning Burden singled, stole second base and moved 90 feet away from home plate on Jim Porter’s only hit of the afternoon before coming home on Rogerson’s third hit and third RBI of the game to make it 8-5.

Ahoskie got a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the fifth, but Rocky Mount reliever Benton Moss got a ground out and a strikeout to end the game.

“Without the errors and the three unearned runs it’s a tie ball game,” said Hill with a shrug, “but we also didn’t hit with runners in scoring position.”

Joseph Eure started on the mound for Ahoskie in the second game and was staked to a 2-0 lead in the first after Hill sent a two-one breaking ball 320 feet over the right-field fence, scoring Rogerson ahead of him, who had walked.

But Ahoskie was shut out at the plate the rest of the way. Rocky Mount (14-3) pulled within a run at 2-1 in the top of the third inning and the visitors won it with a pair of runs scored in the top of the fourth on a fly ball to the wall in centerfield.

“Ahoskie’s got a good team,” said Rocky Mount coach Hank Jones. “They’re a feisty bunch, so we’re happy to get these wins.”

Post-102 (11-8) will play at Washington tonight (Tuesday) before playing their final home game, a rain-out make-up, against Pitt County-West of Farmville at Ridgecroft School baseball field Wednesday night. That game has a 5 p.m. starting time because the senior team will play later at Hertford County High field at 7 p.m.