Kinston Post 43 hit two home runs early and toppled Wayne County Post 11 10-1 Thursday afternoon.
Case Kermode cranked out Post 11’s lone RBI as Post 11 dropped to 12-5 overall.
“When you lose there’s always things that could’ve been differently most of the time,” Wayne County Post 11 head coach Adam Pate said. “But when your starting pitcher strikes out nine through four innings and gives up a couple of barley fair balls the game gets out of hand quick.
“We didn’t do many things bad, I think it was just a culmination of things that didn’t go our way, but we’ll be fine we have a good team.”
The game started inauspiciously for Post 11.
Starting pitcher Noah Overton struck out Jalin Conner to start the game, but Conner reached base on a dropped third strike. Jon Howard then stepped into the batter’s box and hit a homer to right field to give Post 43 an early 2-0 lead.
Trailing by two runs, Post 11 went to work.
Christian Yarbrough singled and stole second to get into scoring position. Kermode then hit a double to bring Yarbrough home and make it a 2-1 game.
However, Post 43 retaliated with a four-run, second inning surge. With runners on first and third base, Conner hit a three-run home run to right field to put Post 43 up 5-1. Three batters later, Howard scored a run to give Post 43 a five-run advantage.
Post 11 looked to respond, but the big inning never materialized. Post 43 scored four more runs in the top of fifth to go up 10-1.
Overton took the loss on the mound but pitched well. In four innings of work, Overton struck out nine batters and gave up six runs (three earned). Tanner McKeel, Patrick Jones and Will Harris all came out of the bullpen for Post 11. In total, the Post 11 pitchers struck out 15 batters.
“Noah Overton did a great job on the mound,” Pate said.
Offensively, Post 11 was led by Kermode, who finished 1-2 with a single and an RBI. Yarbrough and Logan Merritt both went 1-2 with a single, while Tanner Willman was 1-2 with a double.
“It’s all about how you respond, and that’s what I wanted to use as a learning experience for our guys is when you get hit mouth and something doesn’t go your way you have to respond,” Pate said. “We’re a young team, and it’s all about how you respond.”
Post 11 next travels to Pitt Community College for a game against Pitt Post 39 on Monday.