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Junior Post Team wins

AHOSKIE – Just enough.

Ahoskie’s Post 102 junior American Legion baseball team may not have been spectacular in ending their three-game losing streak, but their play Wednesday night at Hertford County High School baseball field got the job done in a 3-1 win over the junior team from Edenton Post-40.

Starting pitcher Darren Armstrong surrendered nine walks and one run, but also had nine strikeouts en route to the three-hit victory. He also helped himself at the plate by driving in a pair of runs in going 1-for-3.

Shaun Holloway scored twice and Eric Ortiz drove in the other run.

Five different Ahoskie batters had hits, but none for extra bases, as the junior team climbed back over the .500 mark with a record of 5-4.

“Darren really threw the ball well tonight,” said assistant coach Nathan Dilday, who filled in for Head Coach Wayne Hill. “I hadn’t seen him throw like that in a long time, but he was key by getting ahead in the (pitch) count.

“The biggest difference between last night (Wednesday) and tonight,” he added, “was that he kept the leadoff batters from getting on every inning because he threw strikes.  We had a few boo-boos out there, but nothing we couldn’t overcome, and we hit the ball just enough.”

Edenton got the first scoring threat of the night, getting a runner to third base with two out in the top of the second inning before Armstrong got a ground-out to end the chance.

In the top of the third, Ahoskie scored first when Holloway drew a one-out walk, stole second and third, and came home on Armstrong’s base hit to left field to make it 1-0.

Armstrong’s most trouble came in the fourth inning when Edenton got a double and a pair of walks to load the bases, but a groundout to first base kept the visitors off the scoreboard.

Ahoskie struck for another run in the bottom of the fourth when designated hitter, Bobby Merritt, sent a towering fly-ball to deep right field just over the Edenton right fielder’s head.

The ball was then bobbled allowing him to make it all the way to third on a two-base error on the same play. Merritt came home one batter later on Ortiz’s sacrifice ground out to up the score to 2-0, Ahoskie.

Edenton finally got on the board in the fifth thanks to a base hit, a two-base throwing error and a ground out.

But, in the bottom of the frame, Ahoskie locked the game up.  Holloway hit a moon-shot to right field that was misplayed into a two-base error putting him on third. Armstrong then got his second RBI of the night with a sacrifice fly.

Edenton left the bases loaded for the second time on the night in the sixth. In all, Post-40 left 11 men on base for the game.

After striking out the first two Edenton batters in the top of the seventh, Armstrong began to tire and walked the next two batters. With the possible go-ahead run at the plate, Dilday brought on Austin Lewis who got a strikeout and picked up the save.

“With Armstrong running out of gas, I thought we could do something,” shrugged Edenton coach Travis Lilly. “But we’ll see Ahoskie five more times this summer so I think we’ll get a chance.”

Ahoskie is off now for graduations before playing four in a row beginning Tuesday at Roanoke Rapids.  Their next home game is Thursday at 7 p.m. against Rocky Mount.