Home Local Sports Losing streak reaches 5 games for Hamlet juniors

Losing streak reaches 5 games for Hamlet juniors

ROSports File Photo: The Hamlet junior baseball team and head coach Anthony Hailey (center) lost their fifth straight game Tuesday. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

HOPE MILLS — A season-long skid continued for the Hamlet American Legion junior baseball team Tuesday.

Dropping its fifth consecutive game, all against Area 2 Conference opponents, Post 49 suffered an 11-3 defeat at Gray’s Creek High School.

Facing the Hope Mills Post 32 Bears, the team Hamlet earned its lone win over this summer, Post 49 couldn’t carry its early momentum into the later innings.

Despite starting the game with a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, Hamlet surrendered two runs in the home half and six runs in the bottom of the second frame.

Trailing 8-2, Post 49 scored its final run in the top of the fifth inning. Hope Mills answered with three insurance runs in the bottom half of the fifth.

Starting pitcher Michael Osentowski threw just 1.1 innings against Post 32 and allowed eight earned runs on five hits, five walks and had two strikeouts.

Cameron Liles (2.2 innings) and Chase Woody (2.0 innings) pitched in relief. Liles put up a zero in the run column on two hits, while Woody gave up three earned runs on four hits.

The trio of pitchers combined for four strikeouts and seven base on balls. Hamlet’s Achilles heel all season has been allowing free bases, including 21 combined walks the past two games.

A fast start to the game saw Conner Phifer (walk), Drew Gause (single) and Preston Fann (single) load the bases with one out. Noah Stubbs recorded a run batted in when he drew a walk.

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Gause gave Hamlet a 2-0 lead when he made a good read and scored from third on a passed ball with two outs.

Hope Mills used an RBI double and a passed ball to tie the game in the bottom of the first.

In its six-run second inning, Post 32 scored on a steal of home, two passed balls, an RBI double and a two-RBI double to jump ahead 8-2.

With two gone and the bases loaded in the top of the fifth, Tristan Chavis was hit by a pitch. Advancing home to score was Phifer, who reached on one of his two base hits.

A two-RBI single and an RBI groundout by Hope Mills in the bottom of the fifth capped the game’s scoring.

Hamlet had two base runners on board in the sixth but they were left stranded. In the seventh, Post 49 went down in order.

Phifer and Fann each had two hits in the loss, all singles. Steve James had Hamlet’s only extra-base hit, a triple, and Gause and Colton Nelson each connected for a base hit.

The junior 49ers (1-8, 1-5 Area 2) will host West Columbus Post 204 Friday at 7 p.m.

Sports editor’s note: Game stats provided by Hamlet’s GameChanger app and head coach Anthony Hailey.