High Point hammers Eastern Randolph to go up 2-0 in series

BY DUCK DUCKSON, News + Record Staff
Posted 7/19/19

RAMSEUR — A big inning put High Point Post 87 way ahead Wednesday night, and they never looked back.

Post 87 paraded 25 batters to the plate in the first two innings, resulting in 20 base …

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High Point hammers Eastern Randolph to go up 2-0 in series

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Posted

RAMSEUR — A big inning put High Point Post 87 way ahead Wednesday night, and they never looked back.

Post 87 paraded 25 batters to the plate in the first two innings, resulting in 20 base runners courtesy of eight walks, seven hits, three Eastern Randolph errors plus two hit batsmen, and put 13 runs on the scoreboard en route to whitewashing Post 81 15-0 in five innings on Grady Lawson Field.

Taking a 2-0 lead in their best three-of-five American Legion Area III second round playoff series, High Point raised its season record to 18-11. In the meantime, Eastern Randolph dropped to 5-21 overall.

Post 87’s Carson Shetley hurled the distance on the mound to get the win, giving up only two hits — Chris Morgan’s single leading off the home first and a leadoff single by Jacob Underwood in the bottom of the third — while issuing three walks and fanning five. Shetley threw a total of 82 pitches, including 53 (65%) for strikes.

C.J. Johnson went 3-for-3 at the plate while Luke Pritchett and Avery Cain collected two hits apiece to lead High Point’s nine-hit attack.

“We did exactly what we were supposed to do tonight, show patience with good approaches at the plate and get hits when we needed them while capitalizing on the other team’s mistakes,” said Post 87 coach Rob Shore. “Shetley threw strikes and made Eastern Randolph put the ball in play while the defense only committed one error.”

Post 81 starter Travis Boone lasted just one inning and absorbed the loss after surrendering three hits and five runs (two earned) while walking two.

Five relievers who followed Boone to the hill (Kevin Cano, Camden Fuquay, Tyler Campbell, Connor Murphy and Morgan) combined to pitch the last four innings and allowed a collective 10 runs (seven earned) on six hits while issuing seven walks and whiffing five.

“We came out flat at the start and never competed the entire night,” said Eastern Randolph coach Brian Heilig. “It was one of the worst games I’ve seen in a while. We struggled in every aspect, mentally and physically, and there’s not much else to say. We just need to put this one behind us and regroup for tomorrow night.”

High Point forged a 5-0 lead in the top of the first as leadoff batter Chet Sikes was nicked by a pitch, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third when Gavin Sentell scratched an infield hit.

After Isaiah Hairston plated Sikes with a sacrifice fly to left, Sentell went to second on a passed ball before Pritchett drew a free pass.

Johnson rapped an opposite-field single to left to bring in Sentell and send Pritchett to second prior to the latter coming home on a throwing error.

Logan Robson, who reached on the throwing error after Johnson was out on a fielder’s choice, then moved to second on Cain’s base hit to left and scored on a throwing error that allowed Cain to advance to third.

Following a walk to Gavyn Byrd that loaded the bases, Sikes was hit for the second time in the inning to force in Cain with the fifth run.

Post 87 exploded for eight runs in the visitors’ second to expand its advantage to 13-0 as Pritchett doubled to left with one away and tallied on Johnson’s two-bagger to center.

Following a full-count walk to Robson, both runners stole a base before Cain’s single to left drove in Johnson and sent Robson to third.

Cain then stole second one out later prior to Byrd notching a two-run opposite-field hit to right. Before the inning was over there would be five more walks plus an infield error that accounted for four more runs.

High Point put the final exclamation on its lopsided triumph in the top of the fourth as Sentell began the frame with a full-count free pass and one out later Pritchett launched a full-count offering from Murphy over the fence in left for his second round-tripper of the season.

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