Seniors post historic win

Published 7:34 am Tuesday, June 17, 2014

KINSTON – Ahoskie American Legion Post 102’s senior baseball team built a 4-0 lead and went on to upset Kinston Post 43, 6-4, here Friday night at Kinston High School baseball field.

It was Ahoskie’s second straight win.

Ahoskie opened the scoring with one run in the top of the second inning.  Ackerman Grace opened with a walk.  Grace then went all the way to third on Austin Hurdle’s base hit to right field, and crossed the plate on an error on the same play.  Ahoskie led the contest, 1-0, after an inning-and-a-half of play.

Post 102 added another run in the top of the fourth.  Mason Wright doubled to left field and went to third on a passed ball.  Bryan Merritt then hit into a fielder’s choice, allowing Wright to score for a 2-0 Ahoskie lead when Post 43 failed to score after four.

Post 102 picked up two more runs in the top of the fifth inning.  Zach Byers reached on a two-base error, ending up at second base.  Everett Sawyer then laid down a bunt single, allowing Byers to reach third and putting runners on the corners. Byers scored when Dylan Waterfield reached on an error.  Kinston then threw home on the same play, nailing Sawyer at the plate for an out.  Waterfield then stole second and scored from there when Wright reached on Kinston’s second miscue of the inning.  It was 4-0, Ahoskie, after four-and-a-half.

Kinston got one run back in the bottom of the fifth to trail 4-1 after five complete.

Ahoskie picked up another run in the top of the sixth.  Brandon Terry got a base hit and stole second.  Grace followed with a single that moved Terry to third.  Terry later scored on a wild pitch for a 5-1 lead for Post 102.

Kinston picked up single runs in the bottom of both the sixth and the seventh to cut Ahoskie’s lead to two runs at 5-3 entering the eighth.

That was where Post 102 got its final run.  Merritt walked and went to second on Terry’s sacrifice bunt.  Hurdle then drove a triple all the way to the wall in right field allowing Merritt to cruise home and causing Ahoskie to double-up the home team, 6-3.

Kinston got one run in the bottom of the ninth and was threatening to put more on the scoreboard before Ahoskie extinguished the threat and picked up the two-run win.

Wright pitched six innings for the victory allowing two runs on three hits and he had seven strikeouts.  Merritt pitched the final three innings and he also gave up a pair of runs on a pair of hits and he had six strikeouts.

Ahoskie got eight hits from six players.  Hurdle and Terry had two hits apiece while Grace, Sawyer, Wright, and Trey Small had one hit each in Ahoskie’s first-ever win over Kinston in American Legion baseball play.

“We had great pitching from Mason and Bryan,” said Ahoskie coach Chris Towell.  “They kept Kinston off-balance and hit their spots.  We played good defense and hit the ball well.  This is a good win for us.”

Ahoskie raised its record to 2-5 and 2-4 in conference play.  Post 102 hosted Windsor Post 37 Monday night in a game that was not complete by press time. Ahoskie’s next game is at home against Elizabeth City Thursday night at 7 p.m.