SHELBY — Cole Hage crushed a first pitch hanging curve from Randolph County starting pitcher Braxton Davis in the opening inning here Saturday afternoon at Keeter Stadium in Shelby as Fargo, North …
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SHELBY — Cole Hage crushed a first pitch hanging curve from Randolph County starting pitcher Braxton Davis in the opening inning here Saturday afternoon at Keeter Stadium in Shelby as Fargo, North Dakota, jumped to a quick 2-0 lead and would never trail in a 4-1 victory over Post 45 in second day action of the 2019 American Legion World Series.
Randolph County fell to 1-1 in the tournament and 38-11 for the season with the loss while Fargo improved to 1-1 in the event and 53-7 overall.
It only took three batters for Post 2 to take its 2-0 advantage in the top of the first. After a leadoff single by Zach Sanday and an out, Hage launched his two-run bomb to dead center to put Fargo up 2-0.
In the bottom of the frame, Harris Jackson and Trevor Marsh both singled for North Carolina, setting up runners at the corners for Post 45. A flyball to shallow left field off the bat of Austin Curry was flagged down, and Jackson was thrown out at third after being caught off the bag too far after bluffing a tag up attempt.
The double play proved costly for Randolph County as the Mid-Atlantic champions took advantage of an interference call and a slicing double out of the wrong barrel down the left field line by Colby Hammer to plate Marsh and trim the deficit to 2-1 Fargo starter Taylor Parrett would escaped any further damage by Post 45 by coaxing Blake Marsh into a ground out to end the inning.
North Carolina loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the second when Easton Morgan walked, Troy McKinney singled to right, and Harris was hit by a pitch. Parrett once again doused what could have been a huge inning by Post 45 by striking out Blake Marsh and getting Spencer Lanier to fly out to centerfield on a 3-1 offering.
Davis worked out of a jam in the third inning after North Dakota loaded the bases with two outs behind singles from Sandy and Zach Kluvers, and a walk by Blake Anderson on four pitches. The Post 45 starter recorded a ground out by Brayden Koenig to second to end the threat.
Fargo would not be denied in the fourth, however, tacking on a pair of insurance runs behind costly walks to Brandt Kolpack and Drew Sandy, both of whom came around on a looping single just out of the reach of Post 45 shortstop Easton Morgan.
A one-out walk by Kinney and a single to left by Marsh put Randolph County in business again in the bottom of the fourth but another base running mistake crippled the opportunity and Parrett got out of the jam again.
North Carolina put two in scoring position in the fifth behind a walk to Lanier and a single by Curry but Parrett got a huge strikeout to end the frame and his day. He finished with just the lone run allowed after scattering six hits, walking four and striking out a pair in 93 pitches (52 strikes) over his five innings.
Fargo threatened in the sixth with two on, as well, but Hunter Hill came on in relief and worked out of trouble to keep the deficit just three.
Koenig nearly added to the Fargo lead with a shot to right field but just missed, hitting the wall for a double. One batter later, second baseman Tatum Marsh made a leaping grab to keep the score at 4-1.
Austin Manuel, who came on in relief for Parrett, put the Randolph County offense down quietly in the sixth and seventh, allowing just one runner to finish off his save.
Randolph County, which stranded nine runners in the contest, mustered just six hits in the loss including Kinney going 1-for-2 with a walk and Colby Hammer 1-for-3 with an RBI. Also for Post 45, Jackson, Curry and Tatum Marsh were all 1-for-3 while Trevor Marsh was 1-for-4 with a run.
Davis suffered the loss after going four innings and allowing six hits, four runs, four walks and striking out two. Matthew Brewer came in for 1 1/3 innings in relief while yielding nothing while fanning three in a great performance, and Hunter Hill went 1 2/3 innings and allowed two hits, one walk and whiffed two.
Sandy was 2-for-2 with a run, two RBI and two walks to pace Fargo offensively while Chandler Ibach was also 2-for-3 in the win.
With this result, both teams are 1-1 going into the final day of pool play.
The game was played as part of USAA Military Appreciation Day. Prior to the game, Medal of Honor recipient Hal Fritz addressed the crowd and met with the teams.