Outer Banks upset!

Published 10:08 am Monday, July 10, 2017

MANTEO – On paper, Ahoskie Post 102’s Junior American Legion team didn’t stand a chance.

During the regular season, the Ahoskie squad was defeated twice by the Bear Grass Juniors by scores of 5-1 and 9-3 That allowed Bear Grass to win the Area One Junior Legion regular season championship and was unbeaten in the process.

So, when the two teams met again here Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Area One tournament, many expected the same sort of results. However, games aren’t played on paper….but rather on a diamond and Ahoskie “sparkled” brightly in the night sky overlooking the famed Outer Banks.

Evan Lassiter’s two-RBI double highlighted a three-run outburst in the top of the seventh inning, breaking a 3-3 stalemate and sending Ahoskie into today’s (Saturday) semifinal round thanks to a 6-3 upset victory.

Ahoskie’s Trevor Lee, shown in an earlier game, had one of Post 102’s nine hits on Thursday in Manteo where the local team upset top seeded Bear Grass in the Area One Junior Legion tournament. | Photo by William Anthony

The stunning victory snapped Bear Grass’s 18-game winning streak.

Deadlocked at 3-3 entering the final frame, Ryan Rowe and Tyrek Beverly got Ahoskie’s offense rolling as each reached on a single. Both raced home when Lassiter slapped a two-run double. Lassiter came home to make it a 6-3 game thanks to an RBI single off the bat of Ethan Hughson.

Lassiter, who pitched the final four innings for the win (allowing two runs off four hits), held Bear Grass scoreless in the bottom of the seventh.

After a scoreless stalemate over the first two innings, Ahoskie broke the ice by plating a pair of runs in the top of the third. There, Trent Hobbs singled and Jordan Robinson reached after getting hit by a pitch. Both advanced on a wild pitch before racing home when Beverly laced a two-run single.

After Bear Grass scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the third, Ahoskie answered with one in the top of the fifth to take a 3-1 lead. Post 102 manufactured that run thanks to Robinson reaching on an error. A sacrifice bunt from Rowe sent Robinson to second and he scored on Lassiter’s RBI single.

Bear Grass rallied to tie the game at 3-3 by scoring single runs in both the fifth and sixth innings.

Post 102 finished the game with nine hits, led by Beverly, Lassiter and Hughson with two hits each. Hobbs, Rowe and Trevor Lee had one hit each.

“We’re playing really well right now and this win over Bear Grass is a big boost for our confidence level,” said Post 102 head coach David Ellis as his team improved to 11-10 overall. “We’re one win away from our goal of making the state play-offs.”

Ahoskie will play either Perquimans or Clayton today in the semifinals. The championship game of this double-elimination tournament will be held on Sunday, also in Manteo.