Home Local Sports Hamlet takes game one of doubleheader with Jacksonville

Hamlet takes game one of doubleheader with Jacksonville

Jeremiah Ritter fires a pitch during the first inning of Hamlet's game one win over Jacksonville. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

HAMLET — The temperature wasn’t the only thing that was hot Saturday, as the Hamlet American Legion baseball team continued its winning streak.

Post 49’s bats, defense and pitching were all blazing in both games of an Area 2 Conference doubleheader with Jacksonville Post 265.

Behind a complete game performance on the mound by Jeremiah Ritter (Richmond), Hamlet won game one by a final score of 8-0 in five innings.

Due to the heat and Post 265 only having eight players, it was decided prior to first pitch that the game would be five innings instead of its normal seven innings.

Ritter picked up his third victory on the mound this season, which tied him with fellow high school teammates Riley Brown and Jason Walker for the club lead. 

In his five innings of work, Ritter kept Jacksonville off the board and allowed just two hits. He struck out three batters and walked three. In four of his five frames, Ritter faced four batters.

Hamlet scored a run in the first inning and broke the game open with a six-run bottom of the second off starting pitcher Nathan Butts (two innings, seven runs, four hits, four walks).

Off reliever Jacob Racine (two innings, one run, one hit), Post 49 added its final run in the home half of the fourth.

Evan Hodges makes a 6-3 putout in the second inning of game one’s win Saturday. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Ritter started the game with two of his Ks in the top of the first. Evan Hodges (Richmond) made it 1-0 in the bottom half with an RBI groundout to third base. Scoring was James Eason (Richmond), who led off with a hit-by-pitch.

Hodges saved a pair of would-be singles in the top of the second, hustling up the middle to cut off a pair of grounders for putouts. Ritter left a two-out triple stranded with his final strikeout.

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Maddox Locklear (Scotland) and Jacob Williams (Union Pines) singled to start the high-scoring second. Locklear and courtesy runner Robbie Peed both stole a bag and Locklear scored when the throw down to third bounced into left field.

Later in the inning with the bases loaded, JD Scarbrough (Pitt Community College) drove in a run on an RBI groundout to second to score Peed. Leading 3-0, Isaac Hinshaw (Richmond) roped a two-RBI single into right field to score Landon Taylor (Richmond, walk) and Eason (walk).

A balk by Butts moved Hodges (walk) across home plate safely, which was followed by a single by Brown to put runners on the corners. Locklear capped the inning with an RBI grounder to second, scoring Hinshaw.

Maddox Locklear connects on one of his two singles for Hamlet during Saturday’s sixth straight win. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Two 4-3 putouts by Locklear in the top of the third helped Ritter strand a two-out single to preserve the 7-0 lead.

Hamlet’s middle infielder duo of Locklear and Hodges also turned a 4-6-3 double play to Brown at first in the top of the fourth, again eliminating a one-out base runner. It was Ritter’s lone 1-2-3 inning.

Designated hitter John Carre recorded Hamlet’s third RBI groundout of the game in the fourth. He brought in Brown (error) for the final run of the game.

Facing four batters in the fifth, Ritter shut the door to notch Hamlet’s sixth win in a row.

Post 49 had five hits, including a game-high two singles from Locklear. Also contributing a base hit were Hinshaw, Brown and Williams.

Hinshaw’s two RBI were a game-high, with Scarbrough, Hodges, Carre and Locklear each driving in a run.

The Richmond Observer will publish a game story of Hamlet’s second game of Saturday’s doubleheader soon.