Wayne County Post 11 defeated Kinston Post 43 on Saturday night 17-11 in a hard-fought battle that was played at the University of Mount Olive baseball field.
Kinston Post 43 scored the first run of the game in the top of the first inning, but Wayne County Post 11 quickly answered back in the bottom of the first by scoring five runs.
The first three runs were knocked in by Braedon Collins who hit a three-RBI triple with the bases loaded to give Post 11 the lead. Post 11 scored two more runs with two outs in the inning to take a 5-1 lead.
Post 11 head coach Adam Pate said the triple by Collins was what got the team going early in the game.
“That was huge,” he said. “That was a big swing by Collins. We got a few walks that inning. He hit the ball in the gap. They misplayed it, and we were able to clear the bases.”
In the top of the second inning, Post 43 answered back and cut Post 11’s lead to just one run after being down by four runs in the first inning.
Post 11’s first run came when Perry Tingen hit into a fielder’s choice, which allowed Trent King to come in to score.
Their next run came on a sacrifice fly from Jake Harrelson which allowed Logan Brown to tag up and score from third base.
After allowing three runs, Ben Peacock was pulled from the game and replaced by Carter Gipson. Gipson was able to enter the game and limit the damage by only allowing one run in the inning, which meant that Post 11 still led 5-4 going into the bottom of the second inning.
Post 11 extended their lead in the bottom of the second inning by adding two more runs. The first run for Post 11 came from Rowan Watt who stole home in one of the most well-timed base running plays of the Legion baseball season.
Watt took a big lead off first base, and when the pitcher wasn’t looking, he took off toward home plate.
Post 43’s pitcher threw the ball to the catcher who applied the tag to Watt, but the tag was too late and Watt had scored Post 11’s sixth run of the game.
Post 11’s next run came off an RBI single from Tanner Capps that allowed Will Albert to score from third base to give Post 11 a 7-4 lead.
In the third inning, Post 11 continued to put up runs at the plate while also limiting Post 43’s scoring, and when the inning was over, they held a 12-5 lead.
Even after trailing 12-5, Kinston Post 43 never gave up. They began to chip away at Post 11’s seven-run lead in the fourth inning by scoring three runs to cut the lead to four at 8-12.
Post 43 scored another run in the top of the fifth, and two more in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to just one run. Suddenly, after what looked like a comfortable seven-run lead, Post 11 only held a one-run lead in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Post 11 regained their prowess on offense at the right moment, and in the sixth inning they were able to score five runs.
Will Harris was the batter who knocked in the first run when he hit an RBI single to score Collins. Austin Booth knocked in another run with an RBI double to score Davis Albert. Rowan Watt was the next batter up for Post 11 after Booth, and he was able to put Post 43 out of reach by hitting a two-RBI double to give Post 11 a 16-11 lead.
Post 11 scored their last run of the inning with an RBI groundout from Drew Spencer which gave Post 11 a 17-11 lead.
Kinston Post 43 was unable to score in the seventh inning after a strong inning from Gipson on the mound, and Wayne County Post 11 came out victorious in an unforgettable three-and-a-half hour long battle.
Pate said that Post 43 put up a good fight even after falling behind, and he was glad his team was able to hold on to their early lead.
“I think we did a good job of scoring early,” he said. “Then we hit a little bit of a lull in the game where the offense really let up off the gas and (Post 43) kept scoring, and next thing you know, it’s a one-run ball game.
“Offensively, I thought we did a good job collectively.”
With the win, Wayne County Post 11 improves to 4-1 for the season.