Post 47’s late rally falls shortDragoons strand tying run at third in ninth inning rally
Haywood Post 47 let a pair of large leads slip away and then stranded the tying run in the ninth in a 12-11 loss to visiting Hickory Post 48 Thursday night at Tuscola Ballpark.
The Dragoons slipped to 1-2 in the Area IV West Division, while Hickory improved to 3-1 in the West and 4-2 overall.
“Offensively, we are there,” said Post 47 Manager Caleb McConnell. “We just need to straighten out our very young pitching staff. We’re going to be alright, especially with the way this team competes every inning.”
Haywood Post 47 jumped all over Hickory starter Greg Lucas for four runs in the bottom of the first inning thanks to an RBI singles by Thomas Tatham (Pisgah), Trey Maslin (Franklin) and a two-RBI double by Mark Thompson (Smoky Mountain).
Left-handed pitcher Chance Roberts (Hiwassee Dam) started and went four innings. He was roughed up in the third when Hickory’s Jordan Eckerd belted a three run homer to left and gave up a run in the fourth that tied the game at four.
The Dragoons answered immediately with five runs in the home-half of the fourth to take a 9-4 lead. Tatham, Thompson (double), Maslin (double) and Jordan Couch (Smoky Mountain) had RBI hits in the frame.
Holt Underwood came in relief for Roberts and retired Hickory in the fifth but worked a third of the sixth and allowed six runs, which only three were earned, as Hickory took a 10-9 lead.
The Dragoons never recovered as Underwood (0-1) was tagged with the loss.
Trailing 12-9 going into the bottom of the ninth, Haywood Post 47 mounted a rally, scoring two runs on Hickory reliever Ben Watson and had runners at first and third (tying run) with two outs.
But Watson struck out Neil Peterson (Tuscola) to end the game.
Hickory out-hit Haywood, 13-10.
For the Dragoons, Thompson (2 2Bs) had three hits and drove in three runs, while Tatham (3 RBI) and Maslin (2 RBI) had two hits each.
Haywood Post 47 was on the road at Shelby Post 82 and played in Keeter Stadium, home of the American Legion World Series) Sunday night. At press time, no results were available.
The Dragoons play at Caldwell County Post 29 tonight (7 p.m.) before returning to the friendly confines of Tuscola Ballpark to host Caldwell at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday night and Asheville Post 70 at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday night.