07/08/05 — Snow Hill evens first-round series with Kinston

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Snow Hill evens first-round series with Kinston

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on July 8, 2005 1:46 PM

SNOW HILL -- Snow Hill's Senior American Legion team avoided elimination in their best-of-three, first round Area I East series with Kinston as Post 94 rolled to an 8-3 win against Post 43 on Thursday night at the James R. Fulghum Athletic Complex.

Weather permitting, Snow Hill and Kinston will square off in game three tonight at 7 p.m. at Kinston High School. The rain date is set for Saturday. The winner of the series moves on to face first-place finisher Pitt County Post 39 on Sunday in Greenville. Post 39 eliminated Pitt County Post 160 in two games.

Post 94 jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as John Conway smacked a bases-loaded single up the middle against Kinston starter Josh Kennedy, scoring Hunter Chase. Kinston tied the game in the third when Josh Tindal raced home from third on an infield single by Davin Arnold.

Snow Hill took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth -- sending eight hitters to the plate during a four-run rally. Chase, Brandon Brown and Conway drove in runs in the fourth, while Travis Rouse and Bradley Taylor had singles and scored. Lance Murray added a key, sacrifice bunt as Post 94 went up 5-1.

Snow Hill executed three sacrifice bunts and scored once on a sacrifice fly.

"We got some good bunts down tonight," Snow Hill coach James "Rabbit" Fulghum said.

Facing the right-handed Taylor, who picked up the win, Kinston pulled within two at 5-3 in the fifth with Ashley Mills and Brandon Rouse driving home Richard Nobles and Arnold, respectively. Post 94 created separation in the seventh as Rouse and Murray, hitting eighth and ninth, came through with clutch, run-scoring doubles against Kennedy to make it 7-3.

Rouse finished with three hits and scored three times as Jordan Scott, Taylor and Brown added two hits each.

Drew Sowers, who entered the game in relief for the second straight night, relieved Taylor in the seventh and tossed the final three innings. Sowers, a 16-year old, gave up three hits but allowed no runs with three strikeouts. He also added a base hit in the eighth to plate Brown, who started the inning with a walk and stole second.

Much like the first game on Wednesday, both teams left plenty of runners on base. Kinston stranded 12 (seven in scoring position), while Snow Hill left 13 on base. In the two games, Post 94 and Post 43 have combined to leave 45 runners on base.

"We made more of our opportunities tonight, but you aren't going to cash in every time," Fulghum said. "The bottom of the order came through with some big hits tonight. Travis (Rouse) and (Lance) Murray had a couple of big hits."

Taylor allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts during his six innings.

"Blake pitched good to get us to that point and Drew came in and did a fantastic job," Fulghum said. "The pitching has been pretty good all year."

Fulghum stated North Pitt product Chip Wall will start on the mound in game three.

Notes: The four versus five, Kinston-Snow Hill series is the only one out of the four Area I East Division Series to go three games. First-place Pitt County Post 39 is the only higher seed to survive the first round so far with No. 6 Wilson knocking off No. 3 Wayne County and No. 7 New Bern defeating No. 2 Beaufort County.