Farmville downs Ahoskie

Published 1:37 pm Saturday, July 4, 2009

AHOSKIE – Three games in two days certainly takes their toll.

After winning a thrilling 9-8 comeback contest against Washington on Tuesday night, Ahoskie’s Post-102 junior American Legion baseball team fell to Pitt. County-West Post-160 of Farmville, 19-7, Wednesday evening at Ridgecroft School baseball field.

“It all comes down to Tarboro (Thursday) night,” said Ahoskie coach, Wayne Hill. “I hope we come into that game with a lot more energy.”

The winner of the game between Pinetops and Ahoskie, played at Tarboro Municipal Stadium, advances to the state Junior American Legion playoffs set for Cary later this month.

Joseph Eure drove in a pair of runs for Ahoskie and Braxton Sumner went 2-for-3 with a run batted in. Simon Hoggard also drove in a run and Blake Hill crushed a homerun in the sixth inning for another run. Ahoskie also picked up two unearned runs on a pair of Farmville errors.

The game, postponed from June 9 due to a rainout, was all Farmville in the early going. The visitors got three runs in the first inning, then sent 15 batters to the plate in the second inning off a quartet of Ahoskie pitchers as they pounded out nine more runs for a 12-0 lead after the first two innings.

Farmville got another run in the top of the third before Ahoskie erased the shutout in the bottom of the third when they got back-to-back base-on-balls to Chris Rogerson and Hill. Eure then delivered a solid single to left field to plate Rogerson and get the host team on the scoreboard.

Despite being down, 13-1, after those three innings Ahoskie made the game interesting with a five-run explosion in the fifth. Tyler Burden got things started with a base hit down the third base line, but was erased at second base one batter later when Brandon Stifflemire reached on a fielder’s choice.

Rogerson’s second walk of the game moved Stifflemire to second. Blake Hill’s grounder down the third-base line looked like a tailor-made double play ball, but the Farmville third baseman threw wildly to second base and Stifflemire raced home with Ahoskie’s second run as Rogerson moved to third.

The next batter, Eure, hit a slow-roller sacrifice down the first-base line that got Rogerson home with Ahoskie’s third run and moved Hill to second. It also meant the game would be extended beyond five innings thanks to Ahoskie pulling within nine runs at 13-4.

Sumner then stepped up with his second hit of the game to bring home Hill and make it 13-5. Patrick Dilday then got a walk to put two aboard and both runners moved into scoring position after a passed ball mishandled by the Farmville catcher.

Daniel Merritt then hit an infield grounder that looked like the inning-ender, but again the Farmville infield misplayed it allowing Sumner to score. Dilday moved to third on the play and came home on Hoggard’s two-out shot to the gap in right centerfield; but he was left stranded as Ahoskie flied out to end the inning but only trailed, 13-6, after four.

Pitt County-West opened the fifth with back-to-back base hits and both unearned runs later scored on a pair of Ahoskie errors. It upped the Farmville lead to 15-6. They then retired Ahoskie in order in the bottom of the frame.

Four more Farmville runs made it 19-6 before Hill, taking a step up in the batter’s box, reminiscent of Adam Sandler’s golf shot in the movie, ‘Happy Gilmore’, blasted a two-out shot 310 feet over the wall, but that was all for Post-102 and Farmville avenged an earlier 3-2 loss to Ahoskie with the twelve-run win.

In Tuesday’s game at Washington, Ahoskie trailed 7-5 before they rallied with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning when Stifflemire drove in two with a hot-shot up the middle to tie the game.

Post-102 took the lead on Chris Rogerson’s base hit and added another to lead 9-7 entering the bottom of the seventh. Rogerson then caught a sharp two-out line drive with runners in scoring position to preserve the Ahoskie one-run victory, their only one over Washington this season.

“They wanted that game really bad Tuesday night,” said Hill with a gleam in his eye. “I just hope they want it just as bad Thursday in Tarboro.”