Chatham Post 292 pulls away in 10th inning to beat Randolph County Post 45, 7-4

Post 292 is now 3-0 against Randolph County this season.


ASHEBORO — Chatham Post 292’s games against Randolph County Post 45 may take longer than usual, but so far, they’ve all ended with the same result.

Post 292 beat Post 45 at McCrary Park Thursday, 7-4, in a long 10-inning battle. Chatham is now 3-0 over the Randolph County team this season. The latest meeting was the second time the teams went into extra innings, as Chatham beat Randolph County in eight innings on May 30.

Just like the previous meeting that needed extra time, Thursday’s game turned out to be a low-scoring affair in the first seven innings.

Chatham’s Kelton Fuquay knocked in the first run of the game in the top of the first inning, sacrificing himself to bring baserunner Ian McMillan home.

With a 1-0 lead, Post 292 pitcher Salvador Delgado faced just four batters and allowed only one hit to hold Randolph County scoreless in the opening inning.

Chatham took advantage of some of Post 45’s defensive mistakes in the top of the second inning to put more runs on the board. After Simon Delgado got the inning started with a single, he advanced to third base during Chancellor Terry’s following at-bat due to two dropped pitches. Terry sacrificed himself to bring Delgado home for Chatham’s second run, and later in the inning, a double from Anders Johansson brought Jace Young around for a 3-0 lead.

Post 292 kept the advantage until the bottom of the third inning. With two runners on base and zero outs, Randolph County’s Caleb Stickle hit a three-run homer to left field and tied the game.

From that point, both teams struggled immensely from the plate. Neither team got a hit nor a run until the top of the seventh inning when Fuquay hit a single and made it to first base safely due to an error.

With the game still tied at three runs apiece in the bottom of the seventh inning, Stickle, with one out, sacrificed himself to get two runners, Clay Hill (second base) and Jake Riddle (third base), in scoring position, however Chatham pitcher Stratton Barwick struck out Drew Harmon in the next at-bat to leave the runners stranded.

The batting woes continued for both teams in the eighth inning as both teams went scoreless and only combined for one hit.

Chatham broke the ice in the top of the ninth inning, though. After Joaquin Gordon hit a single to start the inning, he advanced to third base after Riddle threw two wild pitches at Fuquay. Riddle walked Fuquay, and in Overman’s following at-bat, he hit a single to right field, bringing Gordon in for the fourth run.

Three straight outs ended Chatham’s batting turn, and Randolph County returned the favor the bottom of the ninth. Barwick walked Hill and Stickle. During Harmon’s following at-bat, Hill got thrown out on an attempt to reach third base, but Harmon sacrificed himself with a groundout to send Stickle to third. Post 45’s Caleb Dunn knocked Stickle in to tie the game with a double, sending the game to a 10th inning.

Chatham responded by putting together its best inning from the plate all game in the top of the 10th. Following Eduardo Gutierrez’s strikeout to start the inning, McMillan sent a ball just beyond the reach of Harmon, the right fielder, and tripled. Johansson’s short hit in the next at-bat brought McMillan home for the fifth run, and with the help of the first baseman dropping the throw out, Johansson avoided the out and made it down the line safely. Following a groundout from Gordon, Fuquay also made it to first base safely due to the first baseman dropping the throw out again. Overman took advantage of the mistake and doubled to left field, sending Johansson and Fuquay around for a 7-4 lead going into the bottom of the 10th.

Barwick and the Chatham defense took care of business in the final inning, going three up and three down to clinch the win.

Chatham will return from a week-long break and play Randolph County again Friday at 7 p.m. at Jordan-Matthews High School.