Post 102 gets big win

Published 6:49 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013

AHOSKIE – Post 102 rallied for six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and then hung on to beat Edenton Post-40, 9-6, in a senior American Legion game here at Hertford County High School baseball field Tuesday night.

Edenton opened the scoring with one run in the top of the second on a Billy Kretzer RBI fielder’s choice that held up for a 1-0 lead after two full innings of play.

Post-40 added two more runs in the top of the fourth on run-scoring singles by first Drew Williams and later Nate Gardner that would make it 3-0 Edenton after four complete.

Post-40 starting pitcher and former Lawrence Academy stalwart Darren Armstrong was cruising with  a one-hit shutout and a three-run lead thru five innings and looking for his offense to add more to that total.

That would come a half inning later when Edenton scored another pair of runs in the top of the sixth.  Both Drew Williams and Alan Tynch scored on wild pitches to give Post-40 a 5-0 lead going into the bottom of the sixth.

Ahoskie finally broke thru with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Jake Pope singled to right field and later stole second to get into scoring position. Tyler Burden then walked and both runners moved up one base on a wild pitch. Pope would score on a Ryan Williams RBI single to right field, while Burden scored on a Mason Wright RBI single to center. Matt Rose then singled to load the bases, but Armstrong bore down and got a fly out and two strike-outs to end the inning, leaving Ahoskie trailing by three after six full innings, 5-2.

Edenton added another run in the top of the seventh on a Jack Downum solo home run over the fence in left field giving Post-40 a 6-2 lead going into the bottom of the seventh.

It was then that Edenton coach Bob Jordan made a pitching change for the bottom of the seventh. Tynch would relieve Armstrong and Ahoskie would score six runs.

Ryan Weaver opened with an infield single and stole second. Weaver would score on a Pope RBI double to left center-field. Pope advanced to third on a Burden sacrifice fly and scored on a Williams RBI single to left. Williams stole second and went to third base on a Wright double down the right field line. Rose was then hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Williams would score as Jack Bunn was hit by a pitch for an RBI. Wright would later score on a Carson Arthur RBI fielder’s choice that tied the game at 6-6. Rose and Bunn then scored on Brandon Stifflemire’s 2-run single to left and Ahoskie – given up for dead – had come back to take an 8-6 lead after seven full innings.

Ahoskie added one more run in the bottom of the eighth when Burden walked stole second and later third base and scored on a Wright RBI infield single. Post-102 led 9-6 after eight innings.

In the top of the ninth Edenton got the leadoff man on first thanks to an error and the runner advanced to second on a wild pitch. But Burden, who had come on in relief of Wright got three straight strikeouts that ended the game.

Wright pitched the first five innings for Ahoskie allowing four runs on five hits and he had seven strikeouts. Burden pitched the last four innings for the win, allowing two runs on two hits and he struck out eight. Armstrong pitched six innings for Edenton allowing two runs on five hits and he had eight strikeouts as well.

Ahoskie had a total of 11 hits. Wright was three-for-four and drove in two runs to lead Post-102. Williams had two hits and two RBI’s. Pope and Weaver also had two hits. Rose and Stifflemire had one hit apiece and Stifflemire drove in a pair of runs.

“This was a good comeback win,” said Ahoskie coach David Ellis. “We swung the bats really well.”

“This was a good team win,” he added. “We didn’t give up. Mason pitched great the first five innings and Tyler came in there and threw strikes.”

“Any conference win is a good win,” he concluded with a smile.

Ahoskie is now 2-4 and 2-2 in conference play. Post-102 will play Pitt County Thursday night at ECU’s Clark-LeClair Stadium with a 7 p.m. start. They will then play home-and-home games with Kinston beginning Friday on the road and then back in Ahoskie at Hertford County High on Saturday. Both games have a 7 p.m. starting time.