ASHEBORO — Randolph County Post 45 broke up a scoreless contest by plating three unearned runs in the bottom of the third without the benefit of a hit and used that momentum to cruise past Eastern …
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ASHEBORO — Randolph County Post 45 broke up a scoreless contest by plating three unearned runs in the bottom of the third without the benefit of a hit and used that momentum to cruise past Eastern Randolph 8-2 in non-league American Legion action Friday night at McCrary Park.
The winners posted their eighth victory in nine outings this season, while Post 81 dropped to 2-6 overall.
Randolph County starter Harris Jackson hurled six innings to gain the win, allowing just two hits and a pair of unearned runs while walking two and fanning five. Travis Winslow pitched the final frame for Post 45, giving up one hit besides striking out two.
Samuel Murchison opened on the mound for Eastern Randolph and absorbed the loss, tossing four hitless innings but surrendering three unearned runs in addition to issuing four free passes and fanning seven.
Post 81 reliever Kevin Cano went one-third of an inning and was tagged for a pair of hits and three runs (one earned) while walking one and whiffing one before Nate Canter came on to hurl the final one and two-third innings, yielding three hits and two earned runs with one strikeout.
“Murchison pitched well and was very effective, but he did have some control issues one inning that allowed us to put a few runs on the board,” said Randolph County coach Ronnie Pugh. “I was real pleased with Jackson’s effort tonight as this was his third strong outing in a row, and while it took us a while to produce some hits we finally started hitting the ball hard over the last couple of innings.”
Noting this was Murchison’s first real outing of the season, Eastern Randolph coach Jerry Kidd remarked, “The ball came out of his hand good, and when he put it in the strike zone he was pretty much unhittable. But we gave Randolph County so much in the form of walks and errors, and since we’re not a strong hitting team we need to play a clean game to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Post 45 managed to forge a 3-0 advantage in the bottom of the third by loading the bases with one away following walks to Easton Morgan, Blake Marsh and Trevor Marsh.
After Morgan sprinted home when Jackson reached on an infield error that kept the sacks full, Landon Smith lofted a sacrifice fly up the gap in right-center that allowed both Blake and Trevor Marsh to score.
Randolph County stretched its lead to 6-0 in the home fifth as Trevor Marsh notched a one-out single to right and went to second when Jackson’s fly ball to shallow left was dropped.
After the runners pulled off a successful double steal, Smith followed with a two-run base hit up the alley in right-center and advanced to third on back-to-back free passes issued to Braxton Davis and Austin Curry prior to scoring when Tatum Marsh reached on a fielder’s choice.
Post 81 trimmed its deficit to 6-2 in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with no outs as Chris Morgan was hit by a pitch, Connor Murphy drew a walk and Camden Fuquay lined a single to left.
Both Morgan and Murphy came in to score when Mason Canoy reached on an infield error before Jackson escaped any further damage by retiring the next three batters on a fielder’s choice, a fly-out and a strikeout.
Post 45 put the finishing touch on its triumph by scoring a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame as Chris Hardin belted a one-out triple to deep center field prior to dashing home on a two-out wild pitch.
Jackson then followed with a triple up the gap in right-center and tallied when Smith, who went two-for-three at the plate with five RBIs and a run scored, poked a base hit to left.