HAMLET — Checking off another box en route to a hopeful conference championship, the Hamlet American Legion baseball team remained undefeated in Area 2 play on Thursday.
Bouncing back from a non-conference loss the night before, Post 49 used a pivotal third inning to defeat Ashley Post 129 by a final score of 5-2.
Scoring all of their runs between the second and third frames, the 49ers collected seven hits despite striking out a season-high 11 times as a team.
Head coach Chip Gordon gave Mason Konen the starting job on Thursday, who went 5 innings to earn the win. Konen allowed two earned runs on six hits and struck out six batters.
High school teammate Bohdi Robertson closed the door in the final two innings. Facing just one batter over the minimum in those two frames, Robertson allowed a walk and struck out two batters in the save.
Both teams went down in order in the first, and Konen got out of a jam with two runners on base in the top of the second with a strikeout.
Hunter Huneycutt led off the bottom of the second with a base on balls. He moved to second on a walk to Markey Purvis and advanced to third on a steal.
With two away, Huneycutt scored on a wild pitch by Cole Barnes (6 IP, five runs, seven hits, 11 Ks) to give Hamlet an early lead.
Konen stranded two more base runners in the top of the third, getting a fly out to Robertson in right field to preserve the lead.
Post 49 broke the game open with a four-run bottom of the third. Batting once through the lineup, Carter Bean and J.D. Scarbrough led off the inning with back-to-back singles.
With one away, Jackson Kuhn laced a single to right field to load the bases. Huneycutt did his job and recorded an RBI on a fielder’s choice to shortstop, scoring Bean from third.
Purvis stepped in the box with runners on the corners and delivered a two-RBI double on the first offering. Going backside, Purvis lasered the two-bagger to right field, extending Hamlet’s lead to 4-0.
One pitch later, Ryley Norton barreled up an RBI single to center field, giving Purvis a chance to score from second base.
Konen continued to deal in the fourth inning, facing just four batters. In the top of the fifth, Ashley scored both of its runs, courtesy of Brent Potter RBI single and a bases-loaded walk to Barnes.
Post 49 loaded the bases in the fifth with two outs, but Barnes recorded a strikeout to spoil Hamlet’s chance to add onto its lead. Two more runners were stranded in the home half of the sixth.
Robertson started the top of the seventh by striking out Hudson Hauck, gave up a single, then induced a pair of groundouts to secure the victory.
Seven players finished with a hit for Hamlet — Scarbrough, Tristan Hunt, Kuhn, Huneycutt, Purvis (double), Norton and Bean. Purvis’ two RBI were a game-high, as Huneycutt and Norton added one each.
Hamlet (5-3, 2-0 Area 2) will close out its four-game week on Friday at Butler High School. The non-conference game against Matthews Post 235 will begin at 7 p.m.