Home Local Sports COMEBACK KIDS: Eason’s 4 RBI guide Hamlet to third straight win

COMEBACK KIDS: Eason’s 4 RBI guide Hamlet to third straight win

James Eason stands on second base after his 2-RBI double in the sixth inning during Tuesday's win. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

SALISBURY — Extending its winning streak to three games, Hamlet Post 49 mustered another impressive come-from-behind victory on Tuesday.

Capping their four games in four days to start the season, the 49ers erased another four-run deficit to defeat Rowan Post 342 by a final score of 8-5.

The rally started in the fifth inning for Post 49, which scratched out its eight runs while holding Rowan to just one run over the final three frames.

Riding a strong start from Mason Konen (4 IP, 4 runs, 4 hits), it was Bohdi Robertson who got the win. The rising high school sophomore was composed in his three innings of work, allowing just one run on one hit.

Bohdi Robertson throws a pitch during a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth inning. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Getting run support late, Post 49 scored a run in the fifth, four runs in the sixth and three more runs in the seventh.

James Eason provided the eventual game-winning run on a two-RBI single down the first base line. He finished the night 2-for-4 with a double, single and a season-high four RBI.

Rowan took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a pair of bases-loaded walks by Konen, who allowed seven free passes in the game.

Post 342 jumped ahead 4-0 with solo runs in the third and fourth innings courtesy of a sacrifice bunt and an RBI groundout to second base.

Despite only sending four batters to the plate in the fifth, Ashton Phifer led off with a double to center field. After Phifer tagged up on a fly out, Tristan Hunt lifted a sacrifice fly to center to make it 4-1.

A wild pitch in the home half after a leadoff walk put Post 342 back ahead by four runs.

The pivotal four-run sixth started with a leadoff walk to Jackson Kuhn and back-to-back base knocks from Bryant Kimbrell and Ryley Norton to load the bases. Eason stepped in and delivered a two-RBI double to the corner in right field on an 0-1 offering.


In the next at-bat, Markey Purvis plated a run with a sacrifice fly to center field. Facing reliever Alex Hagler, one of five pitchers used by Rowan, Phifer recorded his lone RBI on a liner to the center field grass to tie the game 5-5.

Ashton Phifer drives in the tying run on an RBI single in the top of the sixth inning. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Robertson retired Post 342 in order in the bottom of the sixth on 13 pitches to set up the final chapter of the comeback story.

The seventh started in similar fashion for Hamlet, which loaded the bases on singles from Kuhn and Kimbrell and an intentional walk to Norton. Eason hugged the first base foul line again, roping a two-RBI single to right to give Post 49 a 7-5 lead.

Playing deja vu, Purvis drew warning track power in the next at-bat and recorded his second RBI on a deep sacrifice fly just shy of the wall in center.

Down to its final three outs, Rowan went down on a ground ball out, a fielder’s choice and an athletic grab by Purvis at the hot corner on a line drive to seal the deal.

Hamlet recorded 11 hits in the win, a season-high as a team. It also marked the fourth time in four games with 10 or more hits. Kimbrell, Eason and Phifer each had two hits, with Hunt, Norton, Kuhn, Purvis and JD Scarbrough each tallying one apiece.

Eason, Purvis and Phifer, Hamlet’s seven, eight and nine hitters, accounted for seven of the team’s eight RBI. Hunt had the other.

Markey Purvis (left) celebrates with teammates after recording the final out in Tuesday’s win. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Improving to 3-1 on the season, Hamlet will get a much-needed day off before playing on its home field on Thursday. The 49ers will welcome in non-conference Florence Post 1 at 7 p.m.

The Richmond Observer will publish a photo gallery of Tuesday’s win soon.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.