Post 47 Dragoons ousted from AL playoffsRoberts best outing of season wasted as Shelby Post 82 sweeps first round series
Starting pitcher Chance Roberts (Hiwassee Dam) keeps giving Haywood Post 47 solid starts. With no help from the offense, the ace’s efforts were wasted at a very inopportune time.
Roberts silenced the bats of Area IV West Division champion Shelby Post 82 for most of the 6.2 innings on the mound and kept the Dragoons in the game before being relieved in the seventh by Mark Thompson (Smoky Mountain) with two outs in the seventh inning and trailing, 2-0.
The only problem was Nick Hastings (Shelby Crest) was a tad better as Shelby eliminated Haywood Post 47 from the American Legion Area IV playoffs with a 3-0 victory.
“Despite the fact he is only a rising junior, Roberts has emerged as a very talented pitcher,” said Post 47 Manager Caleb McConnell. “He was able to make pitches in situations when he had to. ... He did his job. You don’t always go out there and are able to dominate. Today, he certainly did what he had to do to make certain that we were in that ball game. And he did do that very well.
“Our bats just couldn’t do anything with Hastings, who was outstanding. But my guy was just as good. Chance just didn’t get any support. But reflecting back on this season, we battled every game with a young team (five sophomores and five juniors) playing against college and seniors players. I’m proud of what these young men did and how they scrapped. Brighter days, much brighter days are ahead of us.”
The 6-foot-4 Hastings, who is headed to the University of North Carolina, used an 88 mile per hour fastball with a sharp slider to record 11 strikeouts in his 8.1 innings on the mound. He threw 120 pitches and scattered four hits.
Roberts threw 97 pitches, struck out four and scattered four hits. But it was the fourth hit he gave up, an RBI double by Jackson Mims, that put Shelby ahead 2-0 and ended his outing in the seventh.
Lucas Ledford (Tuscola), who will play baseball at Walters State Community College beginning in the fall, had two hits, while Cal Raleigh (Smoky Mountain) and Neil Peterson (Tuscola), who is walking on at East Tennessee State University, had a single each.