Despite loss, Ahoskie could finish in first

Published 9:04 am Tuesday, July 6, 2010

AHOSKIE – Fortune, they say, favors the bold.

Ahoskie Post 102’s junior American Legion baseball team may’ve lost their Thursday night game to the Elizabeth City Post 84 Albemarle Wildcats, 13-11, but the juniors are poised to capture a tie for first-place in the league standings.

Monday they’ll travel to Tarboro to face Northern Nash and, with a win, they’ll be in a three-way tie for first-place with defending champ Tarboro and Rocky Mount.

“We didn’t want to lay a goose-egg,” said assistant coach Nathan Dilday, filling in for absent head coach Wayne Hill, “because Monday’s a big game.

“We hit the ball well tonight,” he added, “which is something we hadn’t done the last two games and I’m proud of their fighting all the way to the end.”

Chris Rogerson paced Ahoskie going 4-for-4 while Darren Armstrong was 2-for-2 and drove in three runs. D.J. Cook, Austin Britton, and Jim Porter were all 2-for-3.

Ahoskie out-hit the visitors, 17-to-11, but when you hiccup six total errors and a trio of passed balls it’s hard to get a ‘W’.

Elizabeth City sent 11 men to the plate in the first inning and took advantage of three Ahoskie errors to lead, 6-1, after the first inning and, 8-4, after two-and-a-half

But Post 102 pulled within a run in the bottom of the third inning thanks to the error bug striking the Wildcats and Ahoskie pushing across three runs.

Kyle Freeman drove in one, and two more scored when Cook reached on a fielder’s choice that became a two-base error that made the score, 8-7.

After a scoreless fourth, Elizabeth City pushed two more runs across to lead, 10-7, midway through the fifth frame before Ahoskie tacked on two more.

Rogerson and Porter slammed a pair of triples in their half of the inning sandwiched between a strikeout and Rogerson later scored on a passed ball to get Post 102 within one again, 10-9.

However, with Dilday down to his third pitcher of the night, Elizabeth City scored three more in the final two innings and despite getting within two in the bottom of the seventh, Ahoskie left the bases loaded and fell by two runs.

“We gave them a bunch of runs like they gave us a bunch of runs,” said Elizabeth City coach Doug Leary, shaking his head. “It could have gone either way, especially with the winning run on base there at the end.”

“They never put their heads down,” said Dilday. “We just chipped away and chipped away, but we never could get over the hump.

“Hopefully we’ve got our sticks going.” he added, “because that’s what we’re going to need come Monday; bring the sticks and leave the errors at home.”