Three of a kind

Published 9:24 am Thursday, June 19, 2014

AHOSKIE – American Legion Post 102’s senior baseball team scored the winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning on a Tyler Small walk-off RBI single as Ahoskie beat Windsor Post 37, 5-4, here Monday night.

Ahoskie opened the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Brandon Terry drew a base-on-balls and went to third on a Bryan Merritt double to center.  On a fly out, Terry scored on the play while Merritt took third.  Merritt would score on Austin Hurdle’s RBI single that bounced off the Windsor second baseman’s face and rolled into short centerfield. It was 2-0, Ahoskie, after four innings.

Windsor took the lead with four runs in the top of the sixth.  Austin Lee opened with an infield single followed by a Terrance Jackson single to center.  Lee then scored on a Darren Armstrong RBI double to right and Jackson scored on an error on the same play.  Adam Cowand reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Armstrong.  Cowand went to third on a Kyle Leggett single to left.  Coach Wayne Hill then called for the double steal and as Leggett stole second, Cowand stole home for the fourth Post 37 run of the game.  Windsor led 4-2 after five-and-a-half.

Ahoskie scored one run in the bottom of the sixth to pull within one.  Merritt reached first on an error and went to second on a Small single to right. Both runners moved up on Ackerman Grace’s sacrifice bunt.  Merritt then scored on a Hurdle RBI squeeze bunt.  Windsor still led, 4-3, after six.

Ahoskie got the tying run in the bottom of the eighth.  Merritt reached first on an error and went to third on a Small single to right.  Merritt later scored on a wild pitch and after eight innings the game was all knotted up at 4-4.

After a scoreless ninth inning the fans got treated to extra baseball.

The winning run came just an inning later as Terry opened the tenth getting hit by a pitch.  Merritt walked to get two runners on base before Small stepped up and slapped a pitch into the gap in left centerfield for Post 102’s third straight win.

Stephen Umphlett pitched seven innings for Post 102 allowing four runs on five hits and he had three strikeouts.  Grace pitched three innings for the win allowing no runs on four hits and he had five strikeouts.

Lee pitched seven-and-a-third innings for Windsor allowing four runs on seven hits and he had four strikeouts.  Jack Downum pitched an inning-and-two-thirds and took the loss with one run on one hit and four strikeouts.

Ahoskie had eight hits.  Small had half of them: four; Hurdle had two hits, Merritt and A.J. Liverman had one each.

Windsor outhit Ahoskie by one with nine hits, three by Jackson.  Armstrong had two, Lee, Downum, Leggett and Caleb Sherman had the others between them.

“This was a good win,” said Post 102 coach Chris Towell. “We fell behind but fought back and won, limiting them to just one big inning.  Stephen and Ackerman pitched great for the ten-inning win.”

“We hadn’t played in seven days (actually 12),” said Windsor coach Wayne Hill. “We made some errors and that cost us.  We also had that injury to our second baseman and that hurt us too.  Now we just have to get ready for Wayne County”.

Ahoskie raises its record to 3-5 and 3-4 in conference.  They will host Elizabeth City today (Thursday) at 7 p.m.

Windsor is 3-1 and suffered their first conference loss of the year against two wins.  Post 37 played at Wayne County Wednesday night and will host Kinston at home today (Thursday), also with a 7 p.m. start.