RAMSEUR – Unbeaten Fuquay Varina Post 116 pushed across three runs in the top of the fifth to break a 3-3 stalemate and managed to hold off a late-game challenge from Eastern Randolph Post 81 to …
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RAMSEUR – Unbeaten Fuquay Varina Post 116 pushed across three runs in the top of the fifth to break a 3-3 stalemate and managed to hold off a late-game challenge from Eastern Randolph Post 81 to capture a 7-4 American Legion non-conference triumph Memorial Day afternoon on Grady Lawson Field.
The victors raised their overall record to 4-0, while Eastern Randolph suffered its fifth setback in six outings.
Submariner Jacob Fisher, the third of four Fuquay Varina hurlers, picked up the win after throwing two and one-third innings of one-hit ball, issuing one free pass and striking out one.
Post 116 starter Jake Wolf tossed two and two-third innings of scoreless ball, giving up a pair of hits and fanning two. Left-handed reliever Kyle Thelan pitched one inning and was tagged for five hits along with three earned runs in addition to walking one and whiffing one, while Ryan McCrystal came on in the final frame and received credit for a save after allowing one earned run besides issuing one base on balls and striking out one.
“With four of our guys still playing on their high school teams in the state championships we’re playing with a depleted roster right now, so we had a chance to give a lot of guys some playing time in this non-league game,” said FV coach Chris Cook.
“We always enjoy going against Area III Division teams since they offer good competition. We played our type of baseball today and made them play our game.”
“A misplayed bunt got us off to a good start in the second inning, and after Eastern Randolph rallied to tie the score in the fourth we came right back with three runs in the top of the fifth to regain control.”
“Our goal was to throw a bunch of different arms and not let our opponent see the same pitcher twice.”
Southpaw Kevin Cano, the second of four Post 81 pitchers, was saddled with the loss after permitting four hits and three earned runs while whiffing a pair over one and one-third innings.
Trevor Maness started on the mound for Eastern Randolph and went three innings, surrendering four hits and three runs (one earned) in addition to walking one and striking out one.
Reliever Michael Glasgow hurled one and two-third innings, giving up three hits and one earned run besides whiffing two prior to Evan Shaw fanning all three batters he faced in the top of the seventh.
“We don’t have a wide margin for errors, and while our pitchers didn’t do bad registering a dozen strikeouts, we hurt ourselves with a big base running mistake and missed the cutoff man on a throw in from the outfield,” related Post 81 mentor Jerry Kidd.
“While we managed to collect eight hits, we’re just not getting many for extra bases. But it’s early in the season and we’re still trying to figure out our lineup.”
Post 116 seized a 2-0 advantage in the visitors’ second as Lane Rhodes blooped a leadoff single to left and came around to score when Josh White raced all the way to third on an infield throwing error.
Dominick D’Ercole then brought in White with a base hit down the left field line.
The winners picked up a solo run in the top of the third as Garrett McGraw blasted a leadoff double to the right field fence, moved to third on Wade Chandler’s opposite-field bloop single to left and scored when Rhodes lofted a sacrifice fly to center.
Eastern Randolph rallied to pull even in the bottom of the fourth as leadoff batter Chris Morgan blooped an opposite-field double down the right field line and went to third on Connor Murphy’s infield hit.
After Morgan dashed home on a wild pitch that advanced Murphy to second, the latter moved to third on Camden Fuquay’s single to center before coming in to score when Mason Canoy hit into a double play.
Post 81 then loaded the bases on back-to-back hits by Cade Snotherly and Nyk Foland plus a full-count walk to Shaw prior to Snotherly trotting home when Nick Canter was plunked with a pitch.
But Fuquay Varina would quickly answer with three runs in the visitors’ fifth as Zack Guyer belted a leadoff double to the left field fence and tallied when Jack Howell singled up the middle, with the latter continuing on to second on the throw in from the outfield.
Howell then stole third and scored on McGraw’s base hit up the gap in right-center, and after McGraw stole second he came home one out later on McCrystal’s single up the middle.
Post 116 added an insurance run in the top of the sixth as Guyer stroked a one-out double to the fence in left and scored when Howell lined a base hit to center.
Eastern Randolph put together a serious threat its’ final turn at bat as Travis Boone and Morgan were both hit by a pitch leading off the frame before Murphy walked to load the sacks with no outs.
Fuquay then plated Boone with a sacrifice fly to deep left field, but McCrystal retired the next two batters on a strikeout and a groundout to secure the victory.