SILER CITY — Tyson Measamer doubled to the right field fence to drive in Lofton Dodson from second base with the deciding run in Chatham Central’s final turn at bat as the Bears battled back from …
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SILER CITY — Tyson Measamer doubled to the right field fence to drive in Lofton Dodson from second base with the deciding run in Chatham Central’s final turn at bat as the Bears battled back from squandering a five-run lead in the top of the seventh to edge Chatham Charter 10-9 in a wild Central Tar Heel 1A Conference contest Saturday afternoon on Jimmy Warfford Field.
The game ended up being played at a neutral site after Jordan-Matthews offered the use of its home field due to rain the previous night making fields at both Chatham Central and Chatham Charter unplayable.
The league-leading Bears improved to 8-0 in the conference standings and 11-7 overall, while the Knights (7-3, 8-5) lost to Chatham Central for the second time in four days.
With the score tied 9-9 going into the home seventh, Dodson drew a leadoff walk and stole second before Michael Moore was given an intentional pass.
Measamer then stepped to the plate and smashed a 1-0 offering from losing pitcher Gavin Crumpler to deep right to secure the victory.
Although he struggled through the final three innings, Bears’ reliever Micah Gurley received credit for the win despite surrendering four hits and five runs (two earned) in addition to walking three and fanning four.
Chatham Central starter Michael Moore lasted just one and one-third innings, giving up no hits but allowing two runs (one earned) while issuing five free passes and striking out one before Carter Fuquay came on to hurl two and two-third innings in relief, yielding four hits and a pair of earned runs besides walking two and whiffing two.
“Up 9-4 entering of the top of the seventh I was thinking all we needed was three outs, but when Chatham Charter’s nine-hole batter drew a full-count leadoff walk I began to feel anything could happen,” said Bears’ coach Brett Walden.
“They ended up sending nine batters to the plate in the inning and rallying to tie the game before Tyson managed to pull us through. Michael didn’t have his best control this afternoon, while Micah is not particularly suited to throwing long stretches. But this victory takes a lot of pressure off us as now we’re in a good spot to claim the conference title if we can win at least one out of our last four games.”
Crumpler was handed the loss after giving up two hits plus an earned run while walking four (two intentional) and striking out two in one and two-third innings of relief.
Knights’ starter Connor Murphy tossed four innings and was tagged for seven hits and four runs (three earned) in addition to issuing five walks and fanning three prior to Carter Philllips giving up two hits and five runs (one earned) while allowing one free pass.
Chatham Charter coach Bill Slaughter declined to comment following the outcome.
The Knights jumped out to a 1-0 lead their initial turn at the plate as Murphy coaxed a full-count leadoff walk, was sacrificed to second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and tallied on a two-out infield error.
Chatham Central responded with a pair of runs in its half of the frame as Dodson belted a leadoff opposite-field double into the right field corner and moved to third on Moore’s opposite-field single to right prior to scoring when Measamer hit into a double play.
Caleb Staley then reached on an infield hit, stole second and scored when Fuquay singled to center.
Chatham Charter pulled even in the visitors’ second as the Knights loaded the bases with walks to Crumpler and Murphy plus Jacob Brannon’s infield hit with one away before Crumpler came in to score when Jaron Hendrickson was nicked by a pitch.
The Bears seized a 4-2 advantage in the home third as Moore coaxed a full-count leadoff walk and dashed to third on Staley’s opposite-field base hit right prior to the latter taking second on a throwing error.
Moore then scored on a wild pitch as Staley advanced to third and tallied on a two-out infield miscue.
Chatham Charter rallied in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 4-4 as Ryan White and Phillips led off the frame by poking back-to-back singles to left before both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch.
Following a walk to Landon Hussey that loaded the sacks, Noah Carter and Murphy each plated a run when they reached on a fielder’s choice.
Chatham Central then seemingly broke the contest open by sending 10 men to the plate in the bottom half of the inning and scoring five runs to take a 9-4 lead.
Drew Cox opened the frame with a walk, stole second and was sacrificed to third prior to tallying on Gurley’s base hit to left.
Zach Ritter sacrificed Gurley to second but was safe on an infield error before both runners came in to score when Dodson sped all the way to third on a throwing error.
After Moore plated Dodson with an opposite-field single to right, free passes issued to Measamer and Staley filled the bases prior to Fuquay’s infield hit that brought in Moore.
But the Knights would answer right back by batting around in the visitors’ seventh to even the count at 9-all.
Following a leadoff walk to Tanner Kidd, Murphy reached on an infield error before Brannon grounded a single to left to load the sacks.
One-out later Henderickson delivered a two-run base hit to right prior to Brannon sprinting home on a wild pitch.
Phillips’ two-out double to right then brought in Hendrickson before the former came around to score on a pair of wild pitches, setting the stage for Measamer’s game-winning hit in the bottom half of the inning.