RAMSEUR — With Eastern Randolph clinging to a two-run lead entering the top of the seventh, Mocksville Post 54 put its first two batters on base in the final frame before Post 81 managed to pull …
Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to the News + Record – you can do so by clicking here.
RAMSEUR — With Eastern Randolph clinging to a two-run lead entering the top of the seventh, Mocksville Post 54 put its first two batters on base in the final frame before Post 81 managed to pull off a tailor-made triple play to conclude the contest and wrap up a 4-2 non-conference American Legion victory Wednesday night on Grady Lawson Field.
Gaining a split in the season series, Eastern Randolph registered at least one hit every inning while improving to 2-5 for the year, whereas Mocksville fell to 4-6 overall.
After Logan Hosch drew a leadoff walk in the visitors’ seventh and courtesy runner Will Cheek advanced to second when David Highman reached on an infield error, both runners were on the move when Nick Word scorched a line drive right to Post 81 second baseman Nate Canter, who threw to first baseman Nyk Foland to force out Highman prior to Foland throwing to shortstop Evan Shaw at second before Cheek could return to the bag to complete the rare game-ending sequence.
Eastern Randolph starting pitcher Colton Craven hurled four and one-third innings to pick up the win, giving up five hits and a pair of earned runs while striking out four.
Post 81 reliever Chandler Kime threw one and two-third innings, allowing one hit in addition to walking four (one intentional) and whiffing a pair prior to Clay Edmonson tossing one scoreless frame to collect a save.
“Craven gave us a good effort on the mound tonight before he felt some discomfort in his right arm in the top of the fifth and we had to go to the bullpen,” remarked Eastern Randolph coach Jerry Kidd.
“We took advantage of Mocksville mistakes which contributed to all our runs and put guys in motion on the bases, playing some hit-and-run, although we need to do a better job getting our bunts down to move people up,” Kidd said. “As a group we still need a little more offense, but the infield defense played really well this evening.”
Hard-luck loser Jalen Austin went the distance on the hill for Post 54, yielding eight hits and four unearned runs while fanning six. The right-hander threw a total of 84 pitches, including 62 (74 percent) for strikes.
“Austin pitched a great game but we just couldn’t give him any run support,” said Mocksville coach Charles Kurfees. “Errors caused us to fall behind early while we stranded a few guys in scoring position, and those are things you can’t have in a close ball game. The bottom line was our pitching showed up tonight, but the gloves and the bats didn’t.”
Post 81 fashioned a 1-0 lead its initial turn at bat as Chris Morgan was nicked by a pitch with one away, moved to third when Connor Murphy reached on an infield miscue and came home on Camden Fuquay’s sacrifice fly to deep left.
Eastern Randolph increased its advantage to 3-0 in the bottom of the second as Shaw led off by bunting his way on base and went to second on Canter’s single to right.
One out later Cade Snotherly reached on an infield muff that allowed Shaw to race home while Canter advanced to second and tallied one out later on Murphy’s base hit to center.
Post 54 picked up a solo run in the top of the fourth as Joe Johnson opened the frame with an opposite-field single down the right field line, stole second, moved to third on a fly-out and came home on Hunter Meacham’s two-out double up the alley in right-center.
Mocksville closed the gap to 3-2 in the visitors’ fifth when Hosch lined a base hit to center with one away and went to second on a wild pitch prior to tallying on Highman’s double to center field.
Post 81 then added an insurance run in the bottom half of the fifth to close out the scoring when Mason Canoy, who went three-for-three at the plate, notched a one-out infield hit, stole second and dashed home as Shaw reached on a two-out infield error.