Home Local Sports 5 IN A ROW: Post 49 shuts out Kannapolis as hot start...

5 IN A ROW: Post 49 shuts out Kannapolis as hot start continues

Evan Hodges, who pitched 6 innings with 6 Ks Sunday, throws to first for an out in the first inning. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

HAMLET — Five games have yielded five wins for the Hamlet American Legion Post 49 baseball team in the early going of the 2024 season.

Opening the George Whitfield Sunday Showdown against Kannapolis Post 115, Hamlet continued its best start since returning to play in 2021 with its fifth consecutive win.

Thanks to a six-inning shutout performance on the mound by Evan Hodges (Richmond), Post 49 held on for a 2-0 victory.

The 49ers managed to swat nine hits as a team but stranded seven runners on base. Austin Mooring (Union Pines) and Maddox Locklear (Scotland) collected a team-high two hits, all singles, and Mooring added one run batted in.

Also driving in an RBI was JD Scarbrough (Pitt Community College), whose bat has been electric the last three games for Hamlet.

Jacob Williams (Union Pines) had a double, as Hodges, James Eason (Richmond) and John Carre (Pinecrest) each reached safely on a base hit.

Austin Mooring connects on an RBI single in the third inning of Hamlet’s fifth straight win. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Both teams sent four batters to the plate in the first inning without scoring. Hamlet’s base runner was Locklear, who singled to right field.

Hodges retired Kannapolis in order in the top of the second on just six pitches. He finished the afternoon with a line of allowing five hits and recording six strikeouts, while also stranding seven runners on base.

A pair of one-out singles by Eason and Hodges in the bottom of the second against losing pitcher Will Hollmeyer (three innings, five hits, two runs) were left stranded.

Walking a batter and allowing a single, Hodges let Kannapolis get runners on second and third base with just one away in the third. He worked out of the jam by recording a strikeout and using a fly out to Landon Taylor in center field.


All of the game’s scoring happened in the bottom of the third, which started with Taylor drawing a leadoff walk. Scarbrough stepped in and lasered an RBI triple to the gap in right-center, plating Taylor from first.

After a pair of strikeouts, Mooring delivered from the cleanup spot in the lineup with an RBI single on a line drive to center field. Scarbrough scored easily to make it 2-0.

Hodges faced just four batters in both the fourth and fifth innings, picking up three strikeouts along the way. To end the fifth, Williams threw out a would-be base stealer at second, with Eason applying the tag.

In the sixth, Hodges bore down and got out of a bases-loaded, two-out situation after two singles and a dropped third strike on a passed ball kept the inning alive. On his third pitch to Brooks Hubbard, Hodges got a high pop out to Eason at shortstop to end the threat.

Dylan Tilson delivers a pitch during the seventh inning of Hamlet’s home game Sunday. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

With Hamlet’s bats quieted by relief pitchers Carter Rohletter and Blake Gaffney, who combined for four hits and no runs allowed in three innings, Hamlet head coach Chip Gordon turned to pitcher Dylan Tilson (Scotland) in the seventh.

Making his second appearance of the summer, Tilson registered the save. He faced five batters and didn’t let back-to-back walks to start the inning discourage him.

On a bunt back to the mound, Tilson fired to Mooring at third for a fielder’s choice for the first out. He followed that with a strikeout and a lazy fly ball caught in left-center by Carre to ice the win.

Hamlet (5-0) will play one more home game Sunday against the Garner Nationals, starting at 7 p.m.

The Richmond Observer will publish a gallery of game one of Sunday’s doubleheader soon.