American Legion Senior Baseball

Dragoons thump Caldwell County

Post 47’s 17-hit attack knocks Post 29 out of first place
By Chuck Fiebernitz | Jun 03, 2014
Photo by: Patrick Parton Post 47 Dragoons’ DH Zach Lennane, 17, crushes a fastball into the gap for a double during Sunday’s Area IV West Division game at Tuscola Ballpark. The Dragoons won, 12-5.

Undefeated and Area IV West Division leading Caldwell County Post 29 came in to Sunday’s Senior Legion baseball game with the Haywood Post 47 Dragoons with a confident swagger.
But it left Tuscola Ballpark astonished.
Haywood Post 47’s bats pounded out 17 hits, got excellent defense from a tweaked infield and solid pitching from a trio of pitchers to thump Caldwell County, 12-5.
“That’s the capabilities of this team,” said Dragoon Manager Caleb McConnell. “The pitchers for the most part pitched well. We are starting to figure it out at the plate and we played solid defense.”
McConnell’s tweaked infield, which played flawless error free baseball,  inserted Lance Edwards (Rabun Gap) at shortstop, slid Trey Maslin (Franklin) from short to second and moved Matthew Duverge (Rabun Gap) from second to the hot corner. Thomas Tatham (Pisgah) stayed at his usual first base and Cal Raleigh (Smoky Mountain) went behind the plate.
“That is a solid infield,” said McConnell. “They made several impressive plays (today).”
The Dragoons (2-4, West 1-2) broke open a tight 6-5 contest with three runs in the sixth, one in the seventh and a pair of runs in the eighth.
Edwards and Zach Lennane (Tuscola) led off the sixth with line-drive singles and Tatham surprised the Caldwell Post 29 (7-1, West 2-1) defense when he perfectly placed his bunt past the charging third baseman and the mound for a bunt single to load the bases.
Two pitches later, Edwards scored on a wild pitch by relief pitcher Jon Block to give the Dragoons a 7-5 lead.
After Pepe Payero (Rabun Gap) walked to load the bases again and two outs later, Nathan Summey (Pisgah) followed with a blistering two-RBI single to center to increase Haywood Post 47’s lead to 9-5.
Summey (2 RBI) led the Dragoons’ 17-hit attack by going 4-for-4 at the plate. Lennane (2B, 2 RBI), Edwards (2 RBI) and Raleigh (2B, 2 RBI) had three hits each, while Payero (2B) finished with two hits.
On the mound, lefty Chance Roberts (Hiwassee Dam) started and went 5.1 innings to earn the win. He gave up three hits, walked four, struck out six batters and was charged with five runs.
McConnell pulled Roberts and made the call to the bullpen for his blue-collar, left-handed relief specialist Forrest Kerslake (Tuscola), who has not given up an earn run this season.
He got the Dragoons out of a jam by getting a ground out to second and a infield pop out with the tying run at third.
Hunter Stewart (Blue Ridge) threw a impressive final three innings for Haywood Post 47, giving up two singles and striking out one.
The Dragoons travel to Morganton tonight to play Burke County Post 21 in a Area IV West Division game. McConnell’s ballclub will return to the friendly confines of Tuscola Ballpark to host the same Burke County team for a 7:05 p.m. West Division on Thursday, June 5.