WILMINGTON — A five-run rally in the top of the seventh ran out of gas for the Hamlet American Legion baseball team on Wednesday.
Playing a make-up game on the road against Wilmington Post 10 Veterans, Post 49 saw its three-game winning streak end in an 8-6 loss.
“We didn’t hit the ball very well tonight and some breaks didn’t go our way,” head coach Chip Gordon said. “We can’t win them all, but we weren’t outmatched in any capacity. We just didn’t have good swings or put the ball in play.
“I’m proud of the guys, especially in the seventh inning,” he continued. “They battled and never gave up, and that’s what they do. We played until we ran out of outs and made it a ball game.”
Starting pitcher Michael Norris and relief pitcher Chaz Whitmore both threw 3.0 innings for Hamlet.
Norris allowed five runs on seven hits with two strikeouts, and Whitmore gave up three runs on three hits and added one K.
Wilmington scored a run in the bottom of the second, added four runs in the third and took a 6-0 lead in the fourth.
Post 49 got on the board in the top of the fifth when Whitmore singled to right field. Scoring was Tristan Hunt, who led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch.
In the home half, Post 10 added two more runs to go ahead 8-1.
Hamlet wouldn’t go away quietly in the top of the seventh, scoring five runs on four hits and sending nine batters to the plate.
With two outs, Tanner Cheek hit a line drive RBI single to center to score Ra’Nik Little (fielder’s choice). A walk to Cameron Way loaded the bases and Norris brought in Nick DiCarlo (single) with a base knock to left.
Hunt kept the rally alive in the next at-bat, barreling a two-RBI single up the middle, allowing Cheek and Way to cross home safely.
Norris scored on a passed ball for Hamlet’s final run before a strikeout ended the game with the tying run at the plate.
Hamlet registered nine hits and stranded six runners on base. Way had the team’s only extra-base hit, a double.
Hunt and Norris each had two hits and combined for three RBIs, Whitmore had a single and an RBI and DiCarlo, Cheek and Cooper Sessoms each added a single.
“We’re going to take tomorrow off and come back Friday night ready to play in front of our home crowd,” Gordon closed.
Post 49 (7-5) will host Brunswick Post 543 for another Area 2 conference game on Friday. Action is set to get underway at 7 p.m. at Memorial Park.