Home Local Sports Five-run 2nd inning fuels Post 49 to season-opening win

Five-run 2nd inning fuels Post 49 to season-opening win

Maddox Locklear, throwing out a runner from second, had two RBI singles in Friday's win. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

RAMSEUR — A slow first inning didn’t stop the Hamlet American Legion baseball team from entering the win column during Friday’s season opener.

Breaking in its fourth season since returning to action, Post 49 used a three-pitcher effort on the road at Eastern Randolph High School.

Led by starting pitcher Jason Walker (Richmond), who secured the win on the mound, Hamlet defeated Liberty Post 91 by a final score of 7-4.

After allowing three runs in the bottom of the first inning, Hamlet’s bats gave Walker some run support with a five-run top of the second.

Leading 5-3 until the top of the sixth, Post 49 tacked on two insurance runs. Liberty scored its final run in the bottom half of the sixth.

Walker pitched four innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on three hits. He struck out three batters and retired Post 91 in order in the second and third frames, while only walking one batter.

Jason Walker delivers a pitch during his 1-2-3 third inning. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Riley Brown (Richmond) was dominant in his two innings of relief in the fifth and sixth. He gave up one hit and an unearned run, while striking out four batters, two in each inning.

Earning the save was Dylan Tilson (Scotland), who worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh. He struck out the side with the game-winning run at the plate.

Liberty used a leadoff walk and a double to start the home half of the first. A passed ball scored the first run and a sacrifice fly to left field made it 2-0.

Walker got the first of his four Ks for the second out, but an error on a ground ball scored Post 91’s third run of the frame. 

Catcher Jacob Williams (Union Pines) ended the threat when he hosed a runner trying to swipe second, who was tagged out by James Eason (Richmond).

Hamlet’s offense got to work against starting pitcher Chance Holdaway (1.1 IP, five runs, four hits, three walks) in the top of the second. Austin Mooring (Union Pines) led off with a free pass and Williams sliced a line drive single to right field.

Eason dug in next and burned the left fielder with a long RBI single to the gap, scoring Mooring from second. Courtesy runner John Carre (Pinecrest), running for Williams, and Eason both moved into scoring position on the throw home.

With one out, Landon Taylor (Richmond) hustled down the line on a grounder to the right side and reached via an error at second base, allowing Carre to cut the deficit to one run.


A walk to JD Scarbrough (Pitt Community College) loaded the bases. Maddox Locklear (Scotland) recorded the first of his two team-high RBI singles when he turned on the jets and beat an infield single back to the mound.

Tied at three runs and the bags still full of 49ers, Evan Hodges (Richmond) recorded the first of his two RBI when he was plunked by Holdaway. Trotting home was Taylor, who gave Hamlet the lead for good.

Isaac Hinshaw (Richmond) drew a four-pitch walk off reliever Jackson Berger (3.2 IP, no runs, no hits, two walks) to plate Hamlet’s final run to make it 5-3.

Both teams’ pitching settled in over the next handful of innings, with Walker going 1-2-3 in the second with three groundouts to the right side. He followed that with a three-batter effort in the third, sandwiching two Ks around a flyout in foul territory caught by a racing Scarbrough.

JD Scarbrough catches a fly ball in foul territory near the bullpen during Friday’s win. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Walker stranded runners at first in second in the fourth and was replaced by Brown in the fifth. Brown shoved with a 1-2-3 frame in the bottom of the fifth, getting a fly out to left followed by two punchouts.

With two gone in the top of the sixth, Hamlet mustered some two-out lightning to score its final two runs.

Taylor, who drew a one-out walk and advanced on a ground out, scored when Locklear laced an RBI single to left field. 

Locklear moved 90 feet on a passed ball, and just two pitches later, Hodges connected for a nearly identical RBI single to left off reliever Andrew Thomas (0.2 IP, two runs, two hits).

A leadoff single for Post 91 scored with two outs when a fly ball to the shallow grass behind second base was dropped on an error.

Tilson struck out the first batter he faced in the bottom of the seventh, allowed a single and a walk, but got another strikeout against the fourth batter he faced.

An error extended the inning, but Tilson erased a 3-0 count to strike out the side and end the game.

Post 49 had six hits in the win, led by Locklear’s two singles. Hodges, Hinshaw, Williams and Eason each had a base knock. Locklear and Hodges each had two RBI, with Hinshaw, Eason and Taylor adding one apiece.

Hamlet (1-0) will get a few days off before heading back on the road to Chatham Post 182. The non-conference game will be played Wednesday at Jordan Matthews High School, starting at 7 p.m.

The Richmond Observer will publish a photo gallery of Friday’s season opener soon.